Calls saying there's something wrong with your computer ?

  TwoHulls 11:09 18 Oct 2011


I use a three year old laptop running Vista and it seems to run like it's always run.

Thing is (and I am a bit of a suspicious old git)I keep getting phone calls on my landline saying "I'm from XYZ Co on behalf of Microsoft you've something wrong with your computer and I can sort it"

They then ask me to sit down in front of it and take me through a series of key strokes which takes me into Event Viewer - they then show me in Applications and System a number of red flagged events which they say needs sorting to improve the performance of my pc.

Next thing they ask is for me to go online to to sort the problem and I've declined.

They say they are in India ? - from their accents certainly sounds like it and they seem to be in a busy environment judging from the background noise.

My questions are - as I don't know how they got my phone number are these guys likely to be kosher in working for Microsoft am I right to be suspicious ?

Is what they showed me in Event Viewer likely to be a problem and should I do anything about it.


  D4lien 11:51 18 Oct 2011

This is a scam. Do not give them any further details at all.

Event viewer will show errors for time to time for various reasons.

Do not fall for this.

  D4lien 11:51 18 Oct 2011

Meant to say:

Event Viewer will show errors from time to time for various reasons but will not affect your pc.

  D4lien 12:00 18 Oct 2011
  TwoHulls 12:54 18 Oct 2011


Thank you for your quick response.

When they rang and asked me to go on my computer - before I did anything they asked, I closed down anything that was open then disconnected my wireless connection to my router - so my computer couldn't access the internet, I didn't tell them I disconnected from my router though.

I then followed their instructions to Event Viewer - Applications and System to identify the number of red flagged items in each section - when I got to over forty in each case that's when they broke back into the conversation and said yes that's bad - and asked me to go to the web site to sort the problem.

That's when I declined to go onto the web and as I explained why I was not prepared to do it - they disconnected the call.

Sorry for the further long-winded explanation but my final questions would be could they have accessed my pc in any way and was the info I gave them about no of red flagged items important - or was it just a way to lead me to going online and giving them access to my pc ?

Many thanks for your help,


  johndrew 14:44 18 Oct 2011

Did you ask yourself how they knew you had a problem and where they got your 'phone number from?

Having said that, you were a bit unwise to put the keystrokes in even offline. Make certain your PC isn't connecting anywhere you don't want it to.

  lotvic 17:19 18 Oct 2011

If they ring again tell them you sold it and haven't got a computer now.

  TwoHulls 21:26 18 Oct 2011

Per johndrew above - How do I tell if my computer is connecting with someone I don't want it too ?

I am an absolute beginner - although an old one !

  lotvic 00:39 19 Oct 2011

"They then ask me to sit down in front of it and take me through a series of key strokes which takes me into Event Viewer"

If that's all then you have nothing to worry about. You did not download anything or go to the website they wanted you to.

For them to take Remote Control of your pc and look your files you would have to have downloaded a program and ticked some boxes to give them permission.

Without the program, for them to 'hack' into your pc first they would need to know your IP address and then they'd have to hack through your Router's firewall as well as any firewall you have on your pc. There is no way they would know your IP address, in fact when they rang you they were only guessing that you even had a computer.

What they are really after is scaring you into paying a subscription to their annual 'support plan' so that they get money off you and your Card details.

  johndrew 10:04 19 Oct 2011

It is always wise t ensure your firewall is set to 'Ask' you if it is permitted to connect to a site. Most firewalls will 'learn' from your permissions as you give them and remember them to enable you to connect to known good sites which you are happy with. If a request to connect to an unknown location is made the firewall should ask if it is OK to connect and provide details. This gives you the opportunity to either deny access or to use your browser to investigate the site a bit more and then decide.

  TwoHulls 11:48 19 Oct 2011

Thank you to everyone who has responded - feel more settled about the whole thing.

The advice that they were interested in scaring me into paying a subscription is interesting as I'd assumed what they were trying to do was to lift without me knowing it personal info to use for identity theft or personal banking details.

Maybe they were trying to do both.

Many thanks again.

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