Scam Phone Calls Impersonating Microsoft/Windows Team For Your Credit Card Information

The Microsoft/Windows team wants to specifically call me?!

I sure must be fortunate and it’s a good thing Microsoft takes the time to call each individual customer on the phone to address potential problems! Oh wait, no they don’t do that…

Ladies and gentleman, please be aware that this happens daily and sadly enough some people are uninformed or are tragically taken advantage of because of their level of trust.

Computer Hacker

Likelihood Of Authenticity

Microsoft or anyone from the Windows team would not and will not ever call you to speak with you about an individual problem.

Furthermore they will never ask for your credit card or personal information so don’t be foolish and give it out regardless of how convinced you are that they are trying to remedy a problem with your computer system.

The reason I’m writing this post is because today for the second time I’ve received a call from someone pretending to be from the “Windows Live” team. The first occurred probably around a year ago but both calls ended the same way.

I work in IT. I’m a geek by passion and techie by nature. As soon as I hear someone on the phone saying they are from any large company and have noticed something with my particular machine I instantly grin and try and hold back my laughter.

Do You Really Think I’m That Stupid?

The truth is that many people aren’t necessarily stupid, but are unaware or uneducated on the plausibility of this scenario. This simply will NEVER legitimately occur. Now this goes for almost all “random” phone calls where the end result is someone asking for your credit card to fix a problem. Don’t fall for it.

This is still a prominent issue today because there are a lot of people that do in fact believe it’s real and do give out their credit card information in hopes of the mysterious problem being solved.

A Real Life Example

This is a true story that unfortunately happened to a colleague of mine. He got a call from his wife at home who exclaimed that there was a major issue on one of their computers but luckily the windows team called her and informed her of the problem. Yes, she fell for it.

Right away my colleague asked shockingly if she gave out their credit card information. “Yes I did and the problem has been solved “, she retorted. Queue the smack on the forehead, rolling eyes and unending head shake.

You have to keep in mind that some things are obvious to people involved in a particular field or expertise but others just don’t know, and when they hear that they’ve caused a problem they are usually eager to fix it.

Confused Woman

Back To My Story

Now my two calls were identical and probably the same script my colleagues wife heard.

First an odd caller ID such as “v31702460400001″ comes up, and the number in one of my cases was 1-253-802-0308.

“Hello? I am from the Windows Live team and I’m calling about a problem with one of your computers”. To be honest I haven’t ever heard what they say after that because I can’t help but burst out with, “No your not. Microsoft wouldn’t call someone individually about a problem.”

From there the person on the other end will search their brain for the next words to say, perhaps saying they didn’t understand or couldn’t hear me. I continue on with my allegations that they are a scammer trying to steal from people and need to get a life earning an income legitimately. I’ll start asking for their personal information even though they’ll probably lie and it wouldn’t help much anyway since I doubt the authorities would ever take it seriously and devote time to resolving this repeat issue.

That’s right about where they hang up.

Oddly enough after the call today, 10 minutes later I got a pre-recorded call from 1-250-881-1305 regarding reducing credit card debt etc. If it’s a coincidence or non-related it makes no difference to me as I just hang up on this spam.

icoExclamationBig

Conclusion

Moral of the story is to be logical and never give out your information to anyone who calls you. A few tip offs might be that the Caller ID is numeric or odd, that the caller claims to be from a massive corporation, and not to sound racist but in my two cases just happened to have a foreign accent. Share this with friends and family because chances are, there’s a bunch of them that are just too trusting and will fall for this scam.

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Microsoft Windows XP Still Racing In OS Market Share + Rant

microsoft windows xp

According to statistics from NetMarketshare the numbers are in and with Windows 7 claiming 44.55% of desktop operating system market share and trailing right behind is Windows XP with 38.99%.

As expected Windows 7 should be the most used operating system as it’s the best OS Microsoft has made including Windows 8. What’s funny is that XP is the runner up bypassing Vista, Windows 8, Max OS X 10.8 and the remaining “other” category OS’s.

I have to admit even I was reluctant to switch from XP many years ago when even Windows 7 came out because XP worked, was fast and had all of my programs etc. connected and synchronized. I already knew I wasn’t going to put Vista on my main machine because let’s face it, Vista tanked. When I finally was convinced it was time to switch and after reconnecting everything up I was pleased and hooked on the next GOOD operating system.

It seems the trend with Microsoft lately is to make a good operating system then make the next one absolutely and clearly horrible. As seen with Windows 98 being  great, Windows ME/Windows 2000 sucks, XP great, Vista sucks, 7 great, 8 sucks.

Actually just for a minute I wanted to rant how unbelievable it is that Windows 8 HAD to have went through several high level executives and countless employees and all of them said, “Yeah this is great, let’s continue down this path!”. Seriously? Was everyone afraid to speak up and say that almost everything they are now trying to do is obviously a bad idea? Why should you force a desktop environment to use a touchscreen tablet/phone interface? Worse yet, why would you ever think a business or server environment should use this? These are inexcusable decisions not to mention killing the start menu…

At any rate, leadership at Microsoft is weak and lacking true vision at the moment. They can say they are trying to be revolutionary and changing the game, but really they are delirious and shooting themselves in the foot.

Microsoft Dominance

Back to the current affair. The problem right now is that support for both Windows XP SP3 and Office 2003 will be ceased on April 8, 2014. This introduces a vulnerability as there will not be anymore security updates/precautions to new threats on these operating systems. It is critical to protect your computer and information by having a supported OS.

It does look like XP is falling now as April 2012 had 46.08% usage, October at 40.66% and February at 38.99% but it’s important to update all machines soon before hackers launch a full scale attack knowing exploits will not be fixed anymore.

Leaving your computer with an outdated and unsupported operating system is truly a risk and one that is highly not recommended. Spread the word, get everyone to update their computers!

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Is Google Building Retail Stores? Apple and Microsoft Store Rivalry

Will it be made of glass? Maybe instead it will be made of all concrete or mirrors!

Google Store

An “extremely reliable” source claims that Google is in the midst of creating retail stores in the United States says 9to5 Google. Apple may have started it, but now giant companies like Microsoft and quite possibly Google are following suit making their own branded stores. The goal is to have a few stores open in major cities in time for the 2013 holidays.

At first when you think of Google, the only major thing that comes to mind is a search engine. Next might be an email platform and afterwards maybe documents/calendar. My personal favourite that I truly wish would come to my area would be Google Fiber. Oh sweet fruit of the heavens that would be sweet.

So what would a Google store actually carry for products? They definitely do have their hands in some physical products such as the Nexus smartphone, Chromebook laptops, Google Glass and Google TV but is there really enough to fill a traditional store? Could this be more of a lounge to explore new Google technologies?

The rumour is that it will be both. A place to try new products and technologies before you buy.

It’s hard for me to imagine right now because I picture a very expensive building but only a handful of different products to sell. I’m sure there will be massive things coming from them in the future and having their own brick-and-mortar chain will absolutely make it easier to get products into the public’s hands. If it will be an odd few years of vacant shelf space is a question to be pondered but as it stands I’m sure many would welcome the stores and enjoy the experience.

An important question is if each store will have a slide or something unique that brings an out of the ordinary touch to retail. It is Google, and with that mentality there’s bound to be something fun and quirky in their environment!

google store lego

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