Don’t Fall Victim to Computer Scams

Posted on: September 29, 2016 in Scams

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Many of us have either been a victim or know someone who has fell victim to a scam targeting computer users.

Tech Support Phone Scam

The most popular computer scam begins with a phone call from someone identifying themselves with being from “Tech Support”. This person wants to help you fix your computer by selling you software that will fix the issues. The software they want to sell you is typically a virus or a backdoor into your computer.

The person who calls you will know your name and may even guess what operating system you are using. Your caller ID may even state the name of the company they are pretending to be, such as Microsoft or Dell, etc. These scammers spoof caller ID numbers, which allows them to change their caller ID to be any number they want. They appear to be calling from a legitimate company but in fact they may not even be in the same country as you.

If you receive one of these calls, Hang up!

You can always look up the company’s information and call them back to verify they were trying to contact you.

Rules to keep in mind:

  • Never allow an unknown third-party to gain access to your computer.
  • Never give your credit card or bank information out to someone claiming to be with Tech Support.
  • Never give your password over the telephone or though email.

If you feel you have fallen victim to one of these scams you need to contact your financial institute and change your password immediately. Follow up with a computer professional and have them remove any spyware/malware off of your computer and make sure you have legitimate protection on your computer.


Fake Antivirus and Ransomware Scams

Another way these scammers get your information is by making you feel as though you did get a virus on your computer. Usually this is in the form of a “pop up”.  This is a message that pops up on your computer saying you have a virus and/or you must pay money to fix it. It provides a phone number for you to call. They then say for a small fee they can log into your computer and fix these issues. This is fake software. Many of these pop ups were created to appear as actual messages from Windows or another Antivirus program. If you are fortunate you can simply close the window and run your antivirus program to assure you were not infected. If you are not so lucky you may have a Trojan virus or possibly a keylogger. There is also ransomware, such as CryptoLocker which wants you to pay a fee in order to release your operating system or files back to you. When this occurs your computer will need to be completely reinstalled by a professional. More often than not, your files become unrecoverable unless you kept a backup.

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