This scam is showing up in email and online and, because they claim to be Microsoft, it’s a particularly nasty one.
The subject line of the email version of this scam is “Are your drivers still outdated?” That’s a tough one for most users to answer because how do you know if they’re outdated? In fact, maybe you’d better find out if they need updating by using this ‘free’ driver scan… or not. Clicking on the links will not take you to a Microsoft site, instead you’ll land on a malicious site.
Test Your Skills
You should be able to find at least seven red flags that tell you this is a scam. Scroll down to see the answers, but try to find them yourself, first. If you find six you’re a pro with little to worry about. If you find fewer than five, consider practicing on some more of our spam scam examples.
Here are the red flags that show this is a scam:
- The branding is the old. Microsoft switched the MSN brand, and the butterfly to Windows Live several years ago – they’re not going to send anything out with the old brands.
- It isn’t Halloween – it’s June. And Microsoft isn’t going to send pictures of witches at any time of year.
- There are lots of ‘seals’ to make you feel good about this service, but none of them represent any known or trusted verification source – they’re just a bunch of stickers. Next to the stickers is an image of Driver Robot, a real (for pay) service that doesn’t get very good reviews – and it has nothing to do with Microsoft.
- Here’s the crux of the scam, they want you to click on their link, which has nothing to do with Microsoft:
- After seeing an impressive list of ‘benefits’ you’re again urged to click on their free scan with the same bogus link as in #4.
- Having a disclaimer makes things look official and is a common ploy by scammers who want their scam to look somewhat legitimate. However, I did not subscribe to MSN featured offers. Even if I had, that’s the old branding. It would at least say Windows Live featured offers.
- The scammers actually missed an opportunity. The text states that if I want to unsubscribe, I just need to “click the unsubscribe link below.” Only there isn’t one. NEVER click unsubscribe to an email that you aren’t 100% sure is legitimate. The unsubscribe page will likely be infected with malware.
The bottom line is if you need driver updates, stick to the device manufacture’s sites.