Customers have reported receiving calls from a Microsoft Tech Support team claiming their computers are broken or have been compromised by a hacker. These cybercriminals attempt to gain access to your computer, so they can install malicious software in order to capture your sensitive data. They try to take control of your computer remotely, request credit card information, and direct you to fraudulent web sites where you enter personal and financial information. They often claim to be from one of these organizations: Windows Helpdesk, Windows Service Center, Microsoft Tech Support, Microsoft Support, Windows Technical Department Support Group, Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team) or other similar aliases.

Microsoft or its partners will never call a customer and charge for computer repairs. Microsoft does occasionally work with Internet service providers to clean up computers, but those calls will always come directly from your Internet service provider and you will be able to verify you are their customer.

Some guidelines to follow:

1. Do not trust unsolicited calls. Do not provide any personal information.
2. Do not purchase any software or services. Never provide your credit card or
financial information to someone claiming to be from Microsoft Tech Support.
3. Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the “service.” If there is, hang up.
4. Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is
a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.
5. Take the callers information down and immediately report it to your local authorities.