What you need to know to avoid email and phone support scams and ransomware

Filed under: Computing Tips,Security - Feb 10 2015

There has been lots of attention lately by the news media about data breaches, phony tech support scams and computer ransomware – all things that we’ve been warning clients about over the years in the Computer Techs monthly email newsletter and website for clients.

Data breaches at Target, Home Depot, Anthem and others have inspired scammers to launch phishing email campaigns and cold-calling operations in hopes to gain the trust of the recipient, then persuade them to reveal personal information and send money.

Beware of phone scamsIf you receive an unexpected email from a friend, business or organization – never click a link or button in the email or open an attachment. It’s best to call the person or business, or type in the web address of the business to access their web site and confirm the validity of an email. However be careful when searching the internet for a business, as there are often ads that appear along with search results paid for by untrustworthy businesses running bogus tech support scam operations.

If you receive a telephone call, never give personal, computer or financial information over the phone. If in doubt, tell the caller that you will hang up and initiate the call by calling the number listed on your associated ID card or credit card to confirm the validity of the call. Microsoft nor any other legitimate computer company will ever call, email or pop-up a warning on your screen concerning problems with your computer. Never feel pressured to reveal information or act right away. Feel free to call Computer Techs for a 2nd opinion.

Please see our website to read more about scams related to your computer and the internet.

Also see our website to read more about phishing, and be sure to read the article “How to recognize emails that ‘phish’ for your information”.

Lastly a new type of virus has been in the news that demands a ransom to unlock the personal documents, pictures, etc. that the virus encrypts. To avoid ransomware follow the advice in our article, and make sure that all of your important data is backed up to an external source.

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