Press Release: August 05, 2020
If you ever receive a call with a recorded voice saying something of the sort “Microsoft has detected that your services are expired/outdated. Call on 1-800-***-**** to take action immediately”, do not call on that number as Microsoft never calls their customers, nor do they request their customers to call them. That number belongs to a Scam operation and while the person on the call might sound polite and helpful, he/she will Scam you.
How I Came To Know About This Scam?
My mother received the above-mentioned robocall with the number 1-800-480-5152. She’s not that tech-savvy, so she decided to consult me regarding the same. I obviously understood that it’s a Scam, however, I decided to call on the number in order to find out more about what they do and how they scam people. Just as I expected, a guy with a hard accent answered the call and represented himself as a Microsoft technician.
I told him that I received a call with a message and he started to explain the whole situation to me. He was talking very politely and sounded very harmless, just what a real technician would sound like. It became more very evident and clear when he used the classic “Hold down the Windows key and hit the letter R”. I knew what was going to happen next and he did exactly what I expected. He told me to type “www.fastsupport.com” in the “Run Box” that popped up after pressing Windows+R.
I asked him “are you a Microsoft technician?”, he replied with full confidence and assurance “Yes, I am a Microsoft technician”. My next question proved that he was straight-up lying. I asked, “When is Windows 11 coming out?”, he immediately replied “15 July 2020”. This is a blatant lie as Microsoft has not announced anything about Windows 11 and they plan on releasing frequent updates for Windows 10 for quite some time. I told him that I knew he was a scammer and hung up.
Who Were These Scammers?
After the call, I was curious and wanted to find out the name of the company that uses the number 1-800-480-5152. I did some digging and found out two names associated to this number, SNS Professional and ZNS Associates. Diving further into the results, I found out a lot of Scam reports about them. One victim stated “I have been scammed by ZNS Associates "lifetime computer support for $399.99". At the bottom of my receipt it notes the names of Malwarebytes, Microsoft Computing Software, Windows Defender, Lifetime Support $399.99”.
Moreover, you have to read what the Better Business Bureau has written about them on their website “The address for this business is not recognized by the US Post Office. Mail was returned by the post office marked "NO SUCH NUMBER". Both websites previously used by the business are registered to an address in Haryana, India and no longer work. BBB has been unable to locate an FBN registration for this business as ZNS Associates Support or SNS Professional Support with San Joaquin County, nor is either business name registered with the California Secretary of State. BBB wrote to the company requesting information on where and how the business is registered. To date, we have not received a response”. Further, BBB confirms that SNS Professional and ZNS Associates are different names of the same organization.
I think we all should take a lesson from this incident and spread awareness about such Scams so that people don’t end up losing their hard-earned money and private information. Remember, Microsoft will never call you or request you to call them. Beware of such Scams and do not entertain any calls, recorded or normal, that claim to be from Microsoft.