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Windows 7: New Scams for Old Software

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As you may be aware, Microsoft ended its support for Windows 7 on January 14, 2020. That means no more patches or security updates, and in today’s ever-changing threat environment, that’s a non-starter. You simply should not be using Win 7 anymore, period, and especially in a business setting.

But there’s a wide gap between what businesses should be doing and what they are doing, and the continued use of Win 7 has created yet another opportunity for cyber thieves. The latest tricks go something like this:

Someone posing as a Microsoft employee contacts a user and helpfully offers ongoing support for Win 7, in exchange for a monthly fee or worse, in exchange for access to the user’s PC so they can deploy phony “support” software. The outreach happens either by telephone or via a pop-up window, but the result is the same: compromised credit card information, an infected PC or network, or both.

Here are the things you need to know:

  • There is no more Microsoft support for Windows 7. End of story. Anyone claiming to be from Microsoft and offering extended support is not being truthful.
  • Almost all pop-ups, and especially those alerting you to the urgent need for a software update, are phony.
  • Just as no one from a government agency will ever call you and ask for your Social Security number, no one from Microsoft will ever initiate a support ticket. Ever. Support tickets are initiated by the consumer.
  • As with any other scam, you should never give your credit card info to anyone for support or other services unless you initiated the call.

Beyond the scammers, continued use of Windows 7 exposes you and your business to a wide variety of threats. It’s time to move on.

Questions about upgrading from Win 7 or other security issues? Contact Hill Tech.

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