Q. If someone from a legitimate company calls me to tell me that my computer has problems, I can trust them, right?
A. Norton, Microsoft, etc. are legit, non-scamming companies, however you CANNOT trust that this caller isn’t lying about their identity. On their own web site, Microsoft says “You will never receive a legitimate call from Microsoft or our partners to charge you for computer fixes.” A caller saying they’re offering a service for a fee is immediately suspect. You can find this information by going to Microsoft’s web site at http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx
Q. An “IT Tech Support” person called me, said my computer was sending them a message or communicating to them that it had a virus. He gave me a link to click on and then helped to clean up my computer! It’s running so much better. This is a good thing, right?
A. This is what actually happened. A guy who is tech savvy called you. He made an educated guess that your computer needed help (because who wouldn’t want a faster computer or be concerned about a virus). He ran some legitimately helpful programs that *do* clean up your computer, charged you $299, and then installed secretive key-logger programs to keep track of your passwords for companies such as your banking website. Additionally, he now has easy access back onto your computer in the future. Your computer is running better, but it’s at the cost of this unknown person having continued access (without your consent or knowledge) to your activities and bank account.
Q. After I gave this “IT guy” access to my computer, I thought better of it and ran some of my own clean up scans. My antivirus software should take care of any security issues, right?
A. Quite frankly, you want a professional to clean your computer to cover all bases for possible access. Your everyday antivirus programs probably won’t do an adequate clean up to remove any software or access that this scammer has to your computer.
Q. I changed my banking password and changed my accounts. I’m good to go now, right?
A. Actually, if you haven’t had your computer cleaned up, this scammer may get access to your new accounts via your new password just as soon as you log onto your bank the first time after you get things changed.
Q. I finally got my computer cleaned up, so now I should call this company back and tell them to leave me alone from now on, right?
A. Please don’t do this. You’re inviting more trouble. One of our clients did this and gave access again to this scammer. As retaliation for being “caught” the scammer altered registry files so that our client couldn’t even get on their computer again. They had to have a complete re-installation of Windows instead of the less-costly clean up that we did for them in “round 1.” Best course of action? Ignore them. Don’t call them. If they call you, hang up.
Bottom line: If a computer “techy” person calls you, regardless of what company they are from, regardless of what they say your computer is doing, they aren’t to be trusted. If you aren’t convinced this guy is a fake, ask for his number and give us a call. We’d be glad to share tips and advice. You don’t have to take our word for it either, it’s widely known on many web sites that these type of “tech support guys” are to be avoided.
Finally, based on the prices these scammers charge, our computer tune-up and malware removals are roughly 40-75% cheaper than theirs. We actually help your computer, and we don’t add malicious software to the mix.
If you have let a scammer onto your computer, call us about how to get your computer secured against their use!