· 2 min read

Almost Scammed

My sister-in-law purchases a new computer from what I deem a respectable retailer and to be clear, I think this is still the case.

You can imagine my surprise and shock, when I received a call from her and she explained she was trying to install office and somehow managed to end up on a call with some guy who was telling her, it wasn’t the computer but there was a problem with the firewall and she had Trojan’s, which aren’t viruses, it’s different…

This guy wanted to spend 40 - 45 mins on the computer to resolve the issue, of course, he wanted £200.

At this point, I didn’t understand how this had happened. How was it that she was on a call with some scammer that she called them?

After checking over the computer and ensuring it was OK, it was and after asking some questions.  

She had purchased Office with the computer and of course, wanted to install/activate it… she clicked on Cortana and asked Cortana to active, the default behaviour for Cortana when it can’t answer directly, is of course to perform a Bing search, she then clicked what she thought was the correct link.

She had gone to the following site (I haven’t shared the URL as I don’t want to help them) which looks fairly legit to anyone who hasn’t seen the genuine office activation page.


She typed in the key and of course, it failed with an error.


I haven’t been able to replicate the voice search performed by Cortana and get the same result as she can’t quite remember what she said.

I have checked the source of the page and can’t see any evidence of the Product keys being harvested.

Be safe out there folks, it’s really easy to get caught out.

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