Fake Vs Genuine Windows 7 Scam

May 10, 2011, By Christian Cawley

If you’ve received a phone call recently purporting to be from Microsoft concerning your version of Windows 7 and its legality, read on…

For years Microsoft has been plagued by piracy issues, largely of their operating systems. While you might argue that Windows didn’t become ubiquitous solely through commercial promotion, the OS has certainly been used illegally by many people and even organizations, both knowingly and unwittingly.

Windows 7 fake vs genuine scam

Microsoft were able to take a stand back with the release of Windows XP by releasing the Genuine Advantage notification system, effectively a nag box that coerced users to purchase a copy, and with Windows 7 this has been enhanced in order to protect the operating system and ultimately the user from untrustworthy pirate copies.

However, the whole legality of your operating system issue has opened the door to a brand new scam; one that will cause you great financial loss than buying a copy of Windows.

Microsoft Will Not Phone You

The scam is an interesting one. Basically some lady or gentleman will call and advise you either that your copy of Windows is fake, or that it is insecure in some other way, and that you will need to visit a website to download a “full” version of the operating system, which will “resolve” the issue.

Now obviously there is no way to install Windows over the top of itself from within the OS itself, but unless you’re tech savvy (and most people are not) then you probably won’t know this. You probably won’t know that Microsoft have no intention to call you, and that any call centres they do have are purely for businesses, support and billing, rather than contacting people on the off-chance?

Microsoft also has no intention of emptying your bank account illegally, or installing software that will copy your passwords and make them available to data theft criminals…

Implications of the Scam, Data Theft

There are two scenarios here. The first is that you turned down the offer of assistance, and you didn’t share any personal data (such as “confirming” your identity with a credit card) and your Windows computer is safe, and assuming that you purchased your copy like the rest of us, legal.

However, the second is a little more concerning. If the following happened to you, you need to contact the police, local trading legislation bodies and let people know that this sort of scam is in circulation.

Basically if you accepted assistance, you will have spent some time downloading a supposed “update” or new version of Windows that then captures passwords and personal details from your PC. These can then be used by identity thieves and other scammers for various nefarious money-making purposes, with perhaps your bank balance and certainly your credit rating taking a severe hit.

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