There Ain’t No Such Things as a Free Microsoft Office

You’ve heard the expression ‘There Ain’t No Such Thing as a Free Lunch!’, well the same can also apply to Microsoft Office. Seems this scam so far is only in the UK, but not to stay it won’t be expanded into the US or our scammers here will start copying this scam. People in the UK are getting a package in the mail unsolicited which contains a ‘free’ Microsoft Office Professional Plus (retail $150 USD (£119.99)) on an engraved USB flash drive. There is also legitimate looking activation key sticker on the packaging.

“If it sounds too good to be true…”

As soon as the victim plugs in the USB drive into their computer they get a warning screen their computer has a ‘virus’ (no big surprise). The screen tells the victim to contact ‘Microsoft Support’ via phone. From this point it plays out like the rest of the tech support scams: Victim’s call is routed to India or Pakistan and they are told to download/install remote access software; short time later the ‘problem’ is magically fixed and then they ask the victim to proved a credit card number for ‘verification purposes’. Except ‘verification purposes’ means the fraudsters go on a shopping spree and make fraudulent charges with said credit card number until the card is maxed out or the bank freezes the account.

The good news is if the victim provided the fraudsters a credit card, they likely won’t be responsible for any of the fraudulent charges. However, since the card is compromised they will need to wait for a new card to arrive and even once they get the new card, they may need to wait for the fraud cases to be resolved before they will have available credit to use. If the victim provided a debit card, things are going to be a lot worse. Which is why unless you absolutely must, never use a debit card over the phone or online.

TL;DR Microsoft is not going to randomly send you a copy of Microsoft Office retailing $150 USD for free.

via PC World