Derbyshire Police warn of 'Microsoft' phone scam

'Remember, if it sounds too good to be true- it probably is.'
'Remember, if it sounds too good to be true- it probably is.'

Derbyshire Police have warned residents of a scam involving 'vishing'.

Vishing is the telephone equivalent of phishing, whereby sophisticated scammers phone users and attempt to scam them into giving personal or financial information that can be used for identity theft, fraud or further Cyber Crime.

These calls will be from people impersonating someone you know or trust, for instance the government, a reputable company or organisation, or even a family member who needs ‘help’.

They use social engineering tactics — psychological and social methods of manipulating or tricking users — and the victims’ own emotions to get them to provide information or to perform a specific action.

Derbyshire Constabulary have been made aware of calls of this nature from people claiming to be from Microsoft.

"In most cases, Microsoft will never contact end users so please be vigilant if you receive any calls of this nature, not just limited to Microsoft," said a spokesperson for the force.

The supposed “tech support representatives” often will call and claim to be from a reputable and well-known company.

Frequently, the actor will inform their intended victim that there’s something wrong with their computer and that they need to give them remote access to fix it.

"This voice phishing tactic often involves pretending to run a diagnostic test on your machine. Their ultimate goal is to get you, as the victim, to pay for a tech support service that you don’t need to fix a problem that doesn’t actually exist."

"But not all tech support fraud phishing phone calls involve the criminal calling you. Sometimes, they will lure you into calling them.

"The way they do this is by using pop-up messages on your computer screen. These warnings, frequently designed to look like they come from your antivirus software or operating system, inform you that threats have been detected on your machine and direct you to call a specific phone number to speak with a technician immediately."

Protect yourself against vishing attempts:

• Hang up and call the person, department, or company directly using official phone numbers (don’t use the contact information that’s provided to you in an email, a text message, or through an unsolicited phone call)

• Don’t respond to unsolicited calls, texts or emails

• Don’t disclose any personal or financial information before verifying the contact is genuine

• Educate yourself, friends and family about potential threats and scams

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