Beware: Fake software employees want data

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Attention! Telephone scammers want to trick their victims into installing certain programs on their computers.
They speak broken German or English with a heavy accent, call many times in a row and pretend to be Microsoft employees. Calls from telephone fraudsters are currently on the increase again. Unusual telephone numbers appear on the displays, including those with an Austrian area code. An alleged support employee tells anyone who picks up the phone that the computer is infected with a virus. However, these criminals want to persuade their victims to install a particular program.

If you install a program, you lose your data

Often, even the name of the person being called is known. Austria’s protection department related that a woman with an Asian accent asked a victim to enter the command “assoc” on the computer to prove the alleged computer problem. However, this is a trick because the number displayed is the same everywhere. However, the fake software technicians want the victims to believe that a program needs to be installed urgently. Anyone who does this gives the criminals access to the computer. They can then spy out sensitive data, such as passwords for online banking, or lock the computer and demand money to unlock it.

Do not be intimidated

The country’s consumer protection department is receiving an increasing number of reports of phishing calls, which is why it is issuing a warning: “Microsoft does not request personal or financial data via a telephone call or security message on the PC. If you receive a call from a supposed support employee, end the call as soon as possible.” The deputy governor responsible for consumer protection, Astrid Eisenkopf, also emphasizes that you should not be intimidated by threats: “If you are affected, report the case of fraud to the police. Microsoft also offers a form to report attempted fraud.”

Fake police officers on the phone

There are also phone calls from alleged relatives. A woman from northern Burgenland received a call from her supposed cousin from Munich. The voice sounded similar, but then a “policeman” with a German accent took over and told her about an alleged accident. He was exposed when he added a fictitious daughter to his tall tale.

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