Beware the phone scams!

If you get a call out of the blue from someone saying that they have detected your computer has a problem and/or infection, hang up the phone. Microsoft or any computer manufacturer would not and will not ever call you to speak with you about an individual problem. Furthermore, they will never ask for your credit card or personal information so don’t be foolish and give it out regardless of how convinced you are that they are trying to remedy a problem with your computer system.

Tech-support phone scams are designed to trick you into downloading malicious software, take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable or request credit card information and bill you for any services or commit identity theft. These phone-based scams have been around since 2008 and the scammers are using more sophisticated social engineering tactics to make them appear to be legitimate.

Here are some of the ways that they are currently trying to trick people:

Your caller ID may say “home security” or something to that effect and includes what appears to be a valid number. In the past if you were to ask them for a phone number and name so you could call them back, they would hang up. Today, they will gladly give you their direct extension and name in an effort to get you to let your guard down. If you try to call the number to verify it will generally ring busy.

If they can convince you to stay on the line, they quickly try to convince you that your computer has been compromised by having you run some diagnostics yourself as proof. If you follow their instructions they can easily trick the non-technical victim into believing that their computer is infected and allow them into their computer to remotely fix it. They are so convincing that people were paying $250 or more when the supposed service has been completed, when all along, they just use common files and tools to make it look like you had major problems.

For example; If the plumber in your neighborhood called you on the phone and said that they had to make an emergency service call because they have detected that your upstairs bathroom toilet is leaking, would you believe them? Would you then ask yourself how could they possibly know that? That is no different from someone calling you and telling you that you have a problem with your computer.

A good rule of thumb is if you did not initiate contact to have services performed then it is most likely a scam to help you part with your hard-earned money. If you have fallen victim, call your credit card company and dispute the charges. Your money should be returned to you. You should also take your computer to a professional to have the remote software and/or any malicious software removed from your system.

If you are in need of PC computer repair or services please visit Jester’s Computer Services located at 5135 Fairfield Road, Fairfield, PA. You can also reach Jester’s Computer Services by phone at (717) 642-6611 or send an email to: customerservice@jesterscomputers.com

For help with learning how to use a PC computer, mobile technology, web design, or graphic design contact Jester’s Computer Tutor for help! You can also visit our website at www.thecomputertutor.info or like us on Facebook to receive free tips and tricks! You can contact the tutor via email at help@thecomputertutor.info or by phone at (717) HELP-4-ME or (717) 435-7463

By Bob Jester