07-14-2017 10:40 AM - edited 07-14-2017 10:44 AM
Phone Scams and Computer Repair: Know Your Facts to Protect Your Computer
Below is a message from Geek Squad.
An increasing number of computer users are receiving similar phone calls and some — afraid of potential data loss and device damage — are surrendering their bank account information in the hope this will protect their tech.
If you get such a call, we’re here to tell you — hang up. It’s a scam!
Geek Squad Agents are seeing a rise in phone scams targeting PC and Mac owners. Cybercriminals pretending to work for Microsoft, Geek Squad, or any other nationally-recognized tech company call their intended victims, claim they’ve scanned their computers remotely and found viruses on them. Relying on computer users’ fear of viruses, data loss and identity theft, they trick people into giving them actual access to the computer.
Once the scammer has access to the victim’s system, they will often show the user scary-looking error messages on the machine, require immediate payment to clean up the “dangerously infected” computer and install more “protection” software onto the system. Chances are they’ll take the opportunity to install other bits of malware to capture the victim’s online shopping or banking information.
If your first instinct is not to trust cold calls about fixing your computer, you’re absolutely right. Scammers often use publicly available information (like your name and telephone number) to make initial contact, and can often make an educated guess about your PC’s operating system. They can sound very convincing (they are good at this), but don’t be taken in.
It’s important to understand that reputable tech companies (like Microsoft, Geek Squad and other tech leaders) will not scan computers remotely without permission from the owner. They will not call computer users unless they are already working with them on a support issue.
Should you receive one of these telephone calls, here are a few tips to help protect yourself:
If you’ve been a victimized by a phone scammer:
Phone scams are successful because cybercriminals rely on computer users trusting an unknown person with access to their computers. Together, we can defeat these scams by simply hanging up when you receive an unrequested support call, regardless of who they say they are.
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