Who's that on the phone? Can you trust them?

Warning –The Slow Computer Scam

After time it’s all too easy for your computer to start to feel a bit sluggish. We’ve all sat there wishing things were going faster.

And because of this, those lovely scam artists have devised a way to utilise our annoyances to get money out of people.

It all starts with a phone call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft. This “helpful” stranger begins by saying the company has a notification that their computer running slow or has a virus.

If the victim agrees this is the case then the call generally follows one of two routes.

In version one, the victim, having agreed that yes their computer is running slow, is directed to go to their computer and is then given step by step instructions on how to “fix” the problem. In actual fact, the process they follow allows the caller to take complete of their computer. This lets the criminal to have a good hunt around the victim’s computer to find personal data and lets them install spyware to collect more data. In some cases the criminal links the computer to a botnet used to transmit data for organised criminals.

In the second version the criminal tells the victim they can fix the problem but for a fee and instructs the victim to use a money transfer service such as Western Union to pay.

And to add insult to injury there have been cases of a follow up call a few weeks later. In this call they tell the poor victim they are calling from whoever manufactured the victim’s computer (having gathered this information from the first call) and that they have detected that an earlier call from Microsoft was fraudulent and has infected their machine. But they can fix it for a fee via Western Union.

So how do you recognise such a call?


There is no big room at Microsoft or Dell etc with a team poised to leap when a monitor beeps “Hey there’s a man in Colchester with a slow computer. Quick let’s fix it!”

So if you do get this phone call,  just put your phone down.

And if your computer is running slow or you are worried that you might have a virus find a real life professional to help you. But don’t fall for the slow computer scam

The IT Fairy
Clare is better known as the IT Fairy because the way she can make complicated things easy is simply magic.

3 Responses to Warning –The Slow Computer Scam

  1. mary 13 November , 2014 at 12:56 pm #

    Thanks for the heads up! Indeed, Microsoft does not call people about computer issues and software fixes. As what my computer technician friend advised, if I get a call and the caller claims they monitored a virus in my computer, simply hang up. It’s a scam call.

  2. mary 13 November , 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    He also advised reporting the phone number to to share a warning to others. Spreading the word will help others avoid falling victim to the scheme.

  3. ScoutMC 27 March , 2015 at 3:58 pm #

    WOW My dad downloaded one of these and he said to me, ‘Should I install this?’ Already downloaded this so I scanned it with AVG and it said VIRUS then I said, ‘Only ask me when downloading something please…’


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