Something’s Not Quite Right Here
You’ve probably heard the tale of the person who called the 1-800 number from an online scam. These scams use fear tactics to scare unaware individuals into calling quickly and paying to have their computer “cleaned.” They may even claim to be certified technicians from your favorite computer brand. They’re not.
This is one topic that requires no technical know-how, just a few good stories of people scammed through this technique:
Did you hear about Charlotte?
No, what happened?
Her weekend was completely wrecked! Saturday morning she was reading her news sites when a note came up on her screen. It said she had five minutes to call the phone number before her computer files were deleted. It even had a countdown clock. She panicked. She called the number and the “computer certified technicians” told her her computer had a virus that was going to delete her files, but if she downloaded this cleaning program for $199, they would take care of it for her.
Did she pay them??
Yeah, she gave them her credit card number and they e-mailed her this program to run to “clean” up the virus.
Wait, that sounds strange.
I know. She installed the program and hung up with the person. Later in the day, she got another weird message on her screen saying all of her files were locked up and that she had to pay the fee to get them back. It was ransomware. The scammers she called the first time installed ransomware on her machine.
Oh no! What did she do?
Well, she wasn’t able to access any of her pictures–she had hundreds of her kids and family–videos, documents or anything. She ended up taking her computer into a local tech store. They told her that without backups, they couldn’t restore any of her files but could at least reset her computer to its factory settings.