Nerds On Site

Phone Scams – A Real Life Story and How to Avoid Being a Victim

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[this post is from Dian Smit, a Nerd in Comox Valley, Canada)
This is a story about a woman who became a victim of the Phone Scams currently happening. We are sharing this in hopes that it will educate others so they will not become victims as well.
\”A friend of mine owns a home-based business. She got a call from a man who said her computer could have a virus. He mentioned the name \’Microsoft\’ (in hindsight, just to seem more credible), and ask that she turn her computer on.
He then instructed her to click the Start Menu, and and \”Run\”, where he gave her a command to open up the Event Viewer. He showed her all of the \”problems\”, and indicated to her that her computer had a virus. (note: the Event Viewer normally shows errors of some kind. This is completely normal, and only indicates minor issues, NOT a virus!)
He told her to do a few more things, including clearing her internet history. (This was likely just to appear like the scammer knew what he was doing.)
In order to \”remove the viruses\”, he asked for $220, and her credit card number, which she gave to him. He also suggested she not tell her \”I.T. guys\” what he was doing, as he didn\’t want them to feel bad they hadn\’t discovered the problems first. (Clever.)
He also got her to turn on Remote Assistance so he could access the computer and fix the problems. He connected and started doing some things.
It was at this point that it occurred to her something wasn\’t quite right. She immediately turned off her computer, at which point the scammer became very angry. She hung up on him.
She immediately called her bank and credit card companies and got her credit card cancelled, and was told no payment from the scammer call had gone through yet, so she was lucky.\”
We have heard many stories like this, and have seen them on the news. They all work in much the same way, just using different methods or tools, or saying slightly different things.
If you did not REQUEST the service call, DO NOT give into the fear that they may be telling you the truth, and hang up! Their only goal is to get your credit card information, and to infect your computer with malicious software. No legitimate company will EVER call you suddenly like that.
If you suspect your computer is infected, call a trusted company, or your local professional, such as a member of Nerds On Site, and we will be happy to take a look and resolve any problems for you! 1-877-696-3737
For more information, please read the two other blog posts we\’ve put together this summer on this topic. Here\’s one, and here\’s the other.

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