PC World reports Microsoft has issued a warning that scammers are now using their phones to dupe Windows users into installing malware on their systems or paying for worthless help.
According to Microsoft, which sponsored surveys in the U.S., the U.K., Ireland and Canada, 15% of the people polled said they had received unsolicited calls from fraudsters posing as computer support technicians who claimed they were offering PC security checks.
The scammers try to trick users into believing that their computer is infected -- often by having them look at a Windows log that typically shows scores of harmless or low-level errors -- then convince them to download software or let the "technician" remotely access the PC.
The con artists charge for their "help" and often get people to pay for worthless software. In actuality, the software is malware that steals online account information and passwords.