Thursday, June 18, 2015

Microsoft Technician SCAM ALERT

I know that this has been around for a while but but it seems to be growing and people are falling for it.

If you get a call from a "Microsoft technician" claiming that your computer has errors and he/she can fix it for you, don't you believe it. He/she may even offer to guide you through your computer so you can see these errors for yourself.

The errors may be there, but they are common to nearly all PC's and are generally harmless errors caused by various software programs. Microsoft doesn't cold-call anyone offering to fix their computer.

Her's what the caller will usually try to get you to do:
  • Give them remote access to your computer.
  • Visit a website they specify.
  • Install a recommended software program.
The result of them successfully fooling you can be any, or any combination, of the following:
  • You get billed for fake/unneeded services/repairs.
  • Your computer is compromised with a virus, trojan, or keylogger.
  • Your identity is stolen.
If this has already happened to you and you gave someone who called you first access to your computer, or you visitied a specified website or installed a specified software program, take your computer to the shop and tell them what happened and have them check it out. Then change all your important passwords and keep a close eye on your bank accounts and other vital accounts.
It's important to change your passwords after you get your computer cleaned in case there's spyware installed that will pass the changes to the hacker.

This actually happened to me many months ago and I asked some questions like what Microsoft office they worked out of, if they knew I had an error, what version of Windows I was runinin, and they danced around the questions and I hung up on them. I'm sure that my readers tend to have a lot of common sense, so I trust this "word to the wise" will be sufficient. If you'd like to learn more about this scam, visit this Microsoft page.

Based on personal experience and BoogieJack's ANN#291

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


7 Ways to Avoid Scams

Here are 7 things you can do to avoid getting caught:

1. Never sending money using a cash transfer. Once you’re convinced a deal is genuine, use a credit card.

You may also use PayPal but may not have the same dispute rights that you get with a credit card.

2. If you’re a seller and receive a PayPal notification that money has been received in your account, check the account independently online.

3. When buying on sites like eBay, check the seller’s feedback. recommends giving a wide berth to anyone with less than 98% positive feedback or with strongly worded, negative comments.

4. If an item is being sold with a Certificate of Authenticity (COA), research the name and reputation of the COA issuer.

5. When buying an expensive item, ask the seller to provide an invoice describing the condition in detail. Ask specific questions about things such as the wear, fraying, damage and other well-known defects for the particular item you’re interested in.

6. Look for obvious signs that the item is not genuine, including a color difference from the original (details of these are often available online), wrong materials such as a letter written on a type of paper that didn’t exist when it was supposed to have been produced, and signatures that appear to be “flat” and part of the image.

7. Always do a search on an item you are planning to buy to get an idea if other people have been scammed when buying it, or if there seems to be a larger number of the item available for sale than you might expect.

The bottom line is that if you can’t verify the reliability and reputation of a seller, or you can’t inspect the item first, you probably shouldn’t buy.

PS -  Due to heavier that normal business and pro-bono activity, I’ve been unable to produce a new posting every month. I will however, make every attempt to post as frequently as I can.  Les..