Most such scams are the telephonic equivalent of rogue antivirus attacks, which try to frighten consumers into purchasing worthless security software and services. Both types of scams try to make the consumer believe that the caller is somehow associated with Microsoft or with a security company, and each caller tries to cajole or scare the consumer into giving up control over his or her PC.

proceeds to enable the SysKey utility on Windows, which allows the scammer to set a secret master password that must be entered before the computer will boot into Windows (effectively an attempt at locking Holzman out of his test computer if he tries to reboot). Links:
Court Order Shuts Down Alleged $120M Tech Support Scam | SecurityWeek.Com
‘Microsoft Partner’ Claims Fuel Support Scams — Krebs on Security by Washington Post reporter Brian Krebs
Call from Windows Service Center - A Scam - StepForth Web Marketing Inc.

last updated 11 Jan 2016