Scam warning! Do not press that button until you’ve read this 30



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The government’s ScamWatch is today warning us to look out for a new round of scams, which target something we would all do without a second thought.

Scammers often adapt their methods based on real word events and they are taking advantage of the current Microsoft Windows 10 system upgrade to trick home computer users into shelling out dollars.

The real Microsoft is offering a free upgrade to the new Windows 10 operating system. The company is rolling out the upgrades by allowing users of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to register their interest in upgrading and then putting them into a queue. Going into the queue means users must wait their turn for the free upgrade.

Scammers are taking advantage of this by sending out emails claiming they can fast track the upgrade if you follow a link and download an installer program. If you click on the link you are taken to a fake website that looks like the real deal, complete with logos and branding. If you download the software, your computer will be infected with malware.

Alternatively victims may receive a phone call from a scammer claiming to represent Microsoft. The scammer will tell you that Microsoft has detected an illegal download of the new operating system and unless they follow instructions to uninstall it, they will be charged a hefty fee. The scammer then directs victims to a website where they are told to download what turns out to be malware or ransomware.

Scammers have also updated their approach to the remote access scam. They are now claiming security issues in Windows 10 has caused problems which they can fix for a fee.

If you receive an email or phone call from someone claiming to represent Microsoft, press ‘delete’ or just hang up. Never give remote access to your computer to anyone you don’t know, and don’t click on unknown links or files.

How these scams work

You receive an email or phone call claiming either that you can get a Windows 10 upgrade sooner, or, that there is some problem with your installation of Windows 10.
You will be directed to click on a link or visit a website to download software.
The software is ransomware which will lock you out of your computer and demand a payment.

If you pay, you will lose every cent that you send. If you have clicked on an infected link or file, you may also compromise your device’s security in other ways.

  • Protect yourself
    Do not open attachments or click on links in emails without checking very carefully first for signs of a scam.
  • Look at email addresses closely to see if they are trying to mimic the real email addresses used by legitimate companies or organisations. If in doubt, check with the company or organisation directly using contact details you find yourself.
  • Be wary of unsolicited approaches which direct you to download software.
    Microsoft will not call you about fixing your computer issues.
  • Never give remote access to your computer to anyone you don’t know.
  • Always keep your computer security up to date with anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a good firewall. Only buy computer and anti-virus software from a reputable source.
  • Use your security software to run a virus check if you think your computer’s security has been compromised. If you still have doubts, contact your anti-virus software provider or a computer specialist.
  • Keep your office networks, computers, and mobile devices secure. Update your security software, change passwords and back up your data regularly. Store your backups offsite and offline.

You can report scams to the ACCC via the SCAMwatch report a scam page or by calling 1300 795 995.


Do you know someone who uses a Windows computer? Be sure to let them know about this latest scam. 

Starts at 60 Writers

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  1. I have been subjected to this windows scam over the phone for a long time. I had all international calls blocked. I am on the do not call register. Blocking the international calls worked until I had cause to contact bigpond again. The problem was fixed, however the windows scammers were back. On thinking about past experiences, the scammers become active after contacting bigpond, an offshore call centre. Coincidence? I wonder? Oh, I don’t operate windows.

    3 REPLY
    • Sure makes you wonder does it not Paul

    • Sure does. When I reported the scam to Telstra yesterday, again, offshore call centre, the 2 ladies I spoke with became very ‘sheepish’ when I suggested contacting the AFP.

    • Just say “Please hold the line a moment, put the phone down and don’t go back for 30mins. They hang up.

  2. Windows 10 is a shit programme having problems with it but glad I have read this or I may have been inclined to do something silly

  3. Thankfully, I am Apple, not that it will protect me from other scams, of course.

  4. I have had these issues they will never catch them you have to be aware its THEM when they call my latest is Solar Panels it makes my day when I lead them on

    1 REPLY
    • Yes it is I go too far sometimes if anyone is listening they look at me I explain & they understand– everyone knows about Telstra & their off shore problems but they do nothing

  5. Another of the latest is a phone call saying they are from a claims dept regarding a small incident you had in your car in the last 2 years. Didn’t fool me for an instant ……. I don’t drive ..,.

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