View in browser
How to Spot A Tech Scam Before You Get Stung

If your computer had a virus, you’d want to know about it ASAP, right?

Before your important files become corrupted, you lose your photos and your digital life is essentially destroyed. Even thinking about it is terrifying.

Tech scammers know we’d be lost without our computers, and that we don’t always know what’s going on behind the screen - which is why they’ve been able to swindle millions from people across the world.

The scam goes like this:

You receive a random phone call from someone with a heavy accent (usually Indian) saying they’re from Microsoft, or an alarming pop-up appears on the screen, saying it looks like your system has been infected with a virus.

To fix the problem, you are told to download some support software, which they’ll give you a special link for.

The scammer then uses that software to gain access to your system and make it appear your system is riddled with viruses. Flashing screens, mysterious diagnostics whizzing by, fabricated errors … they’ll do or say anything to make you panic. They’ll even go as far as claiming your system has been infected with illegal content and if not corrected, you’ll face criminal charges.

Demands for credit card information follow immediately after. Once paid, they simply stop fiddling with your system to make it seem the problem is fixed. To continue the scam, they’ll soon access your system to recreate the problem, this time offering a subscription for ongoing protection.

What to Do If You’re Targeted by A Tech Scam

1. Don’t taunt them. Just hang up. Right now you’re only a phone number in their system and they’ll move onto the next – if you give them cause to target you personally, you may find yourself in a dangerous situation.

The real Microsoft will never randomly call people like this. Ever.

2. If a pop-up appears, immediately run an anti-virus scan. Don’t click the pop-up or call the number.

What to Do If You’ve Already Been Scammed

It’s okay. It feels horrible, but you’re not alone and the situation can be corrected.

If they tricked you into giving them your credit card or accepting a charge on your phone bill, call your financial institution and have the charges reversed and your card reissued. It’s easier than you might think and helps the authorities locate the scammers.

If they convinced you to install an app, you're going to need to take your computer to a local tech to get the app removed. If you need a suggestion, I have been happy with the uBreakiFix chain. While they weren't exactly fast (they once took a week to clean a laptop and return it) they were relatively cheap and 100% effective at removing malware from the several client laptops I brought them.

About Me

My name is Nate Hoffelder, and I am the go-to guy for author websites because I've been where you are. In my ten years of running the blog The Digital Reader, I have developed a system for solving technical issues. Let me use what I have learned to keep your website up and running.

Nate Hoffelder

13884 Montoclair Ln, Dale City
VA 22193 United States

facebook twitter instagram

You received this email because you signed up on our website or made a purchase from us.

Unsubscribe