Scam that is becoming a growing problem

Letters to the Editor - 1/30/14 edition

January 28, 2014 

Dear Editor,

I want to alert my customers and friends to a scam that is becoming a growing problem in our Mountain Area and everywhere else. I received a phone call from my neighbor just a few minutes ago asking about "Windows Technical Support," some very insistent callers claiming her computer was infected with a virus (by the way, I see maybe 1 to 2 actual viruses a year, they're not a big problem like Malware or Spyware has become), and that her computer was sending out emails and spreading the infection.

Before the caller could continue, she informed them that her neighbor was a Technology Specialist who spent two-thirds of his life working on computers, and he had put multiple security and firewall installations on her computer. Guess what? They hung up. This isn't the first person I know who's received this call; a few weeks ago, I had a customer who fell for it.

This "tech support" talks you through installing remote control software that allows them to go through your computer, inspect your files, and download whatever they want of yours, including bank statements, credit card information and other personal or business data you may have on your computer, leaving you with the headache of changing all your accounts because of fraudulent purchases/withdrawals, and they charge your credit card for it. They install software that "appears" to be doing a cleanup of your computer, it is in fact only a show for your entertainment while they spend hours playing peekaboo with your data.

Please keep in mind that you must call to initiate a technical support case, unless it's your Internet Service Provider. They will only call to alert you that something is infected on your computer and you need to get it fixed, they do not take control of your computer for any reason and will not fix the problem for you.

Richard Keg Oakhurst

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