Friday, May 2, 2014

Phone Call Scam about Your Computer

I just arrived home this morning from Oregon and the Columbia River Gorge national scenic area. It was a wonderful trip and my experiences and photographs are to follow.

I felt I should send out this fraud/spam, report from AARP. I have been getting a number of these calls and these people a very persistent, even if you tell them you know it's a spam.

BEWARE PHONE CALLS ABOUT YOUR COMPUTER Dear Myer, Have you gotten a call like this recently? "I am calling you from Windows tech support." or "I’m getting a signal of a virus from your computer." It’s a scam, and a pretty convincing one. The callers rely on the fact that (almost) everyone has a computer, and perfect their con with detailed information. HOW IT WORKS The scammer pretends to be "tech support" from Microsoft, Apple or other major software company, warning of a supposed virus or problem that will render the computer unusable. Of course, the caller then offers to repair the problem, for a fee, by accessing your hard drive remotely. THE GOAL According to Microsoft, the scammers are looking to get your money in a few different ways. They can: Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software. Take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable. Request credit card information -- to bill you for phony services. Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there. Note that Microsoft and other companies do not make cold calls to charge you for computer security or software fixes.

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO? Ignore the call and go through your service provider directly to it check out. Ask if there is a fee or subscription associated with the "service." If there is, hang up. Do not purchase any software or services. Install virus detection on your computer. Find a computer repair company you can trust. Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer. IF YOU HAVE ALREADY PROVIDED INFORMATION: Change the password on your main email account, and change the password for any financial accounts, especially your bank and credit card. Contact companies holding your financial accounts. Report it to the police; most have an electronic crimes group. Regularly monitor your credit card accounts and bank accounts and raise any suspicious transactions with the institution right away. If you provided your credit card information to the caller, get your card replaced. File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at .

If you or someone you know has been a victim of identity theft or fraud, contact the AARP Foundation Fraud Fighter Center at 877-908-3360. Sincerely, Kristin Keckeisen Fraud Watch Network P.S. Spotted a scam? Tell us about. Our scam-tracking map gives you information about the latest scams targeting people in your state. Youll also find first-hand accounts from scam-spotters who are sharing their experiences so you know how to protect yourself and your family.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network connects you to the latest information about ID theft and fraud so you can safeguard your personal information and your pocketbook.
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If you or someone you know has been a victim of identity theft or fraud, contact the AARP Foundation Fraud Fighter Center at 877-908-3360.