Since most of the world’s households have at least one computer and probably a smartphone a great many people have been targeted by computer scams in recent years. Computer scams have cost the public over a billion dollars in 2014. Scams can come in many forms and range from obvious to very sophisticated scams. This post gives you some rules for avoiding computer scams.
Common Computer Scams
One of the most common forms of a scam comes in the form of an email. Usually, the message is from someone pretending to be a friend or family member in need of money. Usually, these are sent by email address with weak passwords that allow hackers access to someone’s email inbox and contact list. Also, some scam emails that pretend they are from a financial institution needing you to enter your debit card number and pin number to “verify” the information. No financial institutions and businesses will ever ask you for this information via email.
A recent common form of computer scam has been the cold call from someone pretending to be a computer technician claiming that your computer is full of viruses. The scammers prey on the public’s lack of understanding and talk the user into allowing them remote access to their computer. Once they gain access they typically generate bogus screens claiming to be viruses and then demand money to “clean” them. Often, the scammers secretly set up a password on the computer, if the victim hangs up or refuses to pay them money the user will be unable to use their computer.
Avoiding Computer Scams
As these computer scams become more and more common, the public needs to be very aware when online or when anyone contacts them with any request. As a golden rule, you should never give personal information out unless you are certain who you are talking to and never allow anyone you do not know access to your computer.