Saturday, January 28, 2012

Weekender: Virus Hoax Phone Calls!

I keep getting phone calls (at least one every two weeks, sometimes more, over the past six months) from someone claiming to have detected that my computer is loaded with viruses, and offering to clean it up online.  I'm  quite fastidious about computer security, so I know it's a hoax.  All the same, it's a royal pain in the butt.  Yesterday the guy (always the same East Indian guy) phoned theoretically from Washington state east of Seattle (area code 425, although often the number is hidden from display), and actually said he was from Microsoft for the first time.  How many other people are getting these hoax virus phone calls?  Is Microsoft going after these criminals?  I suspect that the next thing this tool asks for is your password, but I always tell him to ... um, take a hike - in no uncertain terms.  Unfortunately others may not.  Microsoft says in several places on their website that they never phone users of their software offering to do anything, so be forewarned.  I checked Snopes.com here and this hoax has been around awhile so it must be profitable.  Just the same I've reported this last call to the authorities.  (I'm not holding my breath.)