One of the common threads among phone scammers is that they often impersonate some type of authority in order to scare their victims.
In one of the more recent scams being reported, callers are posing as Microsoft technicians who claim there is an issue with the victim's computer or internet connection. They then direct the victim to grant remote access to their computer in order to "fix" the problem.
Once the caller has been granted remote access, they can control the computer as if they were sitting right at the desk. They are free to download financial records, personal documents, or even install software that will allow them to monitor everything the victim does on their computer and even control their webcam at any time. With this software, a criminal could capture usernames and passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive information.
After granting access to one of these callers, a user must completely format their computer to ensure there is no infection left over.
As always, our advice is to trust nobody on the phone, especially if they initiated the call and are threatening you in some way.
Microsoft is also not in the business of direct consumer support, so they would never call a customer and offer a service like this.
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