Scams, identity theft and cybercrimes threaten everyone.
Every year people lose billions of dollars to scams, identity theft and cybercrime. No one is immune to these dangers. Young and old alike are victims and if you think you are too smart to become a victim, you are wrong. According to the National Association of Securities Dealers wealthy, financially literate and astute people are actually more likely to become victims of financial scams.
The key to protecting yourself from scams cybercrime and identity theft is education and that is where Scamicide.com comes in. Here at Scamicide.com you will learn how to recognize scams, cyber security threats and risks of identity theft as well as how to avoid them. Here at Scamicide.com we also alert you each and every day to the latest developments in scams, cyber security and identity theft and tell you what you need to do to protect yourself. It is a dangerous world out there, but Scamicide.com can help you make it safer.
Tech support scams continue to be a major problem for consumers, many of whom are cheated out of an average of $500 or, even worse, may unwittingly give access to their computer data to the scammers who use the data to steal from their victims’ accounts and make them victims of identity theft. Through September of 2017, the Federal Trade Commission and the FBI received more than 41,000 tech support scam complaints at a cost of more than 21 million dollars, and to make things worse, the FTC estimates that only about 10% of victims report the crime.
I have been reporting to you about tech support scams for many years. Generally, these scams begin with a pop-up warning on your computer or an unsolicited telephone call purportedly from tech support for your computer telling you that your computer has been infected and that you must call a toll free number to speak with someone to get assistance in fixing the problem. According to a report from Stony Brook University, 85% of these scams originate in India. Once the victim speaks with the scammer, the victim is told he or she has to pay a fee to have the problem fixed and that the victim has to enable the scammer to get remote access to the computer in order to fix it. If you provide remote access to the scammer, you will end up having your personal information stolen that will be used to make you a victim of identity theft.
Scamicide subscriber Jay Melnick of ColoRadio’s “Your Moment in Tech” recently brought to my attention that we can well expect a number of tech support scams related to the recent disclosure, as described in yesterday’s Scam of the Day, of the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities in computer chips made by Intel and others affecting millions of computers and other devices around the world. The important thing to remember is that neither Microsoft, Apple, Intel or others will be contacting you individually to tell you that you have a problem and to charge you to fix it.
Google’s already issued security updates for January 2018 have patches for the new problems as they affect Android devices.
Microsoft has also released a number of updates to deal with these issues. If you have signed up for automatic Windows security updates, which I strongly recommend, you will get the updates in Microsoft’s January 2018 security patch release. If you do not get your updates automatically, you should update your software as soon as patches are available. Here at Scamicide we will continue to advise you when important security updates are issued.
Providing remote access to anyone to your computer can lead to a myriad of problems including identity theft and the downloading of ransomware. Neither Apple nor Microsoft ever provide notices of security problems that contain telephone numbers for you to call to fix the problem. Whenever you get a pop-up, email, or text message that appears to tell you that you have a security problem with your computer, you should never click on any links contained in the message or call the telephone number provided. If your screen gets frozen, all you need to do is just turn off your computer and restart it. If you are concerned that you may be experiencing a real security problem you can contact tech support at Apple or Microsoft directly by phone or by email directly using the phone number and email addresses you find on their respective websites.