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 www.microsoft.com, you’ll see something like www.12742xmicrosofttechsupport.net.
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.