Below is a scenario that we hear about many times each month – and it could happen to you.
You’ve just spoken on the phone with someone claiming to be from Microsoft, Amazon, your bank or Internet provider or other well-known company. You’ve given the stranger remote access to your computer and they’ve shown you a bunch of things that’s wrong with it – errors, security or firewall problems, exposed social security numbers, or even offered to help transfer funds to or from your bank account. They may say that they have a “fix” – and can remedy the “problems” for a few hundred dollars.
Maybe you didn’t tell them your credit card number or purchase gift cards for payment, but the damage has already been done. In a matter of minutes a scammer can obtain or change passwords or credit card numbers stored in your web browser, purchase goods or services on your behalf or create new accounts. Sometimes it happens so quickly and convincingly that you may not realize that you’ve been conned until long after you’ve hung up the phone.
If you’ve let a stranger get into your personal device – what should you do?
If you’ve let a stranger remotely access your computer or device you should immediately turn it off since you may have unknowingly granted them unfettered access. Then call Computer Techs or another honest, reliable and local computer professional. Don’t be embarrassed – the con artists are good at what they do and are very persuasive and convincing. Millions of people get scammed each year. Computer Techs will check your computer for things they may have compromised or left behind – such as hidden remote access services, stolen or changed passwords, deleted files, changed settings, malicious software or keyloggers.
If you’ve allowed someone you don’t know to remotely control your computer – no matter what company they say they’re from – please contact us so we can make sure that you’re computer is safe and potentially help you get any fraudulent charges reversed.
Your Scam Protection Guide
The article “How to Protect Yourself from Scams and Fraud” by Consumer Reports provides tips on how to avoid falling victim to scams. Some of the tips include: being wary of unsolicited emails and text messages, not clicking on links in emails or texts from unknown senders, and not responding to calls from numbers you don’t recognize. The article also warns against giving out personal information over the phone or online, and paying for goods or services with peer-to-peer payment methods like Zelle or Venmo unless you know the person you’re sending money to.
Here are some additional tips from the article:
- Slow down. Scammers often try to pressure you into acting quickly, so it’s important to take your time and think things through before you respond.
- Do your research. If you’re not sure if an offer or request is legitimate, do some research online or contact the organization directly.
- Be skeptical. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Protect your personal information. Don’t give out your Social Security number, credit card number, or other sensitive information unless you’re sure the person or organization you’re giving it to is legitimate.
By following these tips, you can help protect yourself from scams and fraud.