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Protect yourself against computer viruses and scammers

12/16/2016

A resident of St. Joseph County recently was using her computer when a popup message appeared. It appeared to be from Microsoft and said her computer had a virus and she must call a given number within five minutes to reach a technician for repair. At this point her computer was blocked and she could not use it. She phoned the number, thinking this was all she could do to prevent any further damage to her computer.
Her call was answered by a man speaking with a heavy accent who represented himself as the technician and said there were four problems with her computer:
 
1. Paid security was not working.
2. Windows Defender and Windows Firewall were not working.
3. Microsoft services were not working.
4. Clampi Trojan virus had infected her network and computer.
 
He also told her if her computer was not repaired immediately she would lose all emails and pictures. He then explained the Clampi virus is a Trojan virus that steals online banking login details from infected computers. The virus sends it back to scammers that use the login to access your account and transfer funds or credit card information to purchase goods. Following conversation back and forth between the two the “technician” finally convinced her to allow him remote access to her computer so he could determine what needed to be done to make the repair.
 
Once into the computer, he explained the problem was more severe than he had anticipated and consequently there would be a charge for the repair. He explained she could choose from four payment plans for his services, ranging from $89.95 per incident to three years of professional security and support, for $499.95. Each plan required payment be made at the time of agreement and by credit card only. However, while the “technician” was searching, this lady used some of her own knowledge of technology and turned off the computer.
 
She acted surprised and asked what happened that the computer went down. He wondered the same thing. After having talked 1 hour and 45 minutes with this guy, the woman knew she didn’t want his “services” and identified him as a scammer. When she turned on the computer later — guess what — she no longer had a problem.
 
Yes, this was a scam. If our woman had purchased one of his “support” programs, no service would have been available and her money would have been stolen. Additionally, he would have had her credit card information and could have used it at his convenience. This is a new twist on an old scam, when would-be thieves claiming to be from Microsoft would call people and offer to fix their computers. In reality, they were looking to steal personal information. In the updated version of the scam, the initial contact is made by popup ad. Now the scammers want you to call them.
 
When in doubt, check it out with your Better Business Bureau. Call 574-675-9351 (or 800-552-4631) or visit www.bbb.org.
 
Dreama Jensen is area director of the Better Business Bureau serving northern Indiana. Contact the BBB at 574-675-9351 or visit www.bbb.org. Original Author: Dreama Jensen Original Source: http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/business/protect-yourself-against-computer-viruses-and-scammers/article_a8bec3e2-5b18-5217-a244-b6c9ad14599a.html


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