About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

March 17, 2015

"Hi, this is Ron from Windows"

I have a couple of scams to inform you of today that could cost you time, effort and lots of money.  One is computer related, the other financial. 

Many people have reported getting calls from someone saying something similar to, "Hello this is Ron (fill in any name) from Windows, we see that your computer is reporting errors and we need to help you." 

First red flag on this is that no one from "Windows" would contact you since there is no company named Windows.  Secondly, you would most likely think it was Microsoft; however, they would never call you out of the blue with a problem.  Unless it is due to some very unusual circumstances, Microsoft does not even have your phone number. 

If you continue with the call, as apparently many people have, they will help you. The problem is that their "help" is quite harmful.  I have read of some people being directed by the caller to install software on their computer in order to give them access to run a special update.  Never, ever let some stranger talk you into installing anything on your computer…on any occasion! 

That will give them access to your computer after they supposedly help you.  Then you will have problems with your computer and a different foreign voice will contact you in the future saying for $$$ they can fix this issue.  

Fraud image
The other issue being reported is they have installed a key logger program on your computer.  A key logger has the ability to record every keystroke you make and send it to someone else-without you knowing a thing.  This can include all of your user names and passwords.  You know what happens to your bank accounts after they get that info. 

Bottom-line is if you get a call from someone representing themselves as a person wanting to fix your computer, hang-up.  Then if you wish you can report them to "The Internet Crime Complaint Center" (IC3) at ""  The IC3 is co-sponsored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the National White Collar Crime Center (NW3C).

Next, you get a call from someone claiming to be from the IRS.  They inform you that you owe taxes and if you do not pay immediately you will be criminally prosecuted.  Usually they require the payment to be made through a prepaid debit card. 

You may laugh and think, "What knucklehead would do that since the IRS never cold calls anyone about anything."  But since October, 2013 more than 3,000 people fell for this scam and made the crooks $15.5 million.  The top five states taken so far, per Timothy Camus, deputy inspector general for investigations at the agency that oversees the IRS are: California ($3.84 million), New York ($1.35 million), Texas ($795,884), Florida ($760,000) and Virginia ($648,363).

If the IRS calls you, hang up.

June 24, 2014

Do Not Do These Things, Part 3

I was not planning on having a "Part 3" to this series; however, Marion recently sent an interesting email. This situation does not have anything to do with the web, email or any other things I usually write about.  Nevertheless, it is a real personal security concern.

Marion emailed about a "Social Engineering" scam which is becoming more of a concern most every day for everyone.  These can hit you even if you do not participate on the internet, email, or any other tech areas.  This one is known as vishing, or voice phishing. 

She said they received a suspicious phone call on the home land line. However, this could also hit your cell phone.  A man with an accent was telling her that their computer was "leaking out information."  This is common line.  Then they ask you questions about your computer, maybe the version of Windows you use, your computer name, or your username and password.  They may ask you anything about your computer, your bank account or any other personal information.  They usually (but not always) have a heavy almost unintelligible accent which will get worse as they go along. 

Marion said, "We gave him no information whatsoever."  That is the absolute best thing you can do.  If you have not contacted any company for help just hang up on them.  They are trying to get info out of you and use it for disreputable reasons.

spam via phone and web ( would be surprised at how many people go along with this "official" inquiry.  People have given away bank account information and then proceeded to loose thousands of dollars.

Never give anything out to an incoming caller.  If you get a call from any company asking you any information or giving you a website to log on to about your information or accounts, hang up immediately and call the company directly.  Ask them about it and you will get a definite, "Don’t do it!" response from the real people.  Banks and any other reputable company will never contact you to ask for information. 

Microsoft has even put out messages reporting support scams that are supposedly coming from them.  Like all of these scams the scammer may not have a lot of technical information, but rather a smooth talking trickster which plays on the general public’s fear.  They will tell you things like they just received a warning that your computer has been hacked or invaded.

We used to call these folks, "flimflam artists."  In today’s vernacular they would be called scammers.

There is even one for corporate environments called, "tailgating."  Many companies have very strict rules regarding tailgating which can end an employee’s career if they allow it.  This usually involves companies with an electronic keyless entry system; however, it can be used with regular keyed locks too.  You, being regular employee, come to work and use your key to get in.  An honest looking "employee" whom you do not know walks up along behind you and you let them enter the building with you.  You have just been tailgated into the building by someone who should not be there.

Being careful should be everyone’s number one priority today.

Powered by WordPress

%d bloggers like this: