We’ve all had them. The call that comes just at the wrong time when you are distracted, thinking about something else or it coincides with an actual PC issue. The caller says they are from Microsoft; your internet provider or a tech company. Surprise, surprise – you have an issue they can resolve. Or they say your internet connection is infected and will be switched off. Whatever method the con men use, their aim ultimately is the same. They want access to your machine.
Once connected they will start to show you lots of “error” screens which they generate using fake software. They say they can sort the problems out but you need to pay them on a credit card or bank transfer.
Maybe they ring back to say the money has not gone through and you need to pay again. Or they may just ask for a higher and higher amount.
The problem is they have been on your machine and you may not know what they have done. Have they got the password you use for your Amazon account or for your email? Have they downloaded data? Or have they installed a program that you do not want on your machine. One that can log keystrokes or allow them access to the machine whenever they want?
Whatever has happened, we would advise taking these steps:
- call your bank – this should be the first thing you do. Cancel any cards that the scammers have details of; stop any bank transfers and let the bank know what has happened so they can be on the lookout for any strange transactions on your account
- change the passwords on all your online accounts – most customers reuse the same ones for all their sites so once this is out in the wild you need to think up some new ones and ideally different versions for each website you use. To make remembering your passwords easier you can use a password manager such as Lastpass or DashLane. These are extensions that install into the program you use to access the internet (so Edge, Safari or Chrome) and can give you suggestions for passwords and remember and prefill your passwords. They are unlocked by a single master password which does need to be remembered otherwise you can be a bit stuck!
- give us a call – we can help with changing passwords but most importantly we can check your device to make sure it is safe to carry on using
- let ActionFraud know