Back in 2012, Microsoft Canada IT Professional Chris Di Lullo posted a great blog post regarding a phone scam that was hitting Canadians. Pierre Roman mentioned in a Microsoft IT Pro blog post that he received 3 calls from someone posing as a Microsoft employee offering to help me fix his machine.
Guess what, time for a reminder about scams online
Please tell all your friends and family about this so no one gets taken. There’s a great infographic that the great team at Microsoft Canada have put together about how to avoid phone scams that you can use to educate yourself, so you can educate others.
Microsoft recently released a new study examining the types of tech scams fraudsters are deploying and their impact on consumers across 16 countries, including Canada.
The number of Canadians who have been exposed to a tech scam dropped slightly from 75% in 2016 to 67% in 2018 and 3% reported losing money, down 1 point from 2016.
How Microsoft supports Canadians to combat Tech Support Scams
To help protect its customers from scammers, Microsoft continues to enhance endpoint protection, email protection, URL blocking, and browser security solutions, however, education is key. Consumers can take the following steps to help keep their data – and identities – safe from cybercriminals:
- Run a modern operating system with endpoint protection and keep it up to date. Windows 10 provides the most secure Windows desktop computing experience today. The built-in Windows Defender endpoint protection works great for most users, no need to install a third-party AV.
- Avoid opening suspicious emails and do not visit websites you don’t trust. Compromised websites can contaminate computers with malicious software or destructive attacks, especially if your computer does not have the latest updates.
- If you receive a spontaneous email or phone call from Microsoft or any other company requesting you to share personal information or download applications, simply ignore the email, or hang up the phone. Do not share personal information, click links, or install applications when requested. Microsoft does not send unsolicited email messages or make spontaneous phone calls to request for personal or financial information or to fix your device.
- Download software only from the Microsoft Store or official vendor websites. Be cautious of downloading any software from third-party sites, as some of them might have been altered without the author’s knowledge to support scam malware and other threats.
- Try using Microsoft Edge when surfing the Internet. Microsoft Edge has the capability to block known support scam sites using Windows Defender SmartScreen (which is also used by Internet Explorer). Furthermore, it can also halt pop-up dialogue loops used by these sites.
- Don’t call the number in the warning pop-ups. Note: Microsoft’s error and warning messages never include a phone number.
- Microsoft encourages every user to report such attacks. Digital Crimes Unit (DCU) works with law enforcement and other agencies to crack down on scammers. If you suspect that you may be a target of fraud, or if you have already sent funds, contact The Canadian Anti- Fraud Centre : The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) is the central agency in Canada that collects information and criminal intelligence on such matters as mass marketing fraud such as telemarketing, advance fee fraud, Internet fraud and identification theft complaints.