Scams involving bogus telephone callers tricking users into divulging private information or parting with money for useless software are not new. However, it is worth reminding people of how the crooks are updating their tricks to better protect the innocent.
We received some emails from our users telling us that they spoke with some guy from ‘Microsoft’ who called to tell them that their computer is badly infected with malware and need repairs. The ‘Microsoft’ guy convinces the victims to use Ammyy remote administrator software to allow the ‘Microsoft guy’ to repair the computer. Ammyy remote admin is legitimate non-malicious program but it is a really easy way for scammers to connect to the victims’ computers and convince them that they are helping.
The crooks then they try to force victims to buy support service. In the first call reported to us they offered a “cheaper” service for only $177.00 plus tax for lifetime support. In the second case, the price had gone up to €300 for 5 years support.
The biggest problem with phone call scams is that the only protection is a common sense. Antivirus can protect against malware from websites and downloads but no software can offer protection when victims allowed access to their computer and are tricked into to paying for fake ‘support & service’.