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Simple Idea to Prevent Event Viewer Scams

Brass Contributor

One of the many scams out there involve a cold call, supposedly from Microsoft, where they say there is a problem with your account or your machine. I have had two of these in the last week and played along for a few minutes. In both cases, they asked me to open Event Viewer and pointed to the long list of legitimate entries claiming that these show my machine is compromised, which it isn't.


In order to reduce the impact of these scams, could Microsoft add a welcome screen to event viewer that says the following:


"Microsoft never call saying there is a problem with your computer or your account. If you have been asked to open this by a caller, you are being scammed. Please hang up the phone and press Close Event Viewer below. Keep safe. Microsoft Security"


Below would be two buttons:


  • Close Event Viewer
  • Continue to Event Viewer


Plus a check box: "Don't show this message again."


Most Windows users have no need to open Event Viewer, so they would never see this unless they were being scammed. More advanced users have the ability of dismissing the warning.


People get scammed not because they are stupid but because they don't know about the scams. Most people do not spend hours reading security briefs and never hear about them.


This incredibly simple idea could save people millions. And I am sure there are other apps in Windows that would benefit from a similar warning. Anything that allows third-party access to the machine, for instance.


I have tried before to get this idea to Microsoft via social media and feedback, but have had no response. Perhaps someone here know who to send it to.

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