PSA: Scammers from India are hard at "work," lately, pretending to work for our government, and for the tech support departments of big companies, like Microsoft.
I get these calls constantly, and their scams are pretty ingenious, SO BE WARNED!
Scam 1 - fake tech support calls you:
If you're not tech savvy, the tech support calls could easily get you. I've tested these fools a bit and they have no problem lying to you, outright, under the assumption that you won't know what they're talking about. They will say that your computer is sending them error/warning/infection messages and they will immediately begin instructing you to do things. If any of this were legit, they'd be able to tell you your computer's MAC address. Upon asking them for it, they will just give you a random IP address and hope that you don't know what a MAC address looks like or how to verify your IP address. You can find your IP address a number of different ways. The easiest is to visit a website like http://icanhazip.com
or Google, "what's my ip." If you call them on it being an IP, they will agree and say, "yes, that's your public IP." If you persist in getting a MAC address, they will continue to dodge the question. If you say the IP they have is wrong, they'll either deny it, or ask you to "verify it" (give it to them). Don't give them anything! They had no problem doing this for me, despite the fact that my computer was currently unplugged at the time. When I told him my computer is unplugged and there's no way he's telling the truth, he vehemently denied it, until I told him I know it's a scam, at which point, he denied it for a second and then realized it doesn't matter, swore at me a bit and hung up.
Just know that there probably isn't a single tech support department in ANY company ANYWHERE who will initiate the first call to a customer. So just hang up on these motards after letting them know they can quit calling you, because you already know this is a scam.
Scam 2 - you've won a government grant:
This one should be pretty obvious, so I'm not going to do a lot of explaining. Essentially, it's a "too good to be true" scam, where they claim to be calling from the treasury department of the US government, because YOU'VE BEEN AWARDED THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS IN A FEDERAL GRANT! THANKS OBOMBYA! Yea, don't fall for this joke. "I know this is a scam, so no point in calling me again" click
Scam 3 - robot call says your being sued by IRS:
This one actually got my heart going for a split second, until I remembered my days as a debt collector, and realized this call would be a violation of several FDCPA laws. The call came from NY and said it's a final notice that the IRS has filed a lawsuit against you, and informs you to call back the same number. The IRS has posted info about this scam and ways to report it.https://www.irs.gov/uac/newsroom/phone-scams-continue-to-be-a-serious-threat-remain-on-irs-dirty-list-of-tax-scams-for-the-2016-filing-season
Scam 4 - ransomware instructs you to call back to fake tech support:
Ransomware is something that locks down a computer/device/application, and instructs you that you have to do something to rectify the problem. This is probably the most ingenious type of scam I've ever seen. Not sure how/where you get infected, because this hasn't happened to me, but I've done some research on it after hearing about it. In this case, your web browser may get locked down with a message saying your system is infected with a virus, and instructs you to call a number. Upon calling, these dopes play dumb, like they have no idea why you're calling, but are quick to get you to download software that allows them to remote into your machine. If you let them, it's already too late. They will run fake "scans" against your "system" and then inform you that your "network protection software" is expired, or that you don't have any. If they get suspicious that you're on to them, they will start deleting files and destroy your system. Otherwise, they will offer to install some "network protection software" for you, and even give you multiple packages to choose from. This is how they get your account info. In the meantime, they will collect personal data from you, disguised as idle chitchat, like: "so, how old are you? Where are you from? What do you do for work? What do you use this computer for: Facebook, paying bills, conducting business, etc? I'd this your only computer? And so on...
There is a lot to this scam, and unfortunately, this one is going to fool a lot of people. For more insight, watch this video and others, and take note of how legit they make these calls sound:
Remember, there are very specific laws on how people are allowed to collect debts, and there are very specific protocols businesses follow, when dealing with "personal identification information" (PII). Study FDCPA laws, so you know what is and isn't legal for them to do/say to you. And remember, no one will ever contact you to solve your computer problems, if you haven't contacted them, first.