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Microsoft files suit against alleged tech support scammers

Loek Essers | Dec. 22, 2014
Microsoft is finally cracking down on scammers who offer to fix non-existent computer problems for hundreds of dollars. In a first strike, Microsoft sued several U.S. companies it said are involved in fake tech support scams.

The investigator was then connected to another technician called Kristin, who ran a series of free applications on the computer including Microsoft's own FixIt application which changes Windows settings but is not a virus or malware application, as well as a free program called CCleaner.

Moreover, she also downloaded a program titled "Internet Explorer Passwords Viewer" for which she had to override Microsoft Security Essentials which would have blocked the program. She used it in an attempt to view passwords for two of the investigator's e-mail accounts, after which she covered up her tracks, Microsoft said.

In some cases, scammers even installed malicious software, Microsoft said. It asked the court to issue a ban against the companies and award damages.

Microsoft warned users contacted by so-called Microsoft tech support not to pay for any software or services and to hang up the phone if there is a fee involved. It also asked to report any of these scams to the authorities. They can also be reported on a Microsoft website.

CFS did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

 

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