We’ve talked a lot about Microsoft scams before, but this one is a new one for me. A reader asked about this one. “I just received a phone call from a Microsoft”partner,”(People Connect) stating that my laptop has a series of issues (outdated drivers that need to be fixed in order for my laptop to function properly. The rep. stated that First I need to purchase a new Microsoft license as mine had expired and if I purchased the license from him(People Connect, he would repair my laptop. The cost including the license and he repairs would be either $99.00 or $189.00 with 1 year of technical support. I’ve never heard of People Connect so my question is are they valid and is $99.00 for the repairs and Microsoft license reasonable? Thanks for your assistance and for all of your newsletters. I find them very helpful.”
The red flags and warning bells are going off all over the place for this one. Instead of just telling you that this is a scam (which it certainly is), I’m also going to break down why you can tell it’s a scam.
1. They called you. I know of no case where tech support for ANYTHING calls you up out of the blue. You call or e-mail them and wait and wait for a response. Know this, Microsoft never makes unsolicited calls to anyone. You can set up appointments to have tech support call you, but you will ALWAYS be the person who initiates the contact. This is the point where you can hang up the phone.
2. They claim to know things about your PC. How in the world would they know if your drivers were outdated or not? People don’t have magic insight into the contents of your PC unless you give it to them. It would be like someone calling and saying that they know you’re out of coffee or that your milk is about to hit its expiration date. They have no way of knowing this. They don’t have access to your PC unless you give it to them.
3. Your Windows license does not expire. When you purchase a version of Windows or a PC that has Windows on it, the license to use the operating system comes with it. It does not expire. It does not have to be renewed.
Scammers like this will not only charge you for their alleged “tech support,” they’ll also continue to empty your bank account once they have access.
The majority of people who allow crooks like this to access their PC’s report that credit card and other account information is missing and about half of them say these crooks damaged their PCs in some way.
Stay as far away as you can from scammers like this.