Thursday, July 2, 2015

Repair Scams And New Variants - Again

Please click this link if you are looking for information on Windows 10.

I hardly can count how often I have spoken in my radio shows about repair scams and other tricks crooks use to scare unsuspecting computer users into handing over their credit card info; that is what all these and similar scams come down to.

Here is only a small selection of articles from this blog that deal with various aspects of this situation - with NO claim of completeness at all:
The newest twist in this never ending saga happens as follows: You are on a web site you have been on many, many times, let's say for information on your favorite hobby. Naturally after having used that web site for years you assume it is "clean" and the information from there is valid.

But suddenly you get a pop up window or some other kind of message informing you that "your computer has been reported" to some "Windows Security" team or it "is infected with 567 viruses" or similar.
This sort of pop up is by definition a scam!
  • Do not click anywhere in this window.
  • If applicable DO NOT call the toll free phone number givin in the message.
  • Do NOT "x out" of this window, that is do not click on the "red X" in the top right corner of the window to close it.
The only safe way out of such windows and/or messages is to close them with Alt+F4, that is holding down the Alternate key and while holding this key down pressing function key F4.

Beside getting out of this window safely I would avoid ever again going to this web site. There is almost always some alternative.

Why did I above say "... is by definition a scam"?
  1. There is no "Windows Security" team or company or anything even vaguely similar.
  2. You Windows operating system does NOT report any info to anybody; only malicious software does that!
  3. Neither Microsoft nor any of their partner companies care about your computer's and your well being! 
You don't even have to take alone my word for it; here are links to two very official web pages about that exact same issue: 
  1. Tech Support Scams from the Federal Trade Commission  and
  2. Avoid tech support phone scams from Microsoft's Safety & Security Center

Stay safe and always(!) heed the first of my 10 Commandments Of Safe Computing.

As usual I welcome comments and suggestions right here in the blog. Thank you in advance.

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