In a previous blog I wrote about the phoney support calls many of us have received and I’d now like to warn you about more scams I’ve recently become aware of.
The first one involves a fake system message that pops up on your screen stating your computer is experiencing difficulties. One of my customers allowed me to take a photo of her screen showing the bogus alert in order to help more people become aware of the scam.
The message looks genuine doesn’t it? Couple that with a slow running computer, something we’ve all experienced and it’s very believable. In addition the number to call is free so what have you got to lose? Well actually quite a lot.
The ‘support technician’ you get through to answers your call promptly (that would immediately raise my suspicions) is very sympathetic and will want to remotely access your computer to help diagnose your computer problems. The rest of the story resembles the telephone scam with the ‘technician’ sifting through your machine then asking for some form of payment. This can be anything (customers have reported fees ranging from £50 – £300 so far) depending on how much ‘help’ they think you need! If you don’t pay and cut the connection they will still have had access to your system, possibly loaded some troublesome software and more than likely adjusted some settings so that it starts to behave erratically. They’re then likely to call you back to tell you it can all be fixed just as long as you part with some cash.
The other scam also involves a free telephone number which also seems to be from a credible source. Let’s say you’re having problems with your anti-virus program McAfee, you search for a telephone number online and find a selection of websites. Be very careful which one you pick; within the list will be bogus companies claiming to provide McAfee technical support and a free telephone number. When you call they are extremely helpful, will want to remotely connect to your computer and then try to charge an extortionate fee for any mock assistance they’ve supplied.
Of course, it goes without saying that the actual McAfee site and other IT support companies advertise online providing a fantastic service with reasonable fees. You can also usually find support for any product you’ve installed on your computer by opening the program and looking for the help or support link which should take you directly to their official website.
Don’t be put off looking for help online, a little research can easily establish a business is legitimate and if you need help or advice with any computer issue you can contact me on 01452 506529.
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