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08-Jan-2016 12:42

Microsoft has warned Windows 10 users to beware a new scam that uses fake security alerts to infect their devices.The company revealed that cyber-criminals are disguising malware as Microsoft security updates, which when installed, mimics a computer crash.This screen features a phone number that users can call if they want to resolve the issue over the phone.However doing so will connect them to a fake technical support line that looks to encourage the victim to download more malware disguised as software to fix a problem that doesn't exist.The company also advised that users should never allow remote access to their machine unless they are entirely sure the caller is a bona fide customer support representative, which often involves contacting a company on an official number.One of the big changes Microsoft introduced in Windows 10 was mandatory updates.10 per cent of users failed to hang up immediately, letting the scammers carry out their scheme, with two per cent actually going through with the whole process, leaving them out of pocket to the criminals.

Microsoft is urging consumers to be on their guard when using their computers, noting that real error message screens will never contain a support phone number, but instead offer up an error code and instructions to search for more information.The company wrote in a blog, "The threat of technical support scams has been around for years, but it’s recently been observed to be growing.""We’ve seen attackers becoming more sophisticated with their social engineering tactics to try to mislead users into calling for technical support and then they are asked for payment to “fix the problem” on the PC that does not exist."The company also highlights that Windows 10 comes with up to date security protection, but that users will need to ensure they keep their device and software updated to make sure that they receive the most up to date protection.