Beware of Scareware cold-callers.........

Over recent months many prospective victims in the UK and elsewhere have received unexpected calls falsely warning them that malware had been detected on their PC. The scam attempts to hoodwink users into downloading software supposedly needed to remove the infection but which actually spies on victims. Conmen sometimes claim to work for Microsoft Support, though there are variants on this aspect of the scam.

In the process of the con, victims are induced to hand over control of their machine or pass over banking details. At best this will result in you losing the cost of the the repair, more likely you will lose that money and have your PC taken over to allow them to attack your bank accounts, read your private correspondence etc.

If you receive a call from one of these scam call centres (or any unexpected cold call) the best advice is to put the phone down, don't be polite and listen to the call, they can be very persuasive. If you are concerned the call might be legitimate ask for a number to call them back, then use your favourite search tool (google?) to confirm the number belongs to the organisation concerned before ringing them back. Any legitimate organisation will have no objection to you doing this.

If you have any concerns about your computer security best advice is to “ASK ALAN” give me a call now on 07725 364574 or email me at or complete my Feedback Form

The net security firm Sophos has produced an advisory explaining how surfers can stay clear of support call scams here.