Thanet Star

Tech Support Cold Caller Scam

It looks like the pre-Christmas scams are out in full force again. I've just had a phone call from a guy clearly not based in the UK claiming to be a legitimate partner of Microsoft who has been informed that my windows PC had a virus problem. Given that I do not use Microsoft on my PC it was a dead give away that the guy was talking rubbish.

When pressed he changed his story and said that Microsoft had not informed him of this fact but that my details (which he read out to me) had come from "a computer mailing list". He claimed his company was called "Smart Solutions" but Google has yet to hear about such an important Microsoft partner.

You guessed it this is of course a scam. The name of the company changes but the aim is to get a couple of hundred quid out of you by making you think that your computer is at risk and that it was your fault. A full write up of the Smart Solutions Tech Support Scam can be found on my technical blog.

The short version is - please don't download anything or hand over cash if a cold caller suggests that you need to. Virus and Malware remove costs £0.00 and pro packages cost very little for a years subscription. Also Microsoft Live Update would take care of anything that Microsoft is that worried about. That's free too.

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Public Comments

This Normal comment was left by SirHead [score: 0]:

Have found out more about this - apparently if you get an email or txt message from them and ring the number it instantly charges a whopping 135 quid to your phone bill and will put you on hold for a further ten minutes at approx £5 a minute
13/12/2010 12:02:29

This Normal comment was left by Dave [score: 0]:

Both myself and son have had this call so it must be very common. I told them I don't have a computer. Its not just a fee they are after for screwing up your PC but they are more interested in getting your bank or credit card details and then cleaning you out.
13/12/2010 17:04:06

This Normal comment was left by photo pop art gratuit [score: 0]:

In no definite time, opportunists unexpectedly find all the means to pester other people's life. Just a month ago, I also experience somewhat congruent to this situation but I never allowed him to include me in the list of victims he has. I text a friend about that incident and thank God we found out that the caller is a fake one. He supposed to attract me by saying that my laptop might be infected of the viruses and so on and so forth....As if I never have the idea to mind his intention. Anyway great job in sharing this blog, at least for those who never knew about this, they will be informed.
16/12/2010 06:31:37

This Normal comment was left by Matt B [score: 0]:

Apparently (according to what I was able to look up) stopping these guys is proving quite hard.
16/12/2010 23:52:17

This Normal comment was left by Marty [score: 0]:

There's far too much of these cold calls around. Never ever give away personal details over the phone.
I like the fact you caught this scam out being non Microsoft. I am non Microsoft in the main too, being an experimental Linux user. Tried a few now.
28/12/2010 13:08:56

This Normal comment was left by Naughty User [score: 0]:

[Naughty IP: 59.148.250.166] [Naughty IP: 59.148.250.166] I will hang up the phone in 3 seconds if I get a cold call. And, I never give away my personal particulars over the phone.
29/12/2010 07:05:37
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