Skype Scam

By | April 29, 2011
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Jimmy warns about a Skype scam
Message: Hi TC & EB, I have been with you for many years and have gained a lot of knowledge from u both! I can’t thank u enough for what you do for all of us. U might want 2 tell your readers about a phone call that I just received on ‘Skype”.
It was “System Repair Alert ” and it came from (druanucd7ma) He tried to tell me that a virus had been detected on my PC and as soon as he said that.. I hung up and put a block on him. It sounded like a recording an I know for a fact that I don’t have a virus.

I keep all the programs that you recommend up to date and (I) scan at least twice a weak. Common sense tells me that this is a scam! Thank you both for all that you do for us! Jimmy

Our Answer
Thanks, Jimmy. Neither of us are Skype users but we have family members who are. So we did our homework and talked with some Skype users and we found that Skype scams are getting more numerous.

As with all things, the more popular something becomes, the more of a target it becomes. Microsoft Windows has been a popular target because so many hundreds of millions use it. So Apple users have been able to brag – however incorrectly – that their machines are not susceptible to viruses, spyware and malware like Windows computers are (Apple computers can be infected too.) Of course, Microsoft Windows is losing market share and Apple is gaining, and in the end Apple may well be the new target of choice for criminals and hackers. There’s nothing about the Apple’s operating system that makes it invincible. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Skype is, by far, the biggest VoIP (voice over Internet) company of all. It has more users than any other VoIP and thus it has become a target for viruses, keyloggers, and other malicious software. And Skype users are also subject to phone fraud too. The most widespread scam is the one you report – where you get a call and someone tries to scare you into thinking if you don’t download a particular security program (i.e. a rogue security program) your computer will become infected, you calls recorded, your credit card numbers stolen and even your identity stole.

You did the right thing, Jimmy. No one is going to know if your computer is infected or not. If anyone calls you on the phone (Skype or not) and tells you that something has been detected on your computer – you know it’s a scam. No one is going to know your computer is infected and call you on the phone offering to fix it. It seems like common sense to us. But you’d be surprised how many millions of dollars have been scammed from victims by making phone calls to scare the victim into buying worthless security software. The rogue security software these poor folks buy is actually a spyware/malware program itself. Once installed it will nick you for more money for “updates” and subscription renewals.

We published your question because so many of our readers use Skype. Our kids use it and swear by it and we’re sure many of you do too. The Skype phone scam is becoming very widespread. So if you’re a Skype user, user your head if someone calls and tells you that some malicious program or virus has been detected on your system, hang up. If you’re in the United States, you might want to report the scam call (with as many details as you can provide) to the Federal Trade Commission by visiting their phone fraud Website: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/phonefraud/report.shtml

4 thoughts on “Skype Scam

  1. Maureen

    Just yesterday I got a call from “System Repair Center” I think it was. I didn’t answer it because I don’t know them and only have 2 friends on Skype. Glad I saw that and certainly won’t answer it but report it to Skype! Thanks. Maureen

    Reply
  2. Amber

    Thanks for the warning, now I won’t answer the call from them. I will pass it along too. Thanks again

    Reply
  3. Marcia Vazey

    Thank you for the warning,…I will be fwding this page onto my Skype family,.We are just new to Skype,( As of last weekend Easter),.. I`m in Medowie,New South Wales , Australia & My eldest son is in Quakertown Pennsylvania,I haven`t seen him in 17 years.My other son is in Narrabeen Sydney & my daughter is in Mt Coolum Queensland,…so last week end was lovely to have catch up time face to face with my children & grandchildren ,..
    And thank you so much to my e-mail pal Mary,.Mary for sending me the link,(she is such a sweetie,always looking out for me )…Thank you again ,
    Keep up the excellent work CloudEight ..

    Sincerly,
    Marcie Vazey.

    Reply
  4. David

    Got an sms on Skype months before installing Windows on my Intel-based Apple warning me that I would get a virus if I installed Windows. They wanted $ for protection, of course. I ignored it, but upon partitioning the Mac HD & installing Windows, I now have a bug that draws “squares”, highlights,& freezes every thing on Windows. Can’t get rid of it, despite many commercial anti-vvirus programs. Any help available, please?!

    Reply

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