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Fake support phone calls could lead to identity theft

Patrick writes:

A person called and said my computer would no longer be supported by Microsoft. Is this true?

What Patrick describes sounds like a typical phone scam, designed to take advantage of the news that support for Windows XP will end in April 2014.

It’s true that if you are still using Windows XP, you should take action and upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8. After April 8, 2014, there will be no new security updates, non-security hotfixes, free or paid assisted support options, or online technical content updates.

However, Microsoft is not calling people on the phone to tell them this information, and a phone call like Patrick’s might be a tech support phone scam that could put you at risk of identity theft.

Tech support phone scams are designed to:

  • Trick you into downloading malicious software.
  • Take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
  • Request credit card information and then bill you for phony services or commit identity theft.

Learn what to do if you think you’ve been a victim of a scam.

Microsoft will not make unsolicited phone calls about computer security or software fixes. If you receive a call like this one, it’s a scam, and all you need to do is hang up. Find out how you can avoid tech support phone scams.

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