Archive

Archive for the ‘Spyware’ Category

Don’t get scammed

 

At Easy PC Advice we get a lot of different issues sent for us to resolve but an increasing amount of calls are coming in from customers who are worried that their PC has been hijacked.  What do you mean by “hijacked” you say!

Hijacked is a term used when someone has taken over your PC without your consent.  A lot of the time this is done by accidentally clicking on the wrong link on a website and a pop-up appears that looks convincing and inadvertently you have added a new Toolbar or downloaded a piece of software that you didn’t want.  Sometimes these toolbars and pieces of software are nothing more than just annoying, but other times these pieces of software have one purpose in mind and that is to send data from your computer to an unknown server where the data is gathered and a profile is created on you.  This is called Spyware.

Another more worrying side to this is that I have heard from customers who have actually received a call from who they were told is Microsoft, informing them that their Windows licence has expired and that they need to pay £70.00 for one year or £300.00 for five years subscription.  STOP!!

First of all, Microsoft doesn’t make calls to people who have purchased a copy of Windows and I may be right in saying that Microsoft doesn’t make calls at all… and why should they, you’ve purchased your copy of Windows with your computer.  There is no annual subscription due at all.

These people are trying to con you into paying for a subscription that doesn’t exist.  Unfortunately one of my customers did go along with this and to be honest they did ask questions like “How do I know you are from Microsoft?” and the scammers sent them an email with the Microsoft logo in it making it look very official.  Getting a logo from another companies website can be done in 2 clicks so this means nothing.

The scammers did gain access to the computer and the customer informed me they did install something but he wasn’t sure what it was.  The customer also paid the £70.00 but as soon as they put the phone down they felt that something wasn’t right and immediately contacted the Bank to stop all transactions.  They also set the computer to return to a previous setting which probably saved their accounts as this removed the software that had been installed.

Easy PC Advice ran our Spyware Tool and found a few Tracking files that are not normally found on a standard pc and these were removed.  The customer now has peace of mind that their computer is safe again but this has obviously cost them money.

Things you can do:

  1. Ask the company for a telephone number you can call them back on as you are busy. If they don’t provide a number or get pushy, put the phone down.  If they provide a number type this into Google as this will normally show up any sales numbers which you can look at before thinking about calling back.
  2. Never give out your password for your computer to anyone.  There is no reason why anyone should want this – Protect it.
  3. Remember that Microsoft will not call you as you have already paid for your computer with Windows on it or you have bought your CD from a store (which means you have already paid for the licence).
  4. Don’t let people who are calling you access your PC.  The only time access may be needed is if you have a problem and you have called a reputable company to sort the issue out.

Above all

  • If you are not sure, put the phone down.  
  • Be careful of what you click on when on the Internet
  • Don’t give your password to anyone

Any questions then give us a call and we are happy to advise for FREE. 

Be safe.

24/07/2012

Adding an extra section on this post about the Metropolitan Police Scam that may affect your PC.

There is a scam where you click on an unsuspecting link and this downloads a file to your PC (without you knowing) that when finished, runs and locks your PC with only one screen viewable.  It is a screen that says your PC has been carrying out unauthorized actions and has been locked by the Met Police.  To unlock it you must put in your bank details and pay £100.00 to unlock it.

SCAM, SCAM, SCAM.

Don’t pay it, just call your local IT person who will be able to get the file removed.  If you pay the money the scammers won’t necessarily unlock your PC, they will just ask for more money until they have cleared you out (as most people rely on their PC a lot).

Please be warned as I am seeing people who have paid the Scammers and then only after this do they contact their local IT person.

Advertisements