It seems to go in waves … phone calls supposedly from a Microsoft person informing you that your computer is infected or has been compromised. We’re in such a wave as I have recently had several people tell me that they have receive such phone calls.
The red flag that this is a scam is when the person calling you says that there will be a fee involved for fixing it. Microsoft clearly states on their web site:
“You will never receive a legitimate call from Microsoft or our partners to charge you for computer fixes.”
Bottom line: Any unsolicited phone call from anyone reporting that your computer is infected with a virus, or has been hacked or compromised, should be considered a scam. I would advise that you quickly hang up on them. Do not try to talk your way through it. It’s not worth it.
Here are three links that contain more information on these scams. The first is Microsoft’s own warning on these scams, the other two identify they type of things these scammers will do to try to convince you that they are real and that they have intimate knowledge about your computer.
Finally, here is a true story from a customer of mine who reported that this happened to him this morning:
I got a phone call at home from a man who says his name is John, and claiming to be from Windows Licensing Technical Support. It sounded like he was calling from India, and I can hear other people in the background making similar calls. He says that my computer has been sending a message to their servers indicating that there is an issue with my computer and license. He then asks for me to turn on my computer, and for a fee that he can help correct the issue.
I asked him to read to me the license number that he is registering as having an issue. After some push back (he wanted me to read him my license number), hesitation, and almost a minute for him to look it up, he finally rattles off a long serial number (888DC … D7B062). Already I know that this isn’t a real windows license number so I ask him for their number and I’ll call back if I really have an issue. He gives me 209-894-0429 as their support line. The number which showed up on my caller ID was 9-9876.