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3 Scams You Must Look Out For

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015 by | Filed Under: Security Help
 
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Scammers are working 24/7 to target you via computer and phone. I’ve told you about these scams before, but from the messages I get from readers, these crooks are still going strong and people are still falling for it. Here are 3 scams that people are falling for every single day.

Microsoft calls your house saying there’s an issue with your computer.  My aunt tells me that these guys have called her house three times in the past month. The scammer calls your house and says that Microsoft has detected a problem with your computer and needs to access it to prevent further damage or a total system crash.

How do they know you’re running Windows?  They don’t. They call millions of people and since Windows is on the majority of computers, they count of hitting people who use it.  How do they know your computer is running slow?  Just a guess. You call enough people, you’re bound to get a certain percentage with computer problems.  Sometimes they talk users into opening up event viewer on their PC and spin some tale that all of the little errors that pop up there indicate a serious computer problem. They talk people into letting them have remote access to their computer and sometimes into buying protection plans that cost hundreds of dollars. Once they have access to your computer, they can load it up with malware and steal your information. Plus, they’ve got your credit card info when you paid for the protection plan.

microsoftcrop

Here are some of the organizations that cybercriminals claim to be from:

  • Windows Helpdesk
  • Windows Service Center
  • Microsoft Tech Support
  • Microsoft Support
  • Windows Technical Department Support Group
  • Microsoft Research and Development Team (Microsoft R & D Team)

Microsoft is NEVER going to call your house. They have no access to your computer and they don’t know what’s on it. If these guys call, hang up immediately. (Or blow a whistle into the phone first.) If you’ve allowed these guys any type of access to your computer, I’d suggest calling a computer place or tech you trust and having your PC looked over to remove anything these people have installed. I’d dispute the charge on my credit card and probably cancel that card since these scammers have the number.

There are variation where callers will claim to be from Iolo, Norton and other security companies. But it’s the same deal, so beware.

Fake System Pop-Ups

One trick companies use to get you to click on their sites or download their programs is to mimic legitimate system pop-up windows from your PC.  This is called Scareware. These fake windows will say there’s a system errors or malware has been detected or that it’s time to update a program.

pcoptimizer

If you see one of these, don’t click on it. Sometimes trying to close it takes you to their site. Hit Ctrl + Alt + Delete and look in the task manager. You will most likely see that pop-running in your browser. End the task.  If you think it might be a legitimate warning from your security software, open your security software after you shut that window with end task and run a scan.  If you want to update something like Flash or Java, go to the official website for that program and update there.

Prize Scams

Congratulations! You’ve just won…whatever.  Millions and millions of people fall for these types of scams every single day, some even empty their bank accounts to pay fees for alleged lottery jackpots.

The first question to ask yourself is: Did I enter a contest? Because if you didn’t, you didn’t win anything. Rules for contests are actually super-strict and you have to give permission to be entered into them. So, if you didn’t enter, there’s zippo chance that you won.

When you actually win a contest, you don’t have to pay ANYTHING to get your prize. I’ve had good luck with contests and won everything from a trip to Tahiti to a bike to an autographed book. Never once did I have to pay a thin dime to get my prizes. They just send them to you. True, I did have to include my trip in my income and pay some taxes, but I put that on my tax form when I filed my income tax that year.

I’ve also worked for a TV station that gave away some nice prizes. Again, winners don’t pay anything. For big prizes, we gave them the appropriate tax forms.  Yeah, if you win the lotto, you have to pay taxes. You pay them out of your lotto winnings, not up front. And unless you bought a ticket, you didn’t win it. 

 ~ Cynthia

 

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5 Responses to “3 Scams You Must Look Out For”

