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URGENT FRAUD ALERT: computer phishing scam

Scam Alert

FRAUD ALERT: computer phishing scam.Scam Alert

Tech calls to say your Windows computer is sending them error messages and they need to connect to fix the issues Do Not Allow it!

Phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. (Wikipedia)

Writing about computer and cyber safety is not usually part of my blogging repertoire but I felt I had to pass along an alert about a scam I just came across.

As published Oct 2014 by Business Insider
As published Oct 2014 by Business Insider

The caller said he was calling from the computer help center about my Windows computer. It’s a clever way to connect with a person since 92% of all computer worldwide run on Windows.

He said that my computer had been sending them error messages – again, pretty good chance that they will hit a nerve since we all know computers can be temperamental.

He said it was urgent that they connect to my computer to fix the issue before it got worse.

WHAT?

I knew it was a scam right away but sometimes I listen to them (1) so I can find out their scam (2) so I can figure out how to block them later (3) so I can figure out to report them and finally (4) sometimes just to mess with them.

I have a paid Microsoft account. But I received the call on my home number from a “private” number.  I have not used my home number on ANYTHING for over 15 years.  I keep the number in case of emergency and for relatives who may be trying to reach me but that’s about it.  It is rare that I get a call that is anything other than a telemarketing call though I am on the Do Not Call List.

I let the guy ramble for a minute then I said -“oh, OK.  I will let you connect to my computer right after I report you for fraud since this number is not connected to any Windows accounts what came next was the click of him hanging up.

Again, writing about these things is not the  norm for me but I hope this gets out to people and keeps someone from having their info stolen and their life inconvenienced and maybe even ruined by a scam.

Resources for you to check out. Note that I’m showing the full URLs so you can see where you are being directed.  Clicking on unreliable or unknown links is the #1 way scammers can get you.  Better yet, go to each website (Microsoft, Federal Trade Commission etc) then do a search for the subject to be taken to the correct page.

Microsoft: How to spot and report phishing scams. – http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/phishing-symptoms.aspx

Microsoft: Avoid tech support Phone scams http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx

Report scams and telemarketing (includes via phone and internet) – https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/#crnt&panel1-1

BE SMART, BE SAVVY, BE SAFE!

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