Boy do I hate these guys!

Not a month goes by without someone contacting me with either a 1st or 2nd hand emergency stemming from a Tech Support Scam.

Here’s the scenario: Mrs. Johnson is using her computer to do online banking, shop for gifts for the grandkids or playing Candy Crush and BAM – a screen pops up that says, “Your computer has been infected with the BLACK PLAGUE! Call 800-234-5478 immediately as they are the ONLY PEOPLE ON THE ENTIRE PLANET who can save you now!” (Okay, I might be taking a LITTLE theatrical liberty here, but you get the drift).

Poor Mrs. Johnson is scared out of her wits and calls the number. Abdul, excuse me, BOB tells her do this and that and give him remote access to her computer because he is with either MICROSOFT SUPPORT, or DELL SUPPORT, or some other reliable big company that waves the good ‘ol America flag every day! (NOT!)

As soon as he get remote access he SHOWS Mrs. Johnson very quickly just how bad things are and then tells her that he will be happy to fix this – no problem, for $199 for a 1 year support plan or $399 for 2 year plan, etc..

The only problem is, Mrs. Johnson doesn’t have any real viruses. The second he got remote access, he uploaded everything he needed to stage his case. It’s all a scam and a great money maker for the cyber criminals. What is worse, he may have put a hard drive lock on her PC as soon as he remotely accessed her system. That can be a problem.

Here is the solution. If you EVERY get one of those super scary screen pop up on your computer (or your friend/mom does) STOP! Take a deep breath, unplug the internet cable, or otherwise disconnect from the internet. If you can, close all your programs and turn your system off. After 20 seconds turn it back on and see if the message is gone. If not, call us at 276-5544 and let’s decide together what to do next. Whatever you do, don’t call the number on your screen and give them money or access to your computer! Each cyber-attack is different and need to be handled appropriately.

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