  1. Donna Smith says:

    Yeah I used to get these scammers calls from Microsoft MANY times a week, and of course they are speaking in a broken English accent. I have told them I dont even OWN a computer and they get dumb-founded by my statement as they say “Everyone has Windows” even with me saying I DONT even have any type of electronics in my home! Hanging up on them only makes them more determined to call back many more times so what I have come up with is when they call, I tell them “Where the he** are my windows, I have ordered my windows 6 months ago and you haven’t delivered them yet. I paid A LOT of money up front and you people refuse to deliver them? My windows are falling out of my house so send them to me IMMEDIATELY or I am going to hire a lawyer, then turn you into General Attorneys Office. They say ”No No I mean computer windows”, I ignore the WORD computer and keep on telling them I want my windows NOW and go on and on about my home windows, They finally get I KNOW they are trying to scam me with my ranting and raving and threats. I also tell them this phone conversation is being recorded and traced and BAM they hang up on me. Oh yeah, I had a few of these scammers tell me to Quote” Go F*** Off or F*** YOU, in their broken ENGLISH and they sure know our swear words by heart” and hang up, as I Heartly LMBO at them but guess what, I am not getting anymore calls from them anymore..ROFL!! Putting your phone down as they give their so called presentation DONT work either as they WILL call back continue their daily calls. I’ve tried the whistle approach, it DONT work, they call back!! Let your answering machine or voice mail pick up their calls as they WONT leave a message either and that way you don’t have to even worry about speaking to these Spammers!! Just giving you all a way to help stop these spammers from my own experience..Hope it helps!! Have a GREAT DAY Everyone!!

  2. James Filipek Sr says:

    I have gotten both of the scams and I agree with everything that Donna said. Let me add a bit more. I have a phone that allows you to block selected incoming calls. I just add their number as I get them. I found that the Windows scam was using two numbers. The phone rings twice while it is checking you list of blocked numbers. Then it stops ringing on your end but continues to ring on their end. They never get an answer. Not even the answer machine. I was getting three to four calls a week and in the month that I have blocked them I haven’t heard a word.

  3. Donna Smith says:

    James, are you using a cell phone or landline phone? I ONLY have a landline phone and thru the company I use for my phone I can also Block these numbers but they have ”MANY” numbers they have called me from and I can ONLY add up to 25 blocks thru my phone company. Since they have used SO MANY different numbers, well over 25 of them, I just use my technique of ranting and raving they OWE me my house windows making them angry. I heard of this program from CNBC called Nomorobo that is FREE for the public and can stop these annoying robocalls!! I am on the DO NOT CALL LIST but these spammers get by this and I even filed with the FTC and they know of this problem and I was told there are SO many spammers they CANT keep up with them all and to contact my local phone company for assistance…GEEZ FTC. THANKS SO MUCH FOR NOTHING!! Nomoboro can be found HERE” http://www.nomorobo.com…IS this what your using James? Well just for those that NEED to stop thee Spammers try this site and what I have read, the calls WILL stop!! Hey if these Spammers want to continue to spam me, I TRULY ENJOY SPAMMING THEM BACK…HAHA. NOT going to take their crap anymore and my way HAS worked for me, but everyone is different!! Hope NOMOROBO helps anyone that wants to STOP these spammers! Have a GREAT Day & Happy Memorial Day to ALL!!

  4. Joan-n-TN says:

    I got my first scam call about a month ago after hearing about them for years. I simply told them I don’t own a computer; I don’t like lying but I knew that was the quickest way to end this conversation.

    Unfortunately my landline service does not subscribe to nomorobo but a year and a half ago I bought a Pro Caller Block device from Amazon. The model I purchased will block 1500 calls and of course you do have to subscribe to caller id from your local phone provider. What a difference it has made!!! A blocked number will ring one time and that tells me immediately it was one of those that has been blocked in the past. The caller does not receive a message it simply disconnects them.

    The device is easily installed and I highly recommend it if you’re getting scam calls, credit card ‘offers,’ or any type of marketing call.

  5. Linda says:

    I was getting calls from these idiots several times a week. It was always the same guy (foreign accent) Tryint to reason with them was futile and hanging up seemed to be the only option, but I got so sick of getting all those calls, every time from a different number. So…I decided to play their little game. The guy began his speech and I responded eagerly. He asked me to do something on my computer involving msconfig. I pretended to do so and informed him that it didn’t work. He then asked me to go to a website and download something so he could “see what was wrong with my computer” I pretended to do so and told him my computer refused to download it. He seemed genuinely confused by that. (ha ha). Then I told him that I work for the government and they won’t let me do certain things and in fact monitor all calls and keystrokes and were tracing both the phone call and the website as we spoke. There was silence on the other end of the phone and a “click” I have had no more calls from this guy and it’s been almost 2 months! YAY!

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