By Ernest A. Canning on 12/1/2011, 8:51am PT  

Guest blogged by Ernest A. Canning

Monday morning I received a telephone call from an individual with a heavy accent who claimed to be with Microsoft Technical Support.

He advised me that they had received numerous reports of technical failures from my computer and asked that I shut down all applications running on my computer, but not my computer itself. Suspicions aroused, I asked that he call me back. Curiously, the caller claimed he could not because they were so busy.

Turning off all applications, such as firewalls, virus programs, etc., while the computer is on, leaves it immediately vulnerable to intrusion, as seems to have been the hope of the mysterious "Microsoft Technical Support" caller.

After the call, my wife contacted Microsoft Technical Support who said they do not call customers about technical problems unless contacted for help by the customer. She advised us that they had received numerous complaints, some from individuals who'd had their bank accounts cleared out.

Caller ID reflected that the call came from an international number.