Last night my husband - who works in IT as a systems architect - received a phone call from the vice president of his company. He said that he had just gotten a call from someone purporting to be from Microsoft, who said that Microsoft had been monitoring his computer and could see that it was experiencing problems. The caller convinced him to give remote access to his computer; when he did, he was told that he had a virus and that Microsoft would fix it for $69.95. It wasn't until he was asked for his credit card number that the V.P. suddenly became suspicious. That's when he put the caller on hold and called my husband, who had to tell him the bad news - that he had fallen victim to a scam. Sadly, it is very likely that the caller had infected the computer with a virus, keystroke trackers or other malware, and may now have access to his credit card information and more.
This scam and similar ones have been targeting people throughout the U.K. and Ireland for several years now and are spreading. Sometimes the scammer will say they are from Microsoft, but they have been known to use other company names as well. Either way, their methods are very similar. They tell you that somehow they can tell your computer is running slowly or having problems and will ask you to give them remote access. After that, they will ask for your credit card number. Please do not fall for these scams. Microsoft does not make house calls. They are not in the business of removing viruses from people's home computers. In fact, no reputable company calls you out of the blue to make "house calls". Neither Microsoft nor any other company spend their time monitoring your computer. If you receive a call like this, hang up. It's too late for my husband's boss; he's going to have to have his computer inspected and cleaned, and he now has the headache of taking measures to protect himself from identity theft.
For more in-depth information on this type of scam, please read the following link.