In this edition, I’m calling out tech scammers and the tricks they’re using to con millions out of computer owners each year.
If your computer had a virus, you’d want to know about it ASAP, right?
Before your important files become corrupted, you lose your photos and your digital life is essentially destroyed. Even thinking about it is terrifying.
Tech scammers know we’d be lost without our computers, and that we don’t always know what’s going on behind the screen - which is why they’ve been able to swindle millions from every day people across the world.
The scam goes like this:
You receive a random phone call from someone with a heavy accent (usually Indian) saying they’re from Microsoft, or an alarming pop-up appears on the screen, saying it looks like your system has been infected with a virus.
To fix the problem, they need to you to download some support software, which they’ll give you a special link for.
A technician then uses that software to gain access to your system and make it appear your system is riddled with viruses. Flashing screens, mysterious diagnostics whizzing by, fabricated errors…they’ll do or say anything to make you panic. They’ll even go as far as claiming your system has been infected with illegal content and if not corrected, you’ll face criminal charges.
Demands for credit card information follow immediately after. Once paid, they simply stop fiddling with your system to make it seem the problem is fixed. To continue the scam, they’ll soon access your system to recreate the problem, this time offering a subscription for ongoing protection.
What to do if you’re targeted by a tech scam
1. Don’t taunt them. Just hang up. Right now you’re only a phone number in their system and they’ll move onto the next – if you give them cause to target you personally, you may find yourself in a dangerous situation.
The real Microsoft will never randomly call people like this. Ever.
2. If a pop-up appears, immediately run an anti-virus scan. Don’t click the pop-up or call the number.
What to do if you’ve already been scammed
It’s okay. It feels horrible, but you’re not alone and the situation can be corrected.
Call your financial institution and have the charges reversed and your card reissued. It’s easier than you might think and helps the authorities locate the scammers.
Then give us a call and we’ll make sure they no longer have access to your computer.
Some more exciting changes taking place here at YourTechie! Here is quick recap of my last email.
Back in April we had added our new office up on 53rd and brought on some new employees! Well, we haven't stopped there just yet. A new onsite technician, an expansion on the membership program and a new referral program that pays!
Our newest member of the team is Freddie Taylor who will be gradually replacing me in the field as I take on the Operations Manager role in the office.
Freddie has experience in computer and network technology and is passionate about helping others as much as he can. He is a great guy and I am happy to have him aboard!
Our membership program that features live monitoring of your computer maintenance and security is now expanding to an optional live monitoring of your local and cloud data backups! We can now help you not only setup you local backups but also add cloud backup and make sure it is always running.
Keep in mind this is very different than a cloud backup solution from companies like carbonite or any other cloud backup service as they do not know if you are not getting backups since it is all automated and no one will contact you if there is a problem.
We also make sure all your data is encrypted and protected from ransomeware attacks.
Just like our maintenance and security part of the membership, we have taken what is normally only available to big corpoations for tens of thousands of dollars and found a way to offer a more affordable option for residential and small business owners.
Feel free to contact me if you need more information about this and how we can help protect you and your data!
And last but not least. You know we depend alot of word of mouth and referrals and so I want to make sure that all of you who are technically our best sales force get rewarded for helping us grow! I want to offer a new referral program.
When you refer someone to us and they become a member, we will credit your account with 20% of the new membership price. Just make sure that if you refer someone, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know who you referred so we can make sure to credit your account when they sign up with us!
And as always, thank you so much for being a part of YourTechie!
Michael D. Elliott