Tag: microsoft

Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit

Each month, Microsoft receives about 11,000 complaints from people across the globe who have been the victim of a technical support scam. This is where scammers pretend to be from reputable technology companies, such as Microsoft, Dell, Apple or an Internet Broadband supplier such as BT, Talk Talk or Virgin and try to get your confidential information or access to your computer or to get you to pay for an unnecessary piece of work on your computer.

This scam usually starts with a phone call but sometimes with a pop up message on screen telling you to call a specific helpline.

Microsoft blocks more than 25 million adverts on Bing search engine related to this scam.

Microsoft say they also fight back through advanced analytics and investigations of thousands of customer complaints received annually. The Digital Crimes Unit identifies key players perpetrating these scams. Collaborating with enforcement agencies globally, they take action to disrupt these fraudulent enterprises and hold them accountable under the law.

For example, Microsoft provided critical information for the May 2017 sweeping enforcement action “Operation Tech Trap” in which the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and law enforcement partners took 16 new actions against technical support fraudsters.

The UK National Fraud Investigative Bureau reported the number of instances of consumers reporting technical support scams using the Microsoft brand has dropped from 76 percent to 17 percent after a string of successful joint Microsoft and law enforcement operations.

Well done Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit.

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Microsoft OneDrive Digital Vault

If you use Microsoft OneDrive for storing documents, photos etc. on the Internet then this is for you.

Microsoft’s OneDrive cloud storage service includes a “Personal Vault” for sensitive files. These files are encrypted and protected with additional two-factor verification.

OneDrive Personal Vault works on Windows 10, Android, iPhone, iPad, and the web.

Every installation of Windows 10 includes access to 5 GB of free cloud storage in Microsoft’s OneDrive. So, if you haven’t made use of it – you can do so for free. If you need more than 5 GB then you have to start paying.

If security has been a concern for you over storing confidential documents etc. on the Internet, then you could try Personal Vault.

The Personal Vault is a section in OneDrive and it encrypts any document you place inside the vault. (this is done through BitLocker)

To access the Personal Vault needs an additional authentication such as through your mobile phone.

Once opened, you have access (inactivity causes a timeout after 20 minutes then will need to repeat the authentication)

Note that document stored in the Personal Vault can’t be shared with anyone. Even if you share a file and then move it into the Personal Vault, sharing will be disabled for that file.

This feature is useful for storing sensitive documents such as like tax returns and bank statements, receipts, a copy of your passport or driving license, and private photos.

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Louise and the Microsoft Support Scammer

Louise started up Internet Explorer browser on her PC and a screen popped up with a warning


CALL Microsoft SUPPORT on 0208 3808 8964 IMMEDIATELY.


Louise called the number immediately.

A very pleasant Indian man answered and he seemed very knowledgeable and assured her he would resolve the problem.

He asked her to install a piece of Citrix software which she did so he could take control of her PC and establish the nature of the problem.

He emphasised that the PC was badly infected and how important it was to remove the threat.

He warned her to turn off any other computers or mobile phones in the house as they could also become  infected.

At this point, his patter turned into more of a sales pitch for a package that would solve her problem and this made Louise suspicious.

Now Louise’s husband Charles was surprised at the request to turn off other computers and that made him suspicious so he turned the iPAD back on and searched for scams.

He found it – the “Microsoft Support scam”.

Charles then pulled the power cord from the PC to end any incursion by the support scammer.

What happened next?

The scammers called back three times and were ignored until they stopped calling.

Charles ran Kaspersky anti-virus to scan the PC for problems and installed Malwarebytes to also scan for any other malware. He also deleted the Citrix installation.

The PC was safe and they hadn’t been scammed but Charles and Louise had a narrow escape.

If continued, the scammers may have garnered credit card details, bank details, logins and passwords. etc.  as well as being paid for removing a non-existent computer virus.

If you see a warning screen like the one above – turn off the computer and contact a professional.  Do not call the number on screen as they are scammers.

If you have any experiences with scammers, spammers or time-waster do let me know, by email.

Ollie and The Microsoft Scammer


A guest post by Ollie

Ollie says he rarely engages with scam callers, but last week he did.

“I had that scam caller that purports to be from Microsoft and telling you that you have a virus on your PC. Ok, so I thought let’s talk:

Me – “Oh so I have a virus and you really are Microsoft calling me, wow, thank you. Where are you actually ringing from?”

“the USA”

Me –  “ha, yes I guessed that Microsoft is a huge American company, but where, what address in America”

“Los Angeles”

Me – “OK, Los Angeles, I was just wondering what address”

“I don’t know just in USA”

Me – “You don’t know where you are working from?”

“Microsoft in America”

Me – “Yes I know, you said, but can you tell me the street and building in Los Angeles”

“No, I don’t know”

Me – “You don’t know where you actually are in Los Angeles. Are you sure you are in Los Angeles? Not perhaps Seattle where Microsoft are based?”


Me – “I think you are trying to scam people and I do not want to talk to you anymore. I will just wish you and your company lots of BAD luck, bye”


By the way I only did this because I saw his caller ID showing starting with a number 1 so I believed it would cost them to hang on………


This is a common scam – do not believe a caller who tells you that your computer has a virus or has been hacked or is being used for illegal purposes or anything similar. They are just calling randomly in the hope of finding someone with a computer who will fall for the lies and then end up paying the scammer to fix non existent problems.

Virus Found Scam


You’re using Google or another browser and up pops a window that looks official.

It says

Some suspicious activity has been detected at your IP address.

Cydoor spyware may have caused a network breach at your location.

Personal and financial information may be at risk.

Call toll-free 0800-014-8212

Please contact a certified Microsoft technician to rectify your situation

Please do not attempt to close your browser or open another one in order to avoid corruption of your operating system.

A second popup claims that multiple high risk infections have been detected and my credit card information is at risk. So I must call the toll free number.

This is just a scam. The phone number isn’t for a Microsoft certified professional, it’s a scammers number and they will then convince me to let them take control of my PC and end up paying a lot of money to remove non-existent problems.

Don’t fall for this. If you see these kinds of messages – disconnect the Internet and shut down the computer then restart it and run an anti-virus scan.

If you are in any doubt as to whether your computer has a virus – then take it to a professional but do not call the phone numbers in the popups.