Earlier today I received a phone call from a person claiming to be a Microsoft employee. Unfortunately for them, they dialled the cell phone number of an IT technician. I started by asking about who they were and why they were calling (I already knew) but I was trying to get my co-worker's attention to record the video below.
A few points that people need to be aware of...
1. Microsoft cannot see your license info, or whether you are infected
The caller claims that he is calling me because my computer is very infected and running slow. He then has me type a few commands and reads to me the CLSID of a shortcut that is on basically 100% of Windows computers. He claims this number is my license ID in an effort to prove he is legitimate. I would say MOST people would be fooled by this. It is a very convincing way to scam someone.
People need to understand that Microsoft will NEVER call them out of the blue, and they will NEVER ask for remote access to their computer either.
2. Ask for their physical address, phone number, etc (or just hang up)
Most hackers/scammers (it's an insult to REAL hackers to call these slime balls hackers) will just hang up and not give you any of their personal information. If they do, you can always agree to hang up and call them back. Oh, and don't forget about point #1 regardless of anything else they say.
In most cases, the best course of action is to just hang up, but I wanted to both RECORD this video, and also waste their time as much as possible. The more we drag on these calls and waste their time, the less profit they can make from the scam, and eventually it should run it's course. There is a cost to them to stay on the line, as they are paying toll charges in most cases.
As always, you can contact the staff here are Reality Bytes for more information, or if you have been victim of these types of scams. In many cases the attacker will install some sort of malware or software tool that will steal your information and data.