Warning issued to Dell PC owners – millions could be at risk of worrying scams

If you have a Dell computer running Windows 10 or Windows 11 in your home or a Dell laptop in your backpack you might have fallen victim to a data breach that has reportedly seen hackers obtain personal information of millions of customers of the popular PC firm.

As spotted by Bleeping ComputerDell has sent out a warning to customers of a breach to one of its online portals “with limited types of customer information related to purchase from Dell”. The tech giant said people’s name, physical address, and “Dell hardware and order information, including service tag, item description, date of order and related warranty information” could have been stolen.

Dell was quick to insist the stolen data “does not include financial or payment information, email address, telephone number or any highly sensitive customer information”. This was seemingly confirmed last month when Daily Dark Web reported the breach after a user posted a claim on the dark web claiming to have the information of 49 million Dell customers, though Dell has not commented on the number of customers affected.

“We recently identified an incident involving a Dell portal with access to a database containing limited types of customer information,” a Dell spokesperson told Express.co.uk. “Upon discovering this incident, we promptly implemented our incident response procedures, began investigating, applied containment measures, and notified law enforcement. We have also engaged a third-party forensics firm to investigate this incident.

“At Dell, we take our responsibility to safeguard information provided by our partners and customers seriously and we continually look for measures to further enhance our security. As such, although we don’t believe there is significant risk to customers given the types of information involved, we are taking steps to proactively notify customers where appropriate. We will continue to monitor the situation and take steps to protect our customers’ information.”

Although it appears no bank details or financial information were obtained, in a message to some Dell owners the company linked to an advice on its website titled ‘Five Tips to Help You Avoid Tech Support Phone Scams’. In it, the firm’s chief security officer John Scimone advises hanging up if you receive a suspicious phone call.

“Never hand over your financial information to unsolicited callers who try to charge you to remove computer viruses, malware, or ransomware, even if they have specific information about your computer,” Scimone said.

Having this kind of information could be possible as Dell confirmed what type of PC you bought is part of the data obtained, along with your name and address. Scammers could end up identifying you and finding your phone number, hoping to trick you into thinking they are from Dell, and defrauding you through gaining personal or financial details from you.

“If an unsolicited caller pressures you to act quickly and give up sensitive personal and financial information to fix an issue and/or engages in threatening, aggressive behaviour, that’s a sign of a scam,” Scimone said.

“Never agree to give control of your computer to any unsolicited caller to fix an issue you did not report — despite how convincing they may sound.”

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