We have been notified by one of our regular users that they have received a call from someone that is claiming there is something wrong with their Windows based computer and that they can fix it.
The person was suspicious of the call so never complied with their requests and did take the time to try and find some further information from them.
First of all, the caller refused to identify themselves or the company they work for, but we have read from other sites that this is a common scam and usually they will identify themselves as working for Microsoft, or for a reputable anti-virus company.
The caller claimed that they could detect 52 issues on the victims computer and asked if they had the computer switched on at the moment.
The person receiving the call, wasn’t able to get much information from the person, and the caller kept insisting that their PC had issues and needed their “help” to fix it. The target person did the sensible thing and hanged up the telephone.
If they had falling for the scam, it would have been played out along the lines of the following (there is variations but this is the commonest form):
- The caller would have asked the target to visit a web page. Once the target loads the site, the site will more than likely download malicious content in the background. More than likely a root-kit, or some kind of software that would allow remote access to their PC
- The caller would then request money to “fix” your now infected PC, handing over credit card details would allow you to have your account emptied or the card details sold on (scammers buy credit card details from anything between $2 – $160 according to Panda Labs)
- The scammer may steal sensitive files from your computer and your computer would always be vulnerable.
The rule is, never accept these calls. If you ever receive an unexpected phone call telling you that your computer has errors, hang up the telephone, do not visit any site they recommend, and report the call to Trading Standards, so they can keep a record of the scam.
To keep your computer secure, you should always run an antivirus software regardless of the operating system you are using. Use a decent browser running security plugins and learn more about security threats and best practices for surfing safely online.
We have a couple of guides available that covers computer safety issues:
If you have received a phone call similar to this, please let us know in the comments below, as we would like to record if this was a one-off for the Lochgelly area, or if the scammers are currently targeting local residents.