There have been a number of reports recently about scam phone calls targeting University of Reading staff, and we want you to be aware, too!

The caller purports to be from Microsoft saying that a computer is unsafe and asking for access to it. If access is given, then they will most likely use this as a way of installing malware on your machine or as a way of asking for payment.

Microsoft will not proactively reach out to you to offer technical support. This is a scam and the call should be ended as soon as it is determined it’s not legitimate; you should then report this through the IT Portal.

General advice to follow:

  • Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, visits, or email messages from individuals. If an unknown individual claims to be from a legitimate organization, try to verify his or her identity directly with the company.
  • Do not provide personal information or information about the University, unless you are certain of a person’s authority to have the information.
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information. This includes following links sent in email.

The government’s National Cyber Security Centre has up to date advice on cyber-threats and how to protect yourself against these. Cyber Aware is also good resource on the issue.