The most common issue we are hearing from our residential clients is regarding Windows Support Scams. Has this ever happened to you? We present, below, a possible scenario of this occurrence:
You are surfing the internet and suddenly a pop-up appears informing you that your computer is infected. The Windows logo is there in the corner along with a phone number for technical support. It all looks genuine, so what do you do?
If you were to call the number provided, a technician would remotely connect to your computer and start running “scans” and show you different “viruses and threats” that they have found on your computer. In order to fix this, the technician will tell you that they will need your credit card information for repairs. Many times, if you are running an anti-virus program, they will disable that and replace it with their own “anti-virus program.” After paying, the technician “fixes” the problem then disconnects. In the process, he may have planted a Trojan or Malware.
You may also receive a phone call from someone saying they are from “Microsoft,” letting you know that your computer is infected or they are holding your computer hostage until you pay them a substantial sum.
Unfortunately, these Windows support scams are becoming so wide-spread. How can you protect yourself?
There are a number of things to do if this happens to you.
If you get a call, hang up! Microsoft will not call you. Don’t bother talking to them, as they will want to get remote access to your computer, have you download their infected files and get your credit card information to fix the “issues.”
If you get a pop-up telling you your computer is infected, don’t click to proceed forward or on any of their links. Do not call the phone number on the screen. If you can, click out of the window or force close it through the task manager. At this point, you are going to want to use your Anti-Virus Program to run scans of your computer. You may have received the message due to browsing a malicious site. Additionally, make sure that your Anti-Virus is up to date.
If you have experienced this and feel your computer may have been compromised, our technicians can run a free diagnosis of your computer at our El Sobrante office. Remember to always make safe decisions when surfing online. Don’t download files from unverified sources. If a deal seems too good to be true or looks suspicious, think before proceeding. Always have an up-to-date anti-virus software. Here at Nerd Crossing, we recommend and install ESET AV.
So, if you find yourself facing a Windows scam, STOP. Don’t move forward until you QUESTION who and why they are contacting you. SECURE your information and your computer by not allowing them remote access or giving out your private information.
As always, if you have any questions about Windows support scams, anti-virus programs or anything computer-related, please don’t hesitate to contact the Nerds. We are always here to help!