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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Microsoft Scam
September 28, 2010

Microsoft Scam

Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.

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Microsoft Scam

There is an email circulating that appears to come from Microsoft, and is warning you that your version of Windows has a critical security issue that needs fixing urgently. The email may look like this:

Subject: Critical Microsoft Windows Upgrade Notification

Dear Microsoft Windows User,

You are recieving this notification because the version of Microsoft Windows you are running is affected by a critical security issue.

In order to protect yourself and other users of the Microsoft Windows operating system, it is highly recommended that all customers upgrade Windows as soon as possible.

To do so, please download the KB396658 upgrade from Windows upgrade by clicking here.

We appreciate your cooperation.

Regards, Microsoft Windows Client Support Team

© 2010 Microsoft Corporation

This email is not from Microsoft. It is from scammers. The email recommends that you use a link to upgrade your version of Windows as soon as possible to fix the security issue. If you click on the link you will be taken to a fake website that contains malware.

If you then click on the "Upgrade" or "Update" links on the fake website, it will will download the malware and install it on your computer. Once it is installed, the malware allows scammers access to your computer to steal sensitive personal information and/or download other malware components.

If you receive this type of email, do not follow any links in it or open any attachments.

Microsoft doesn't distribute security updates using unsolicited emails. If you are a Windows user, always install genuine Microsoft security updates as soon as possible, but only from the official Microsoft update website.

Remember, Microsoft will never send you an unsolicited email informing you that you must follow a link to update your computer.

Here are some tips you can use to avoid becoming a victim:

•Do not respond to unsolicited [spam] e-mail

•Do not click on links contained within an unsolicited e-mail

•Be cautious of e-mail claiming to contain pictures in attached files, as the files may contain viruses. Only open attachments from known senders. Virus scan the attachments if possible

•Avoid filling out forms contained in e-mail messages that ask for personal information

•Always compare the link in the e-mail to the link you are actually directed to and determine if they actually match and will lead you to a legitimate site

•Log on directly to the official Web site for the business identified in the e-mail, instead of "linking" to it from an unsolicited e-mail. If the e-mail appears to be from your bank, credit card issuer, or other company you deal with frequently, your statements or official correspondence from the business will provide the proper contact information

•Contact the actual business that supposedly sent the e-mail to verify if the e-mail is genuine

If you have been a victim of this type of scam or any other Cyber crime, you can report it to the IC3 website at: The IC3 complaint database links complaints for potential referral to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration. Complaint information is also used to identity emerging trends and patterns.

Remember - always watch for scams!


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