Microsoft Phishing Scam: BBB Warns Computer Users of ULTIMBLOCK.com Site Posing as Microsoft Security Center
A Yakima, WA area man was duped by a call from hackers who posed as an official Microsoft Security Center technician. In agreeing to allow the fake tech assist him with his computer issue, the man's computer was locked and his credit card ended up being charged for the misleading services.
Hackers have utilized fake call centers in the past to dupe computer users with success. The recent event involved a man from the Yakima, Washington area who agreed to let a so-called Microsoft Security Center tech assist him with his computer problems which later led to his system being locked up by an out of country company. The man ended up giving the fake Microsoft tech his credit card to purchase a 'protection service' offered by the representative. His card statement revealed that he was charged by the company 'ULTIMBLOCK.com'. The 'ULTIMBLOCK.com' company is actually a website from a group out of Russia who claim to be computer experts but has been confirmed to be cybercrooks.
Some time ago, we posted a 'Fake Eclipse Antivirus' Removal Report that listed the ultimblock.com website as one of sites responsible for spreading fake antivirus software. The same source of this site happens to be among a variety of fake security applications originating from Russian sources. It is believed by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) that the group of Russian hackers is the same one responsible for the recent rash of fake techs claiming to be from the Microsoft Security Center.
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How Does the Microsoft Phishing Scam Work?
The fake Microsoft Security Center phishing scam works when a caller initiates an unsolicited call to impersonate a Microsoft representative and makes a claim that there is a serious virus problem on the customer's computer. The fake tech then warns the computer user that if the issue is not resolved, the computer will become unusable. The fix that is offered is when the customer is told to visit a specific website and download a program giving the fake phone tech access to the customer's computer. At times, a preventative service may be offered for a price to the customer. Once the scam has commenced, not only does the fake Microsoft representative offer and potentially succeeded with selling a fake preventative service, but they now have remote access to the computer where they can steal personal information. Ultimately, this scam could lead to identity theft.
What Should You Do If Confronted with a Similar Unsolicited Call?
The BBB has suggested to computer users confronted with this scam to take necessary precautions. To help communicate these precautions, we have outlined and summarized three important Microsoft Phishing Scam tips below:
Microsoft Phishing Scam Tip #1 Never agree to purchase over the phone
Ask for all information in writing. Read all details and research any offer given to you. If you do agree to make a purchase, use a credit card instead of a debit card. Credit cards usually have more protection features than debit cards.
Microsoft Phishing Scam Tip #2: Confirm the issue
If someone calls and claims to be from a specific company, contact them through a trusted method by utilizing the company's number. Information about a specific company can always be research online to verify its legitimacy. Never download attachments or trust links given to you through an unsolicited call until you have verified them through research.
Microsoft Phishing Scam Tip # 3 Promptly report any fraudulent activity
Victims of the Microsoft phishing scam should contact a trusted tech support to verify that their system is truly protected. Complaints may be filed with the Federal Trade Commission on their website www.ftc.gov. Any internet or email scams can be reported to the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at their website www.ic3.gov. Specific business complaints may be reported to the Better Business Bureau at www.bbb.org.