08000 433 006 james@cloud-genius.com

Many people have received calls, supposedly from Microsoft about problems with their computer. Do not fall for it. Unless you have explicitly called Microsoft about a problem, they will not be calling you!

This is a scam AND A CRIME.

If you follow through they will show you ‘problems’, that are just your error logs – they should look like that. (Lots of scary lines of red text.)

They will then install lots of nasty software and have permanent control of your computer (until it is completely wiped and everything re-installed).

They will then extort money from you. They might take £25 initially, but they then have your credit card details. They will not stop at £25.

I have recently spoken with our local Police Commissioner (Mr Salmon) – he is clear on what you should do from an evidence point of view. I have added my IT tips:


Whether you fall victime to this crime or not, note the phone number that called (if possible), or if it was ex-directory. (Obviously you can only do this with caller display.)

Note the time of day.

Was the caller a man or a woman? Did they have a particular accent? What did they ask you to do? How did they introduce themselves? Note any other details. This can all help catch the criminals.

Under NO circumstances:

Give them access to your computer

Give them your credit/debit card details, PayPal

Install any software they ask you to.

After the call:

Ring 101 – give the Police officer the details of the crime. Yes, a crime has been committed.

This will help the police force to piece together aspects of the crime. I know people this has cost hundreds of pounds. I am sure that you do, too. Let’s help stop it.

If you did fall for it, do this:

Often people feel sheepish after being caught out. Don’t! Just report the crime and help to put a stop to it.

If you have given your payment details, immediately get on to your credit/debit card company. You have been defrauded. Even if they say, ‘but you gave them the details willingly’, you gave it as a victim of crime, so you should get your money back. (I am not a solicitor, but I have heard cases of this on the radio.)

If you did install/download any software or files, disconnect your computer from the internet and take it to an IT professional. (Unless the Police want to look at it as evidence!)

Assume that any private data on your computer (usernames, passwords, financial details, etc.) has been compromised. Change any passwords, get new credit/debit card numbers. Keep an eye on your statements for odd payments.

Together, we can stop this.