Had a phone call purporting to be from Microsoft Help Desk about junk files downloaded to my computer! Is it a scam?

I had an unexpected phone call this morning. The man on the other end said he was from Microsoft Help Desk. He said there was an urgent problem with my computer. He said that, in the course of downloading automatic updates, my computer had downloaded some junk files which would harm my computer. He said that the files would fill up my disk causing my computer to grind to a halt and would also weaken my security software leaving my computer vulnerable to attack. He wanted me to sit at my computer there and then and he would talk me through fixing it. I made excuses and put the phone down. I have now had two of these calls.

The whole thing sounds like a scam to me! I have no way of verifying that this person was from Microsoft at all and I cannot imagine Microsoft ever phoning anyone at home like that. I assume this was someone trying to get access to my computer for criminal reasons. I could find nothing on the Microsoft web site to suggest there was any truth in what I was being told.

Can anyone offer me advice?

 

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Last updated January 6, 2019 Views 4,722 Applies to:
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Yes, it's a scam.

Don’t fall for phony phone tech support:
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/securitytipstalk/archive/2010/03/09/don-t-fall-for-phony-phone-tech-support.aspx

Microsoft will not make unsolicited calls to help you with your computer


Microsoft® Security MVP, 2004 - 2010
Microsoft Windows Insider MVP -
Microsoft MVP Consumer Security 2004 - 2016

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On Thu, 25 Nov 2010 12:02:38 +0000, Rackett Player wrote:
 
 
> I had an unexpected phone call this morning. The man on the other end said he was from Microsoft Help Desk. He said there was an urgent problem with my computer. He said that, in the course of downloading automatic updates, my computer had downloaded some junk files which would harm my computer. He said that the files would fill up my disk causing my computer to grind to a halt and would also weaken my security software leaving my computer vulnerable to attack. He wanted me to sit at my computer there and then and he would talk me through fixing it. I made excuses and put the phone down. I have now had two of these calls.
>
> The whole thing sounds like a scam to me!
 
 
................................................................................................
 
You are absolutely correct. It *is* a scam.
 
................................................................................................
 
 
> I have no way of verifying that this person was from Microsoft at all
 
................................................................................................
 
 
He certainly wasn't.
 
................................................................................................
 
 
> and I cannot imagine Microsoft ever phoning anyone at home like that.
 
 
................................................................................................
 
 
You are absolutely right. They *never* do that.
 
................................................................................................
 
 
 
> I assume this was someone trying to get access to my computer for criminal reasons.
 
 
................................................................................................
 
 
Again, absolutely right.
 
................................................................................................
 
 
> I could find nothing on the Microsoft web site to suggest there was any truth in what I was being told.
>
> Can anyone offer me advice?
 
................................................................................................
 
Follow your instincts here. They are completely correct.
 

Ken Blake (MS MVP)
Ken Blake - Microsoft MVP since October 2003

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