By Don Trauger – Kennett
Have you received an unsolicited phone call from a person identifying themselves as either a Windows or Microsoft tech who will help repair all the errors on your PC? Many HM residents have received such a call.
Certain types of Malware running on your computer allow scammers to monitor your computer and they’re not doing it to provide free tech support. In fact, they don’t want you to know that they’re watching you.
Unless they’re returning your call, legitimate tech people don’t call you. Microsoft never does and there is no valid “Windows” support company. Think about the last time you called tech support. You were probably on hold for an uncomfortable amount of time. Do you really think they’re going to call you and offer support you didn’t know you needed?
So if you get this type of call, consider it a scam. It almost certainly is.
Quite often, the people calling claim to be from Microsoft or another legitimate company. They may try to convince you to download their “repair program,” which is actually Malware. They’ll try to trick you into giving them remote access to your PC, allowing them to look for passwords and other sensitive information. Remote access also lets them change settings and lower your PC’s protections.
And, of course, since they’re providing you with a “desperately needed service,” they expect to be paid for their trouble. Your credit card number is a valuable asset for a criminal.
So what should you do when you get a call of this nature?
First and foremost, don’t do anything they ask. Don’t install their software. Don’t give them remote access to your PC. And don’t give them any useful information.
But play along long enough to get some information on them. If you have caller ID, note their number. If you don’t, ask for their phone number and promise to call them back.
Then, as soon as you’re off the phone, call the East Goshen Police at 610-692-5100 and report the incident. They are interested in hearing from you.
If you have or think you have Malware running on your computer, you should run an anti-malware program. Malwarebytes is free and the best one to choose. An anti-virus program will not necessarily detect or remove many types of malware because it’s not engineered to be a Malware removal program. Malwarebytes can be downloaded from http://www.malwarebytes.org/
In addition, make sure you have a basic understanding of your PC’s security software to be sure you are getting daily updates. Also doing a scan of your computer on a frequent basis will result in good protection for you. My recommendations are, along with Malwarebytes, the free Bitdefender anti-virus program. That can be downloaded from Bitdefender at http://www.bitdefender.com/solutions/free.html. Bitdefender updates and scans automatically so there is little to do on your part. Malwarebytes needs to be updated manually but come to the PC Club Meeting on July 8th at 7:00 PM upstairs in the Community Center to learn how to do it.