scams

Is my computer safe?

Episode 1501

John from Temecula, CA
Virus image on monitor

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.

Have I been hacked?

Episode 1480

Karen from Diamond Bar, CA
https://www.aol.com/

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

15% Report Email or Social Media Account Have Been Taken Over

Episode 1443

Hacker

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.

Did I get a scam telephone call?

Episode 1436

Melissa from Nashville, TN
Man Yelling at Phone

Melissa keeps getting phone calls saying they're from AT&T and that their account had been suspended. Leo says that's the latest scam. They'll even spoof AT&T's number! And after the first of the year, it'll be the IRS. They'll want to scare her so she can act without thinking. They'll then ask for her date of birth, social security number (which is illegal to ask for) and once they have all that, they have her.

Why did I have to pay to get my Roku box to work?

Episode 1425

Cynthia from Redlands, CA
Roku Premiere

Cynthia cut the cord for a Roku about eight months ago. Now everything has stopped working and she has to pay to turn it back on. Rich says that Cynthia may have been bit by a phishing scam. He suggests having the credit card company charge it back. She shouldn't have to pay to reauthorize the box. She'll pay for the subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu, HBO, etc. But not for the box itself since she already bought it. Then she should do a factory reset on the Roku. That will make it work like the first day she bought it. She should try to watch out for scams in the future.

Should I call the 800 number on a popup?

Episode 1379

Lisa from Palo Alto, CA
Hacker

Lisa went to a website and she got a pop up notification that her computer was infected and to call an 800 number to Microsoft. Leo says not to ever call them -- just exit the popup and move on. It's not infected and those popups are designed to insnare users. It's called a phishing scam. Lisa did it anyway, though, and gave them control of a computer. Leo says that's bad news because she doesn't really know what the hacker's done. He can install viruses on her or turn it into a bot, a keystroke logger, and use remote access to turn on her camera.

How can I protect my elderly mother from online scams?

Kathleen from San Diego, CA

Episode 1361

Kathleen's elderly Aunt has a Windows computer which she uses to access Facebook and then Outlook for email. Her problem is that she has had a ton of malware and phishing scams that have cost her a lot of money. Leo says that the elderly have always been easy prey to scam artists. It won't happen on a Chromebook though, and she should really have her get one. Leo says to be her administrator and give her a regular user account. But even at the end of the day, that won't stop her from calling a number.