Phone Scams Are Alive and Well

By | November 14, 2016
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Reminding You Again -Phone Scams Are Alive and Well

Recently we’ve written some articles about online tech scams as well as other scams making the rounds on the Internet.  But phone scams continue to be just as popular with scammers out to steal you money as the Internet scams are.

We feel it’s important to remind you often about these phone scams, because there are still hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people being scammed by phone scams.

Even after writing about phone scams many times, it never fails that we get two or three emails every week from people who were scammed by telephone calls that supposedly came from Yahoo, Microsoft, Google, etc. These phone scams all follow a familiar pattern – the scammer tells the victim:

1. Their computer is spreading malware
2. Their computer is infected with malware
3. Their computer has been hacked
4. Their computer has been compromised by viruses and/or Trojans and their computer is spreading the viruses or Trojans to others.

Folks…friends… people… listen to us:

NO ONE and NO legitimate company is going to call you to tell you your computer is infected. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER.

If anyone calls you and tells you that your computer is infected — HANG UP. If you want to go through the hassle of reporting it to the police — that’s up to you.  Our job is to protect you and keep you safe.


Never talk to these scammers – they’re criminals out to steal your money by deception. Especially NEVER LET them “connect to your computer” to implement fixes or “clean up your computer”. You’ll be opening up your computer to backdoor Trojans and other nasty stuff so the criminals can gain access your PC … or (and more likely) they’ll charge you $129 or more to “repair” or “clean up” the infection you never had to begin with. And you’ll be asked to pay with your credit or debit card, and that opens a whole new set of worries.

We’ve heard from more than a dozen subscribers in the few weeks who’ve been victims of telephone scams. Sadly, some of them fell for the scam and allowed someone they didn’t know to access their computers remotely to do Heaven knows what to their computers. This is a fact. We’ve worked on computers which have been compromised by scammers.

And one other thing. If you get call from someone who claims to be from, let’s say, Yahoo Tech Support, and you think you’re going to be wise and look up the number and call them back — you might get scammed anyway. You might see something like http://yahootechsupport.gonnascamyou.com/ and see a list of “Yahoo Support” numbers But the domain name is only what shows right before the .com/.net/.org etc. The first part of the URL can be a sub domain –and any domain owner can make a sub domain. See http://halloween.thundercloud.net/ . It’s still Thundercloud.net — no matter what it says before thundercloud.net.

Be careful. Remember NO ONE and NO LEGITIMATE company is ever going to call you to warn you that your computer is infected with anything. No legitimate company is going to call you and tell you that your computer is spreading spam or malware, not even if your computer is really infected – and not even if it is really spreading spam. Even if it is spreading malware or viruses, no one is going to call you.

CAUTION: Use your common sense and remember:  If anyone calls you to tell you that you have a problem with your PC…Hang up. Do not talk to them, and above all do not allow anyone who calls you unsolicited, to connect to your PC. NEVER.

Many folks who find they were scammed are embarrassed, so they don’t tell anyone. If you were scammed, and you paid one of these scammers, contact your bank or credit card company ASAP, tell them you’ve been scammed and ask for your money back. There is nothing to be embarrassed about – it happens to many thousands of good people every day. Also, if you’ve given your credit card number to a scammer, ask fora new account number or credit card number. It is very rare for a bank or credit card company to say no when you say you’ve been scammed and you want to get your money back.

Be careful. Use your common sense. Always remember:

NO ONE IS GOING TO CALL YOU OUT OF THE BLUE TO TELL YOU THAT YOUR COMPUTER IS INFECTED, HAS BEEN HACKED, IS SPREADING SPAM, OR IS SPREADING VIRUSES & TROJANS ETC. NEVER.

2 thoughts on “Phone Scams Are Alive and Well

  1. Janice M

    Hi TC & EB

    I know this was about phone scams BUT speaking of scams, I’m so glad you told us long ago about avoiding scams via email by going through the “back door” instead of just opening any type of questionable emails; I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve used that tip.

    Just tonight, I got an email that seemed “odd” and was supposedly from Paypal. Using your tip, I took a look and saw that the origin of it was from, “nobody at home.com”! I deleted it immediately–that’s just ONE of your many tips I’ve used and thanks to you two, I’ve avoided much frustration and heartache over the years. You’ve taught me sooooooooo much–THANKS A MILLION!!

    Have a wonderful; Thanksgiving!
    Jan

    Reply
  2. Mary R.

    I have received and been very aware of the phone and email scams for computer repair. THIS one was a new one for me. I was sending an article to be printed to my printer and I was immediately sent to ” support/microsoft.com” page with this number 1-844-618-5763 to call as a pop up said that there was a serious problem with my computer and that information has been compromised ( ID, Facebook Login, Credit Cards, etc.) AND if I closed this page my computer would be blocked and I would not be able to use it as I normally would. I could not close the page. So I chanced it and called the number. A tech comes on line with an Indian accent and tells me yes I have a problem because I would not have had this message otherwise with this error message “error 268D3-xc00037”. The only way they can confirm the problem is to allow them to remotely access my computer through Ammyy.com, which is a legit site according to the REAL Microsoft web page. I told them that I have an excellent virus, etc., program that is run every day and a good firewall. He said obviously I don’t because of the message I received. I questioned them as to where they were located–Mass. As I remember that’s what the phone scam people said too. Long story shortened, they wanted to sell me a 1 yr program for $199.99 or a 5 yr program for $499.99. Now I was pretty sure they were phony. I was finally able to close that window and then ran an extensive scan with my Emsisoft program. I did find 2 adware and one major Trojan on the PC I was using and quickly quarantined those. Am in the process of changing my financial password even though I had a pretty complicated password to begin with. As I said in the beginning, this one was a new one for me. Passing this on–nasty people out there. Thanks for you guys!!!

    Reply

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