Scammers have sent emails to Australian users claiming they can fast track a free upgrade to Windows 10 if the user follows a link and downloads an install program, according to Scamwatch.
However, if the user clicks on the link they are taken to a fake website that looks legitimate. Downloading the software means the user’s computer is infected with malware.
Microsoft is rolling out the upgrades by encouraging Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 to register their interest in upgrading and then putting them into a queue. Going into the queue means users must wait their turn for the free upgrade to Windows 10.
In a related scam, victims have received phone calls from people claiming to represent Microsoft.
“The scammer will tell you that Microsoft has detected an illegal download of the new [Windows 10] operating system and unless they follow instructions to uninstall it, they will be charged a hefty fee. The scammer then directs victims to a website where they are told to download what turns out to be malware or ransomware,” warned Scamwatch.
According to the watchdog, scammers have updated the ongoing Windows Event Viewer scam.
The scam involves telemarketers who claim to be associated with Microsoft calling up unsuspecting users in Australia from an offshore call centre. The scammer than claims that the user’s computer has a virus and that they can remove it for a small fee.
The user is than asked for their details so that the scammer can gain remote access to the victim’s PC.
Once the cold caller has gained access they ask the victim to test the new system by using the Internet and typing in data such as their bank account details.
Scammers are now claiming security issues in Windows 10 have caused problems which they can fix for a fee.