| Courtesy of Aurich Lawson
Jack Friedman got a call from a man with an Indian accent claiming to be from the Windows technical team at Microsoft. Friedman, a Florida resident who is my friend Elliot’s grandfather, was told by “Nathan James” from Windows that he needed to renew his software protection license to keep his computer running smoothly. “He said I had a problem with my Microsoft system,” Friedman told me. “He said they had a deal for $99, they would straighten out my computer and it will be like brand new.”
Friedman’s three-year-old Windows Vista computer was running a bit slow, as many PCs do. Friedman is often suspicious of unsolicited calls, but after talking with Nathan on the phone and exchanging e-mails, he says, “I figured he was a legitimate guy.” Friedman handed over his Capital One credit card number, and the “technician” used remote PC support software to root around his computer for a while, supposedly fixing whatever was wrong with it.
“I could see my arrow going all over the place and clicking different things on my computer,” Friedman said. But that $99 Capital One credit card charge turned into a $495 wire transfer. Then Bank of America’s fraud department called Friedman, and said, “somebody is trying to get into your account.” Whoever it was had entered the wrong password multiple times, and as a precaution Friedman’s checking account was shut down.
Windows Tech Support Scammers Walked Right into a Fed Trap | DFI News.
Microsoft Corp. today issued proceedings against Comet Group PLC for allegedly creating and selling more than 94,000 sets of counterfeit Windows Vista and Windows XP recovery CDs. The alleged counterfeits were sold to customers who had purchased Windows-loaded PCs and laptops.
“As detailed in the complaint filed today, Comet produced and sold thousands of counterfeit Windows CDs to unsuspecting customers in the United Kingdom,” said David Finn, associate general counsel, Worldwide Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting at Microsoft. “Comet’s actions were unfair to customers. We expect better from retailers of Microsoft products — and our customers deserve better, too.”
The suit charges Comet with producing the counterfeits in a factory in Hampshire and then selling the media to customers from its retail outlets across the U.K.
Comet is currently owned by French retail company Kesa Electricals PLC, although it is reportedly being purchased by private equity firm OpCapita LLP later this year.
With an emphasis on education, engineering and enforcement, Microsoft seeks to protect its customers from counterfeiting and piracy — and ensure people get what they pay for. If customers ever question the legitimacy of their software, be it a shrink-wrapped product or recovery media, they are advised to visit http://www.howtotell.com to learn more and, if they have any doubt, report the suspicious software to Microsoft.
Microsoft Takes Legal Action Against U.K. Retailer Comet: A statement from David Finn, associate general counsel, Worldwide Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting at Microsoft..