WICHITA FALLS, TX
There's a new twist in computer scams that can be very costly to consumers. The Better Business Bureau in Wichita Falls says scam artists are now using the phone to gain access your computer. Criminals are picking up the phone, finding your information in public directories and calling, posing as computer technicians. They promise to help you get rid of viruses and malware on your computer if you give them remote access...and that is where the trouble starts.
Scammers have been selling fake security software for years by setting up fake websites, offering security scans and sending annoying pop-up messages saying that your computer is infected. Then they sell you software to fix it. The software is either worthless or worse – malware that gives criminals access to your computer and gives them a birds-eye view of all of your personal information. The Better Business Bureau says consumers must be vigilant.
“Anything you have access to on your computer the crooks are going to have access to so if you log into your online banking they are going to be able to access that. Your social media - whatever it is that you have access to they can gain access to. That's why they like to place that malware in your computer where it remains undetected by the consumer.”
Once the fake technician gets you on the phone they say they've detected a problem with your computer. They gain your trust by claiming to be associated with companies like Microsoft or Apple and confusing you with technical terms. They may ask you to go to your computer and perform certain complicated tasks to avoid major computer problems. These tactics are designed to scare you.
in addition to asking for remote access to your computer, they often try to enroll you in a worthless computer maintenance program, ask for credit card information for phony services, trick you into installing malware or direct you to a website to enter credit cards and personal information. The Better Business Bureau says never give out any personal information over the phone.
“Don’t give out any information to anyone who calls you cold out of the blue like that. Microsoft is not calling you. They are not watching your computer and detecting things like that. First and foremost don't sit down and give anyone access to your computer. You need to keep that locked down safe and secure.”