For a long time, scammers have been calling or displaying a popup message on PCs with the threat that their computer access will be restricted if they don't call a number and make a payment. According to the New York Times, this official looking message is coming from a scam operation in Mumbai, India - which is the main hub for call centers. Leo says that's because the real tech support people are moonlighting with this scam.
Bob and his wife keep getting robocalls from Apple. Leo says those are scams. These are fake robocalls claiming their iCloud has been breached. Apple would never call him. If something really did happen, Apple would just put out a press release. Bob shouldn't call them back. Even better, if he doesn't recognize the number, he shouldn't answer. If it's important, they will leave a message.
Jessie keeps getting robocalls and the numbers they get are either disconnected or bogus. Leo says that they are bogus, and according to a recent survey, by 2019, 80% of cell phone calls will be robocalls. And nobody knows what to do about it. Most are from overseas. They forge the caller ID, and will even do it with the recipient's area code and prefix. The reality is, legitimate companies will not be calling. They'll be using mail. Jessie can log her number into the DoNotCall.Gov database.
Jay gets an email of a scam that says it has his login information and knows where he's been online. It even tells him his password. And unless he gives them $800 in Bitcoin, they'll expose him. Leo says it's called ransomware. Leo says it's probably from a data breach.
Online scam artists are targeting users of the direct deposit payroll system, using social engineering to gain access to bank accounts and steal your paycheck. The primary targets are in education, healthcare, and airline employees. So be watchful over emails saying you need to log into your account to verify your direct deposit information. That's where they get you. As usual, do NOT click on any links in emails. Contact your HR department immediately to verify.
The latest scam to hit the interwebs is an email saying that you've been hacked and spied upon, viewing porn online and unless you send thousands in Bitcoin, they will send the information to everyone you know. If an email plays upon your fear or strong emotions, don't fall for it!
Read more at krebsonsecurity.com.
John's friend got bit by the popup that said she had a virus and then when she called "Microsoft support" they wanted $300 to fix it. Leo says it's a phishing scam. And once you give someone access to your computer, not only will they not fix anything, but they make the infection even worse by installing other malware. The only way forward now is to backup the data, format the hard drive, and then reinstall Windows.
Karen's computer got taken over by a scammer who convinced her that he was from AOL when she was having trouble with her account. Leo says that gaining control of her computer remotely likely gave him that control and the only thing she can do is backup her data, format her hard drive, and reinstall windows from a known, good source. If one needs help from AOL, contact them directly here - https://help.aol.com/products/new-aol-desktop
It's tax time and Leo says that this is the time of year for what's called the "IRS Tax Scam." Users may get an email or voicemail with a warning that the police are coming to arrest you unless you pay your tax bill. Don't fall for it. The IRS will not contact you via voicemail, email or text message. The IRS only uses the US Mail.
According to a recent study funded by Google, 15% of users have reported that their email or social media account was taken over due to phishing scams. Leo says that over 25 million users were bit by an email phishing scam, while about 35,000 were victim to keystroke loggers. Leo says that this is the season for scams and that users may get emails from the "IRS" or even phone calls demanding personal information. It's always a scam and users shouldn't fall for it.