Have you ever received a call from someone who identified themselves from a reputable company, but when they started speaking they just didn’t make sense? I have had these types of calls several times before. Each time it was from what sounded like a call center of some sort and a individual whose first language was definitely not English. It angers me that these fraudsters do find people that don’t know any better, someone like my 89 year old mother, who believes what they are saying then unknowingly provides personal data to a scammer.
The call I just received was from a fellow that said he worked for Microsoft, that I was due a refund for something I had purchased. For starters, I haven’t purchased anything from Microsoft lately so that was my first clue. He then went on to say he couldn’t tell me how I paid, or what exactly I purchased, but that I was due a refund of $249 and that if I would go to a on-line form and fill out the required information they would refund me the money.
When I ask him for more details about why I would need to complete any type of form and provide any personal data, he just kept talking and wouldn’t give me a chance to speak. IF he really were from a big company like Microsoft, they would be able to just refund the money without me having to complete forms and give them personal information over the phone or on-line. He finally got mad after I told him to listen to what I had to say, and finally told me to shut up! Very professional (ha), all the while still trying to convince me that he was doing me a favor and wanted to “help me” get my money back. He finally hung up on me, muttering under his breath.
Beware of callers that sound like this type of scenario. Large, reputable companies do not call you on the phone and tell you they have a refund for you. They also do not send you emails asking for personal data in the form of some sort of link for you to go complete something online. If you are ever unsure, simply call the company and ask, or login to your on-line account and see if they have sent you any messages within your secure account login. If you receive a call or email from Microsoft you can check their latest updates and report scams here.
Above all… never provide anyone personal data over the phone or by email unless you are certain they are who they say they are. This should be a no-brainer, but unfortunately there are still a lot of trusting people in the world Best be safe and just hang up or delete the email communication in question.