You get a call from an unknown number claiming to be Microsoft. The caller says, “Hello, we’ve detected that your computer has been infected with a virus.” A rush of thoughts come to mind: how did this happen? I pay for an anti-virus software. Well, you’ve got tech support on the line to help you fix this problem. After providing credit card information to purchase additional protection and allowing them to have remote access to your computer to remove the virus, you feel relieved. As you hang up, a quick thought crosses your mind: How does Microsoft have my number?
That last thought is what you should be focusing on. Why in the world would Microsoft call you if they “detected a virus” on your computer? How would they have access to that type of information, especially since your anti-virus software is through a different service?
Technical support scammers are highly skilled in causing a negative emotional reaction and offering to help fix the problem. The thing is, they’re causing even more problems. After you’ve given them remote access to your computer, they can install key loggers and trojan horses to collect your personal information, including passwords, answers to security questions, and banking information.
The next time something pops up on your computer claiming to have detected a virus and telling you to immediately call a number listed in the pop up, or when “Microsoft” calls you… PAUSE… Remember, they are trying to cause emotional reaction with the intent for you to react quickly. Do not trust the number that popped up on your screen or the person on the line that just dialed you. Hang up. Find the correct number listed on their website or on a past invoice/bill/statement and give a call to that correct number. Let the person on the other line know what happened, and verify if the company was actually trying to contact you. If they say no, that pause that you took before reacting really did prevent you from being taken advantage of by scammers.
These tech support scammers are becoming more clever, and it can be difficult to tell the difference between a friend and a foe. If you get yourself in a sticky situation because you believed the person on the line, don’t beat yourself up. They are clever fraudsters and it happens to even the most vigilant.
The bottom line is there’s really no better time than the present to become a LibertyID member for identity theft restoration protection. LibertyID provides expert, full service, fully managed identity theft restoration to individuals, couples, extended families* and businesses. LibertyID has a 100% success rate in resolving all forms of identity fraud on behalf of our subscribers.
*Extended families – primary individual, their spouse/partner, both sets of parents (including those that have been deceased for up to a year), and all children under the age of 25