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IT Telephone Scams

on 09/07/2012

Please note that as I find more information about this kind of scam I 
will update this post.

If you get a call!

Update 17/07/2012 – IT expert explains what happens during a a AV telephone scam.

It seems almost like its more of a question of when they contact you, the call will likely be from someone with a Indian accent and claim to be from Microsoft or some other big IT company that most people have heard of. They may also have your name and address, at this point they will say that “we have detected a problem with your computer!” and if you don’t let them fix it for you immediately that your computer will stop working. They may even try to convince you by making you go to your computer to look at something and try to convince you to install software so they can control your computer to show you this proof.

You should be relatively safe until you download that software and grant them access to your computer, you should never let someone local (in your home) or remote (over the internet) access to your computer unless you trust them. So what ever you do, DO NOT download anything they tell you too, Hang up as soon as you identify that it is a scam. They will try to convince you as hard as they can but do not listen to it a second longer than you have to and hang up. if they call back or try to insist then either tell them you don’t have a computer or that you will ask your IT support professional to take a look for you.

Some things to keep in mind.

Microsoft will never contact you personally out of the blue about problems with your computer. You should always have security and should not rely on it being already on your computer, you will need a minimum of Anti-virus, (this looks for suspicious programs on your computer and will give you the option to remove this software from your system if it is detected and can also check incoming downloads for infections and warn you accordingly) and you should also have a Firewall, (most routers/modems have them built in, but having one installed on all your machines is a good practice. This will monitor your network connection for suspicious activity and block it.) But it’s not just good enough to just have these installed, you should really know what to do with them if you get a warning from them.

Update 21/08/2012TWiT TV Know How episode 6 Make Your Tech Life More Secure. (A video to help you secure your virtual world.)

Heres some free security software that I personally approve of and have used.

Antivirus:

Firewall:

NOTE: These are all free products but they will try to get you to get the paid for version, but if you look carefully you will find the free version links. They also provide limited time licence that will last a year or 6 months and you can renew for free but they will ask you to register. They just some information about you as a user so that they can see your not a business trying to take advantage of the free software. If you pay you will get many more features and even a more complete security tool and better support. Also please take care in selecting other software that’s not listed here as some viruses can masquerade as legitimate programs.

Also keep your computer up to date, there are fixes for security problems as well as fixes for other issues in the updates for all software not just the operating system.

There are other security tools you can add to your computer to make it even safer to use your computer on the internet. And as always knowledge is power, and here is a Wikipedia article to explain more about internet security and a guide on what you should use to be secure.

This is all very good but I’ve already fallen victim to this

In this case first thing you should do is download anti virus software if you dont already have it, install and update it. In the following steps I wont detail exactly how to carry out each step as there are too many variations for each person, if you don’t know how to do a virus scan of any of the other steps I suggest you use your favourite search engine and look it up.

Step 1: Scan your computer for viruses and any other malicious programs.

Step 2: Ring your bank or banks and notify them of your situation, even if you only gave them the information for one of your cards they may be able to recover account information from any website you have ever used.

Step 3: Change Passwords on your computer, and every web site you use of have used. DO NOT use a password you have used in the past.

NOTE: You can ring the police (don’t use the emergency number 999 (UK only) use the non-emergency number 101 (UK only)) but there is little the law can do to stop these criminals. But each time some one registers being scammed there will come a time where the government will put more pressure on the country of origin to stop this kind of crime.

These criminals will use your data to try and steal your identity, your money and anything else they can possibly do with your information.

Spread the Word

Tell your friends, colleagues and anyone you meet about this so that it can be stopped.

Updated

17/07/2012 – VIDEO IT expert explains what happens during a a AV telephone scam.

21/08/2012 – VIDEO TWiT TV Know How 6 video.

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2 responses to “IT Telephone Scams

  1. Charles says:

    nice one Neil; I might need a quick clean, when you’re about next,
    Cheers from Charles

  2. Gopal Das says:

    I think everybody should check out the Scam Detector app. I believe they’re online as well.

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