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Microsoft and security company Netsafe warn that Windows users in New Zealand should be extra cautious these days because they discovered a new series of phone scams that attempt to steal their money and even infect their computers with ransomware.

Specifically, Microsoft says it’s the old phone scam trick reinvented, with scammers claiming to work for Microsoft and reaching out to address a number of computer issues, such as infections.

Scammers claim that they discovered malicious activity on victims’ computers and often say that this is harming other users online or ISPs detected something suspicious on systems.

As it usually happens, the phone scammers request a remote connection to the victims’ computers and ask for up to $500 in order to fix problems that don’t exist. Microsoft says that in some cases, attackers even deploy ransomware on these systems, locking down access to files until victims pay the requested amount of money.
Microsoft won’t call you and request money for computer fixes
Microsoft once again reiterates that nobody working for the software giant would ever call you and offer computer fixes or security patches, and adds that users should never provide access details to their systems. In case this happens, they should terminate the session immediately and if any financial details were shared, to contact their bank.

“There are some cases where Microsoft will work with your Internet service provider and call you to fix a malware-infected computer—such as during the recent cleanup effort begun in our botnet takedown actions,” Microsoft explains.

“These calls will be made by someone with whom you can verify you already are a customer. You will never receive a legitimate call from Microsoft or our partners to charge you for computer fixes.”

For the moment, it’s not yet clear if and how many users were actually tricked by phone scammers to pay for fake computer repairs, but given that these malicious attempts keep happening, they’re probably effective.