Frauds, Scams, and Schemers … Oh My!

Get wise about phone, email and online scammers

Phone and email scams relating to computers have been around for years. I’ve talked to a lot of people lately running into trouble with these types of schemes as well as a few new twists. so I think its time for a refresher on the subject.

Here are three ways that you may encounter scammers:

Phone

This is an old classic but many people are still commonly persuaded into giving up money or personal information over the phone. Scammers will claim to be calling from a reputable company (Apple, Microsoft, HP, Shaw, Telus etc.) and will usually say that they’ve detected a problem with your computer. Red Flag! No company has access to your computer or information about it without your express permission. Hang up immediately!

Email

These days scam emails can look very much like emails from legitimate businesses. They’ll even have the company logos etc. Any email requesting that you click to take action, followed by a request for usernames, passwords or payment info should be approached with great caution. Usually legitimate emails from technology, telecom and financial companies will instead direct you to visit their website on your own to log into your account. When you are on a website pay attention to the address at the top of your web browser.

Online Ads

Scammers are purchasing ads pretending to be tech support help lines from companies like Apple, Microsoft, Epson, HP etc.

Here’s an example.

Your printer breaks. You do a Google search for “Epson printer not working”. The Google search results include an ad from the scammers that looks just like the Epson call centre. The mistake here would be to call a number listed directly in the Google search results. You’re better off going to the printers company website directly to find the number. It’s the only way to make sure that you’re not contacting a con artist.

You may have also seen ads on various websites for Mac cleaners and helpers. Most of these have ulterior motives and should be avoided. If you’re looking for software for your Mac thats guaranteed to be safe, shop in the Mac App Store. Click on the  logo and choose App Store.

If you’re concerned about the security of your computer, get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss it with you.

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