Beware bogus phone calls from ‘Windows technician’

Further to a report in the Algarve Resident dated February 17, this newspaper has received more complaints from readers and a local computer shop about calls from an individual making claims that the user’s computer was “riddled with viruses”.

The scam involved, in one instance, an Indian-sounding person called David de Cruz, whose UK  phone number 0044 203 286 0882 showed up on the phone of a Praia da Luz resident and client of the Algarve Computer Centre in Lagoa.

David de Cruz claimed to be operating on behalf of Windows and was calling as their server had received notification that the resident’s computer was “riddled with viruses”.

A question and answer session ensued, after which the resident asked David de Cruz for his phone number to confirm the matter, which David de Cruz did stating that he was the assistant technician and when the resident called back he would be connected to the official technician.

The resident enquired where they had gotten his phone number and David de Cruz stated that the resident had submitted his details when registering his Windows when the computer was new.

The Algarve Resident called the UK number to talk to David de Cruz, who insisted that his company was an officially appointed “Windows Outsourcing Partner” who became aware of the issue as the user’s computer was connected to a Windows server that had displayed the information.

When quizzed about the user’s computer being connected to their server without the permission of the user, David became hesitant with his replies, referring to the statement “we are an official Windows Outsourcing Partner” and our certification number is MS25649.

The Algarve Resident told him that we would be contacting Microsoft to confirm the legitimacy of their claims, only to be told that they were nothing to do with Microsoft, but were “an official Windows Outsourcing Partner”.

The Algarve Resident contacted the Press Department of Microsoft in the UK and spoke with Katie Stainer, who confirmed that “this is not the way Microsoft conducts business.”

Katie went on to say that “there is a lot of this going on in the UK at the moment” and thanked us for calling and passing on the phone number and name.

Microsoft sent some guidelines for those who think they may have been subject to a scam of this sort, which is available by CLICKING HERE or by visiting the Algarve Computer Centre.

The owners of the Algarve Computer Centre have offered readers of the Algarve Resident a full virus and spyware check up for free until March 7 if the computer is presented with this week’s edition of the Algarve Resident when dropping it off at its Lagoa shop or drop off location. Call 282 356 560.