PSA: Cold Call Virus Scam

PSA: Cold Call Virus Scam

By: Ashley Grigsby

I received a phone call today from someone claiming to be from “Windows”. He said my computer had a virus. He was calling to help me fix the issue.

Right…

If you receive a random call from someone requesting access to your computer, bank accounts, or other personal details, just hang up.

But, in case you’re curious, here’s how the scam works.

You answer a phone and the person on the other end claims they have detected malware or a virus on your computer.

To confirm the maleware, the caller asks you to open the Windows Event Viewer on your computer to check if it is infected. You see several errors listed and their claim is reinforced.  These errors are common and usually harmless. Next the caller tells you that it is urgent that you speak to a “technician” who will fix the problem for a fee.

How to protect your information:

  1. Recognize Red flags
    • Cold (random) call/text/email
    • The offer or claim is too good to be true-it probably is
    • You feel pressure to act quickly
    • The caller is requesting personal information (name, address, bank account or other personal details)
    • The call is from a company- Most companies (like Microsoft) would never call you. In fact there is usually a long wait to speak to them.
  2. You can report suspicious communications to http://www.stopfraud.gov.

>strong>Never respond. Hang up, delete the text/email.

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