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If the guy on the phone tells you he's from Microsoft, he's lying.

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When your phone number is exposed online, you can expect multiple sources to begin calling you in an attempt to compromise personal information. With that comes the danger of random people impersonating companies and services in order to try trick you into giving out personal information.

One of the Most Common Phone Scams

Recently there has been an uptick in phone calls in regards to people calling out and impersonating well-known tech companies and services to gain your trust and allow them to connect onto your computer in order to “fix” the issues. This has become a much higher threat recently, including people claiming they are Apple or Microsoft, even providing realistic-looking identification numbers and saying that their techs have noticed suspicious activity on your computer.

But they say it will be so easy!

At that point, they will explain how your computer has been hacked, but how they can resolve the issue with a swift cleaning. Once you allow them into your computer, they can show you a number of fake sources to appear that there are much more serious problems while also stealing your personal information that is stored on your computer. These threats can appear legitimate and believable, but never allow them onto your computer.

Erroneous credit card charges

Another way they will try to compromise your information would be to inform you that there was a high cost charge on your card, and asking if you were the one who made the purchase. You’ll say no, and they will inform you of the fraud and ask to connect to your computer to show you where it happened and how to resolve it. The tricky thing here is, is that they attempt to use scare tactics to cause you to jump to action. The charge is fake, never existed, but because they said it was a $350 charge, and that they can help you fix it, it’s easy to allow them in.

What You Can Do

The best action to take at this point is to hang up and verify the information on your own. If it is a major corporation, find their direct number and reach out. If it was a legitimate problem, they will have a record of the outgoing call and assist you from there. If not, then you dodged a bigger issue here.

Otherwise, consider taking advantage of iDefend’s unlimited tech support service which can clean and discover any threats, if any, and ensure everything is in order.

Remember: big companies will never call you directly

It’s also worth noting that companies such as Microsoft, Apple, etc. will never call you directly about things like this. Think about it: they have millions (if not billions) of customers. There is no way they could have active monitoring on every single computer and call that person when they “discover” a threat. It’s just not realistic or feasible for these companies to do this, so don’t fall for it.

Compromised phone numbers are common

Also important to remember here is that having a compromised phone number is not itself a serious threat, and is actually pretty common. The risk comes, however, from the information you give out over the phone as this can quickly grow into a real problem. They can be asking for something as simple as confirming credit card information for a billing issue before your package ships or as serious as a person impersonating your bank asking you to give out your social security number. Always be wary of people asking for this information over the phone.

Monitor your information

Having your information monitored through an identity theft monitoring system can better inform you when your number is compromised. Remember, you are the greatest protector of your information. The spam calls will cease over time. Your private information is invaluable and nearly impossible to recover once you’ve given it out. Still, with the proper protection and safety measures set up, you can find that peace of mind.