Let’s play this scenario. You are working, knocking things off your lists when you suddenly receive a call from tech support. You think it is odd but they sound legit, and you don’t want to run the risk of actually having a virus…or do you?
The FTC and the FBI have been warning computer users about unwanted calls coming in from scammers who pretend to be in technical support departments at well known companies (Microsoft, Google, Time Warner, AT&T, etc). There are several variations, but the main one is an unsolicited call where they claim your system is infected and then they ask you to let them remote into your system. At this point, I would like to ask you a question; Would you hand the keys to your home to a complete stranger? Would you let a stranger who knocked at your front door into your home and let them roam around your house? Of course you would not! But that is exactly what people are doing with their computers.
I’ve received calls from attorneys, financial professionals and savvy computer users who fell for this scam. All of these people are smart and trusting. Unfortunately, they were tricked and some lost money, lost their files and definitely lost trust in the goodness of people.
The good news is that they called us and let us help them clean up the computers, check for programs that could leave a backdoor open or capture their login information. We are then able to provide some guidance blocking the payment and helping guard against identity theft.
So, what is anyone supposed to do with all these scams that are rampant because of how connected we are?
The main thing is to be aware and trust your gut. It may sound odd, but every single person that fell for this scam told us that they knew something was not right. Sometimes it was hard to stop because the scammers are proficient in human behavior and push forward, address objections and have daily practice. The scammers get lots of practice every day and adapt to the victim on the other side of the phone. Trust your gut and hang up. Do not ever let someone access your computer, unless you know exactly who they are and have a business relationship that can be validated. If you think you have a virus, you can easily unplug it from the Internet and call a local company, friend or other resource who can help.
Call us at 512.336.2970 and we can provide some guidance, or dispatch a technician to assist.
Stay aware of the variations of this scam and protect your data, banking information and computer systems.
Luis Delgado is a father, husband, community resource, speaker, and entrepreneur who founded The Critical Update, inc (TCUINC) in 2003. TCUINC is a technology consulting firm that has evolved from basic computer support to affordable technology consulting, network management, outsourced IT and cybersecurity. Our clients come from every industry in Central Texas. Luis is a certified HIPAA professional and is focused on helping business owners create more jobs for Texas families.