«Hello, you’ve got a virus on your computer!»
Neither Microsoft or other IT support companies nor banks make unsolicited calls to private users to offer technical support. Find out here how to protect yourself against scams.
What happens when a scammer calls:
A person speaking German or English introduces themselves as a technical support employee and tells you that a virus has been detected on your computer.
During the telephone call, the caller will ask you to download remote access software that will give them access to your computer.
This is how the alleged tech support employee can access all of your personal data (e.g. passwords) undetected and also download malware.
The scammers often demand payment for their supposed service.
Or a fake telephone number with a Swiss prefix could appear on your screen.
A call from Switzerland?
Don’t trust the telephone number that is displayed on your screen.
End the unsolicited call from the so-called Microsoft employee, IT support company or bank immediately.
Don’t give the person on the telephone access to your computer.
…and my data
Don’t give them any data such as passwords, credit card information, gift card codes or personal information.
I’m not paying.
Don’t pay for support services offered to you during an unsolicited telephone call.
Switch it off!
If you can’t close a pop-up window, use the on/off button to turn off your computer and restart it.
Do not disturb.
Delete your telephone directory listing using this form.
Realised too late that it was a scam call?
Don’t panic – here are a few tips that can help you minimise the damage.
- Immediately disconnect your computer from the internet or turn it off.
- Run a virus scan on your computer and, if you are unsure about anything, talk to a specialist.
- Change all your passwords.
- Call your credit card company and/or bank to let them know about the incident.
- Inform your local police about the incident: Police.
What is spoofing?
«Spoofing» is a method of manipulating telephone numbers.
Spoofing allows the caller to choose the number that appears on the display of the person being called. This makes it possible to make a call from abroad appear as a Swiss telephone number or even show up as the 117 emergency number.
Criminals use this method to feign credibility and trustworthiness so that they can solicit payments from you or persuade you to give them your bank account information or passwords.
Schweizer Kriminalprävention (in German):
Melde- und Analysestelle Informationssicherung (Melani):