9 days of security

How many times has this happened to you?  You get a call and the person on the other end of the phone says you have a problem with your [computer, iPhone, apple device, technology].  They usually say that your device is alerting them that it is full of viruses.

Their goal?  To either get on your machine or get your credit card from you and then steal money from you.  As noted on this FTC page,

The scammers may then

Ask you to give them remote access to your computer — which lets them access all information stored on it, and on any network connected to it

Try to enroll you in a worthless computer maintenance or warranty program

Install malware that gives them access to your computer and sensitive data, like user names and passwords

Ask for credit card information so they can bill you for phony services or services available elsewhere for free

Try to sell you software or repair services that are worthless or available elsewhere for free

Direct you to websites and ask you to enter credit card, bank account, and other personal information

How many of you try to play along and keep the scammers online?  I know some folks that purposely keep a virtual machine around and let scammers log into that and pretend to be really really dumb in regards to technology to keep the scammers online as much as possible.  I have often dragged them along for a time and then finally asked them if they feel right scamming people.  They promptly hang up.

If you’ve let them on your system, make sure you scan your system with an antivirus program.  Cancel credit cards if you gave them any financial information.

But just know that Microsoft — or Apple tech support — never calls you, unless you’ve called them first.