An alarming number of our clients have reported receiving a call from someone claiming to be from “Microsoft” or “tech support” or possibly from the ISP (Comcast, AT&T, etc) bringing news that a virus has been detected on their system. If you express concern or interest they will use TeamViewer or LogMeIn Rescue (both legitimate products) to establish a remote connection to supposedly clean up your computer.
However, they do the exact opposite. They upload a virus to your system, or pull up your computer’s Event Viewer and point out how many errors you have (the majority of errors listed in Event Viewer are benign but it should be noted that some are important). After scaring you with false and exaggerating claims of errors and impending system failure, they tell you it will cost $200-300 to fix it (the price they throw at you varies).
This is a complete scam. Microsoft and your ISP do not scan your computer for viruses, and sure can’t afford to give everyone a phone call even if they did. Do NOT let a stranger on the phone connect to your computer, especially since they contacted you first. Your computer will have real problems when they are through with you, and your credit card information may be abused if you decide to pay for their service. Below are links to articles we’ve found on the Internet further detailing the “Tech support call scam”. There is also a video of exactly how the scam looks, live.