Recent Computer Based Scams – Phone, Email or Pop-up Type

Recent Computer Based Scams – Phone, Email or Pop-up Type

There are all kinds of computer related scams. You might have received a call from someone falsely claiming to be from the “FBI”, “IRS”, Microsoft, Norton, UPS or othres. You’re told that the only way you can save yourself is to pay an imaginary fine, and then the caller will save you from the authorities, computer infections, etc. Sometimes they approach you from an email or pop-up on a website.
Often an email will attempt to convince you it’s FedEx, or Chase Bank – for example– but you don’t have a package scheduled or bank account with Chase Bank.
Or you go to a website and something pops up in your face and tells you it’s Microsoft and gives you a 1-800 Number to call,
How can this be done? Easily, if you’re silly enough to play along. You’re often then advised to download and install a remote access program and then you have lost control of your computer. You are then given the privilege of paying for this service, usually several hundred dollars. Guess what, now they have your credit card or debit card information, too!
How to Identify Computer Scams:
1. A company isn’t going to call you to initiate technical support. Think about it. Would Microsoft, or any other large company, care enough to spend resources reaching out to you to solve your computer issue? Unlikely. Try getting tech support when you need it, and you’ll quickly realize how silly it is to believe they’re going to track you down when you need help.

2. Think slowly and logically about emails. Any business email should be suspect.

3. Web or Email based tech support scams aren’t live. You’ll often hear a recorded message telling you to either call a number or get an email that is a pretend email and not from the person it claims.
A computer based scam that is initiated online might arrive as a pop-up or redirect you from a webpage to another website.
1. Is the URL is nonsense? Instead of a website like, you’ll see something like

2. You’ll often have trouble closing the webpage. The window will expand to take over your entire screen. You might lose access to your toolbar, too. The easy solution is to ctrl-alt-delete and click then on the “task manager” option. Simply close your browser from there.

3. You might hear an alarm or other obnoxious sound. This is to create a sense of urgency. Again, you might lose control of the active window. There might be a message informing you there is malware on your computer. Just turn down the volume, and use the ctrl-alt-delete trick.
All of these computer based scams ultimately aim to separate you from your money. Trust your instincts, stay calm, and ignore all of these scams. They can’t harm you unless you help them to do so.

The Myth of Computer Backups

Do you backup your computer? Is that what you’re really doing? Most likely, you’re only backing up your data. A complete system recovery requires keeping track of a lot of non-file data, too. This includes the boot sector, partition layout, and file and system metadata. And you want to know a secret?  It’s not really needed.



There are several methods for backing up your data:


  1. RAID. RAID stands for “redundant array of inexpensive disks”. Many computers can be configured to use a second hard drive that will mirror the primary hard drive. Whatever happens to one drive, happens to the other. You always have an instantaneous copy of all of your files. The disadvantage of this is that your backup is kept with your computer system. This is a serious issue in the case of theft, fire, flood, or other disaster.
  2. External hard drive. This is a simple solution that allows you to keep your backup files separate from your computer. This is a simple and inexpensive solution worth considering. It’s possible to use USB sticks to the same end. However, a hard has the potential to store much more data than a single USB stick.
  3. Cloud backup. It’s also possible to back up your computer to a server in a remote location. You’ll always have access to your data, no matter where you are in the world. However, there’s always the risk of someone hacking into your data. There’s also a monthly cost associated with using this type of service. Also, uploading all of your files to the cloud can take a lot of time and destroy your internet and computer performance.


These are the basic options available to the average computer user. Backing up to an external hard drive is the best option for most computer users. It’s a reliable, inexpensive, and portable way to backup your data.

How often do you need to backup your data? That’s up to you, but once a month is sufficient for most situations. Think about how often you’re adding, or altering files on your computer. Pick a backup schedule that makes sense for your situation.


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