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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

UK Scammers Used New Microsoft Trick

An interesting development in the area of scam was noticed by security experts a while ago. It seems that people in Leicestershire are employing a localized version of the well-known Microsoft scam. The latter involves a person from a call center somewhere in India ringing you up and pretending to be from Microsoft security branch. The callers trick their victims into “fixing” their computers by installing various malware before demanding cash from the user to free it.

That’s what is called “Microsoft scam”. But now it looks like someone in Leicestershire County knew about that scheme and decided to copy it and set up a local operation. The modified scheme is more interesting, because instead of claiming to work for the software giant, the intruders pretend to be working for Leicestershire County Council. In the area, it is a common thing that people from the council come around to fix the computers, so the scheme must work. And it does: for instance, one of the callers told a resident that the County Council had passed on his details and that they were cooperating with the police.

In response, David Bull, Leicestershire County Council’s head of trading standards, has published an official statement claiming that there was no way the Council could pass on someone’s details to businesses. Both the security experts and entities like Microsoft and County Council remind Internet users that they shouldn’t respond to such calls and of course never to give their sensitive details to an unknown person. Although many people understand that it is scam and hang up, there are still victims that fall for the story and agree to pay cash to get rid of the malware.

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