So I received this call today. It was some IT person for a company contracted by Microsoft. She said my Windows 8 had been sending error messages to Microsoft and that they could cause a system crash in which I could lose all my data. I was skeptical because, quite frankly, it’s in my nature. She told me to input some information on my computer to bring up a screen. It seemed harmless enough so I did it. An “Event” page popped up and started showing me “Critical Errors” with the dates and times they occurred on my computer. There were over 1900 of them and as I said in yesterday’s blog, I have only had the computer for 3 months. I was shocked. Then the lady on the phone asked me if I saw the errors and told her yes. She said they needed to be taken care of right away to avoid a crash. I was freaking out. They hadn’t implanted anything. Those errors were on my computer. Then she said again that they were contracted by Microsoft to fix the problem. I was willing to listen. So I asked what I needed to do to fix it. She told me one of their computer technicians could take control of my computer and fix the problems. ALARM BELLS IN MY HEAD. “Danger Will Robinson. Danger.” As I said yesterday, I have had a lot of viruses and the service I PAID FOR routinely takes over my computer remotely to remove the problems. That is one thing. I would be calling them and I knew whom I was dealing with. This is just some random lady with a foreign accent telling me she wants free reign over my computer. There is a distinct difference there. So I told the lady I didn’t have time to do it right now and hung up on her. Then I immediately started and instant chat with my antivirus provider. They said they could search for a virus. I told them the computer was working fine. So they asked what was said and I told them. They instructed me that Microsoft doesn’t farm out their service issues and if there was a problem I would have been contacted by them directly or sent an update. The likely situation, according to my service people was that the lady on the phone wanted access to my computer to view my financial records or personal information. IT WAS A SCAM. The errors I observed apparently appear on every computer on that screen are not a concern unless the computer is giving you problems. If that were to happen, you should get help through a service you know and trust BY CALLING THEM. Never trust some stranger calling you asking for access to your computer. It makes sense when you have a moment to process. It’s the difference between asking a friend or acquaintance for a ride as opposed to someone pulling up to you on the side of the road and saying the neighborhood was dangerous and you should get in. At that moment when you see those errors, however, all you can think of is making them go away. It pays to be a cynic.
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