Skype users hit by automated voice scammersFake callers direct users to malware websites

09 June 2011

Skype video calling with webcam

Skype users are being targeted by automated spam calls attempting to fool them into visiting scam websites.

UK users of the popular VOIP service Skype have reported receiving calls from fake Skype profiles purporting to be 'Online Help', although often having a Skype username of apparently random characters. If users answer the call they hear a robotic voice informing them that their PC security needs to be updated and that viruses have been detected. 

The user is then told to visit a malicious website ( and have been named by recipients of these calls). Visiting these websites can result in the installation of harmful malware on your computer.

If you receive an unsolicited call from a Skype users unknown to you, the best advice is not to answer, but instead click the 'Block' button to prevent that caller contacting you again. You can also send Skype a message via the 'Report abuse' button. 

Some users are reporting that the fake Skype profiles are able to call them even though their account is set up to only receive calls from contacts who they have approved.


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Skype outages

Skype has recently suffered two significant widespread outages. The first, on 26 May, was after a Skype software update, with users' Skype software repeatedly crashing after the update. This was followed on 7 June by a further period of disruption. 

These issues follow the acquisition of Skype by Microsoft, which paid £5.2 billion for the company last month. Skype is set to now become a business division within Microsoft known as Microsoft Skype. The acquisition is still subject to regulatory approval, which Microsoft hopes it will obtain before the end of the year. 

About Skype

Skype allows users to make phone and video calls over an internet connection. It's free to make calls to other users with the service, and calls to landlines and mobile often have cheap rates. 

The company was founded in 2003 and its proved a very popular service. Skype says users made 95 billion minutes of voice and video calls in the first half of 2010, approximately 40% of which was video.  

You can also access Skype on your smartphone or on some TVs but, in all cases, you'll need a broadband internet connection to use the service. 

You can find a reliable, top quality service using the Which? broadband review. Our results are based on the real-life experiences of thousands of broadband customers, and carried out every six months - see which providers make the grade.

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