Microsoft Spoofing Scams Are On the Rise

by | Dec 16, 2019 | Tech News, Tech Support, Tech Tips

Microsoft has 1.2 billion users worldwide. With that many users, it’s a safe bet that there is a multitude of scams targeting Microsoft accounts. One of the latest Microsoft spoofing scams attempted to hit one of OneSupport’s Technology Advisors recently. Luckily she was well versed in identifying these scams. Some of them are harder to identify than others. Knowing how they work and what they’re after is a good start to keeping yourself and your loved ones safe. 

What is a Spoofing Scam

microsoft spoofing scamsMost people think phones when they hear spoofing, but the scam happens with email accounts as well. A spoofing scam creates an email address that looks like a legitimate account, in this case from Microsoft help, and asks you to reset your password, or tries to collect other sensitive information. Often the emails will include a logo from the company they claim to represent. Having an email address that appears to come from the company and a logo is enough to confuse most people.

When the user opens the email, they are often asked to reset a password or update their user information. Some of these emails may tell you to click a link, and that link downloads a virus to the machine. This is a common way that ransomware makes its way onto a computer. Ransomware is malicious software that locks up the computer and the files and demands money to get the information back. 

How to Stay Safe from Microsoft Spoofing Scams

microsoft spoofing scamsIn the case of our technology advisor, Lara, the email address that the message came from only one character off from the real one. It took her a minute to realize what was going on. The most significant clue that the email was not legitimate were typos in the body of the email. However, some scams don’t have typos in their messages. 

So how do you know what’s safe and what isn’t? Here are some questions to ask yourself: 

  1. Did you request a password reset? 
  2. Have you attempted to use or log into the account recently?
  3. Would a company randomly email you and tell you you need to update your information?
  4. Is the company name spelled right?
  5. Are there punctuation, spelling, or formatting errors?

Chances are a random email without your request to reset or update is not real. When in doubt, you should call Microsoft. There may be a number provided in the message in question. DO NOT CALL THIS NUMBER. You’ll fall into the same spoofing scam if you call this number. Instead, google the Microsoft help number or the number for the company in question. At the very least, you should be able to find either a phone number or a live chat option to verify the legitimacy of the message in question. 

What To Do if You Encounter a Suspected Scam

If you believe you may have encountered a Microsoft spoofing scam, take some steps to ensure your security. Run a scan on your computer; make sure nothing was downloaded by opening the email. Take a screenshot of the email, then delete it, and contact the company in question and your support company. If you don’t have a support company, get one! 

Give OneSupport a call at 844-818-3415 and signup today. OneSupport’s technology advisors can help you identify malicious messages and software and keep your devices safe and secure. We’re always open and ready to help. OneSupport: We’ll tech it from here.

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