Scam Alerts

Virus Scam Alert – Phone Scam Alert – Scam Alert

In the past 18 hours we have received 4 phone calls from customers who say they are being targeted via telephone or pop-ups. This goes for both Windows based and Apple computer users.

The scam goes like this: A call comes to your home or your cell phone stating “This is a Microsoft specialist; we are reporting you have a virus on your computer, and this needs to be fixed as soon as possible.” The alleged technician encourage you to get to your computer right away to fix the issue warning you that if you hesitate your computer will completely die. Once you take the bait the scam techniques start to very.

In one instance, the so-called specialist directs you to a valid website so they can remotely access your computer, i.e. log on to your computer via the internet. The “technician” provides you with a password, which as soon as it is typed in, gives him full remote access to everything on your computer. This allows the intruder to install software or malware and steal your sensitive personal data.

Sometimes the caller asks you to download software allowing him to remotely access your computer. After the software is installed on your computer and the criminals are able to remotely logged in, they once again malware and steal your sensitive personal data.

In the last variation of the scam, the alleged technician has you “exploring” your computer. He leads you through the steps necessary to type a few commands to look at existing computer files, ones an average user would never come across, making you think that your computer is infected (which it is not). The apparent specialist then requests money to fix the problem. In some instances the scam artist asks to remotely access your computer first, then while connected to “checks out” the problem himself, consequently asking for money to fix it. When the victim refuses, the “technician” delete files from the computer, making it inaccessible.

If you receive any of these types of phone calls please report them to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). When you are on the phone with the so-called Microsoft or Apple specialist make sure to get as much information as possible about the company they work for, their telephone number, address etc. If by chance you do let the caller have access to your computer, please file a police report and notify the FTC.

Please be aware that the alleged technicians calling you are not there to help you out. They are either there to steal your information or exploit money from you pretending to fix a non-existing problem.

At any point in time computer users may experience a pop-up stating that their computer is infected with a virus. The pop-up has large red lettering and provides a Toll Free Number to call. When users attempt to close the pop-up they are unsuccessful. When users call the provided number they are generally transferred to another country. That is when the process starts for them to gain access to your computer.

If you are a windows user and receive that pop-up, it is best to try to shut down your computer as safely as possible. Pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL simultaneously should bring up a screen with a shutdown button bottom in the lower right corner. If you are unsuccessful, just hold down the power button for 10 to 15 seconds. That forces a computer shutdown. It is important to power it up again, log back in and remove all cookies from your computer. That can be accomplished by opening an internet explorer, clicking on Tools and then Delete Browser History.

If you receive that pop-up on an Apple Computer or an iPad, close Safari by double tapping the home button and swipe up on the Safari to preview thumbnail in order to close it completely. Make sure to go to Settings, Safari, Clear History and Website Data to ensure the pop-up dose not reappear.