Welcome back! Here is some useful information on what scammers will typically do to gain access to your computer and your sensitive information; including account usernames and passwords, financial information, and making sure they can access your computer whenever they wish. Yep, if it’s on, they have the opportunity to access your information without your knowledge!
In a nutshell:
- You are cold-called by a scammer and they convince you that you have purchased something in the past or receive a warning on your computer with a number to call.
- They either tell you that they received virus warnings or you are owed a refund because they are going out of business.
- They tell you they need to gain access to your computer so they can fix the problem and/or give you your refund.
- You’re instructed to install remote access software (the software is legit, their intentions are not!). Some examples are TeamViewer, GoToMyPC, HelpMe.Net, etc.
- Once connected to your computer, they will set up unattended access (which means they can connect at anytime as long as your computer is on, and they will install a driver that can black out your screen while they root through your files and accounts.
- They will run bogus “scans” by going into your DOS prompt and running the TREE or NETSTAT commands. It’s not looking for viruses, it’s just showing the directories on your machine and showing you the NORMAL connections to your computer when using an internet connection.
- They will show you Event Viewer on Windows, which, again, shows no virus activity. Only errors that have popped up on your computer in the past.
- They will claim to fix the issues for hundreds of dollars and require payment via gift cards (which are a bogus way to pay for tech services)
- If you’re caught up in a refund scam, they will have you access your bank account, make bogus changes to the HTML code, claim to give you too much money and require you to send gift cards in the amount they over-refunded you (again, it’s all fake and you’ll be out money!)
BE SMART! Don’t accept calls from numbers you don’t know. Don’t take the party on the other line word for legit – get a case number, hang up, and call the actual toll-free number of the company they claim to be to know for sure.
More to come!