I want to alert my customers and friends to a scam that is becoming a growing problem in our mountain area and I’m sure everywhere else.
I received a phone call from my neighbor just a few minutes ago asking about “Windows Technical Support”, some very insistent callers claiming her computer was infected with a virus (by the way, I see maybe 1 to 2 actual viruses a year, they’re not a big problem like Malware or Spyware has become), and that her computer was sending out emails and spreading the infection.
Before the caller could continue she informed them that her neighbor was a Technology Specialist who spent two thirds of his life working on computers, and he had put multiple security and firewall installations on her computer. Guess what? They hung up.
This isn’t the first person I know who’s gotten this phone call; in fact a few weeks ago I had a customer who fell for it.
This is a growing problem that unfortunately more and more people are falling for. This “tech support” talks you through installing remote control software that allows them to go through your computer, inspect your files, and download whatever they want of yours, including bank statements, credit card information and other personal or business data you may have on your computer, leaving you with the headache of changing all your accounts because of fraudulent purchases/withdrawals, and they charge your credit card for it!
They install software that “appears” to be doing a cleanup of your computer, it is in fact only a show for your entertainment while they spend hours playing peekaboo with your data.
Please keep in mind that you must call to initiate a technical support case, unless it’s your Internet Service Provider (Ponderosa and Sierra Tel for most of my customers and friends in the area), they will only call to alert you that something is infected on your computer and you need to get it fixed, they do not take control of your computer for any reason and will NOT fix the problem for you.
Please share this information with your friends and family; let’s get the word out so no more people are taken advantage of.
If you have a question for me regarding any computer issue you’re having, or just want to learn more, please don’t hesitate to Ask the Geek! Click here to submit your question. You will remain anonymous, and I will answer your question in an upcoming column.
Richard Keg is a technology specialist at Computer Repair And Maintenance in Oakhurst, CA, and has been serving the mountain area since 1994. He can be reached at Richard@c-ram.org. C-RAM is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ComputerRepairAndMaintenance
Click here for Richard’s bio.