Unfortunately, scams of all shapes and sizes are still very much rife – from email phishing to telemarketing ploys – and it is the latter which provide many PC users up and down the country with grief, and have done for many years. The fact of the matter is this – if someone calls you to advise that your PC is running too slowly, or is in need of a remote ‘clean-up’, it is highly likely that they will simply be in it to harvest your sensitive information. It’s sad but true, as many people still find themselves caught out by such scams, often those who are unaware of the trend or who have minimal technical knowledge.
Scams of this nature normally follow a standard pattern, or plan of attack – upon receiving a call from a strange number, usually international or unrecognised, a voice on the other end of the line will advise that your PC has been attacked by malware or viruses without your knowledge, and will therefore require their support to ensure that your system can be safely cleaned up. In order to make matters look genuine, they will often point users towards internal programs or data logs that advise upon certain errors that have been picked up – often completely harmless – in an effort to fool the user into believing that problems have genuinely been found from afar. The moral of the story is, simply put, don’t believe everything you hear – as the caller will then attempt to gain card or payment information from you – which, when in the wrong hands, may result in financial loss. Some of the more aggressive scammers may even threaten to wipe any data you may have stored on your PC – they cannot, of course, do this!
But how do you protect yourself against such fraudulent attempts to get to your financial and sensitive data? The first line of defence is simple – be vigilant! The best thing you can do is to simply put down the phone – you will never receive a legitimate call of this kind in any form, and the best thing you can do if this happens regularly is to keep records of the calls, the numbers being dialled from, and to report them to either the TPS or via Action Fraud, the UK police’s online portal to report ongoing scams or fraudulent activity of this nature. Despite the signs of such scams being clear and evident, they are as widespread and as successful as ever with a great number of people – making it important that as many people as possible educate themselves on the nature of these scams and that they are continuing.
For more information on how you can protect your personal information, your data and how to keep vigilant for scams and fraudulent activity alike, Tech CPR can help – simply call us today on 01246 542319 or contact us via web form – and we will be more than happy to offer you a helping hand in combatting scammers in future!