Tricksters, Fraudsters & Scams
A phone call or a communication telling you that you have a problem, they invite you to let them help you, they ask for access to your computer, you let them. At some point you will realise that you have been duped. These people sound so genuine, they know pieces of information about you or your computer that puts you at your ease. They claim to be from reputable companies like Microsoft, your internet service provider (ISP), your telephone company, your anti-virus provider, your electric company, your bank etc. but they aren't. You feel an idiot, you tell yourself "how could I have been so stupid." IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT they are very, very good at what they do, even the wisest can be fooled - and are. This is serious - you will need to take a rapid course of action following one of these attacks.
- It may seem obvious but don't speak to them again, if they call back (they usually do)
note or ask for their number and then put the phone down on them.
Do it. Don't be afraid of being rude as they may well want to keep
you on the phone. Disconnect your broadband connection now
and don't connect it again until things are resolved.
- Contact us, as we are well used to dealing with this type of crime and making your machine
and broadband secure again and we will recommend a course of action to help you, such as contacting
your bank, PayPal, etc. Change your e-mail password and passwords to any on-line store that you use.
- Report it to the Police at the National Fraud and Cyber Crime reporting Centre 0300 123 2040 or visit "Action Fraud" NB. This is not an emergency service but a place to report the crime and help the authorities gather information.
Classic ways we see this happening are:-
You see a message on your screen telling you that you have a virus or some other urgent call to action - such as the one below, this is one of the least sophisticated attacks. Often, it will have a contact number for you to ring. DON'T DO IT !
You receive a call out of the blue, they say they are from a familiar company and they need to help you sort something out that has been flagged up to them. PUT THE PHONE DOWN NOW !
Banks, Microsoft and others say they never contact their clients or the public by telephone to fix these problems although the waters are muddied somewhat by their marketing departments keen to sell you things. Either way, if you are unsure, tell them that you never discuss these things over the phone and tell them to put it in writing in the post to you and don't give them your name and address because, if they don't already know this then they are certainly fraudsters. PUT THE PHONE DOWN NOW !
Why Are They Doing This?
It's all about the money. Generally, the people who commit this type of scam are low lives and are happy to do what it takes to make a buck, regardless of the damage and hardship they leave behind. It's easier than robbing a bank and besides there is far less chance of them being held to account for their deeds. Often, they are only information gatherers, part of a team who will sell your information on to others who may then act on it.
How Serious Is This Type Of Attack ?
Losing your data and photographs etc. is probably top of the list but this is equally as bad. Besides, if they have got access to your computer they can come in again but without you knowing next time and who knows what they might do. In the meantime they may be acting on the data that they have already gathered and that may be extremely costly to you. You need to act fast, have your computer cleaned and permanently prevent them from accessing it either through software or through your router box.
What Can We Do?
If the fraudster has been allowed access to your computer then in a very short time they may have had the opportunity to run software which can collect vital and sensitive data about you, your passwords, your accounts and your internet connection information. Usually, the only really safe course of action to ensure that no unwanted programs or triggers are left on your computer, is to completely wipe your hard disk and re-install from scratch. If this is the case, we can help you back-up your data then restore your computer to factory settings. If this is the case, we may ask for the operating system CD/DVD (if any) that was supplied with your computer when you purchased it and any other software that you want on your computer.
Well used to dealing with PC & Laptop repairs in Plymstock and the surrounding Plymouth and South Hams Area, Phil Guy Computer & Repairs have an in depth knowledge of dealing with such problems. We use our long experience to ensure that attacks and re-infection are less likely and install (and demonstrate) free anti-virus combined with essential Malwarebytes to help protect your computer in the future together with advice on how best to avoid being hit again. Please click here for further information.
Please note that under no circumstances will Phil Guy Computer & Repairs be liable for data loss when we perform equipment maintenance. We strongly recommend that you back up your data on a separate medium ( for example by DVD, external hard-drive, USB stick or on-line) on a regular basis. All business is subject to our Terms and Conditions of Business, a printable version of which is available here.
The prices quoted on the charges page for this service are a guide only as the amount of work to repair your machine can vary immensely however, most clients are very relieved to have their computer restored often working better than it has for a long time.