Article by the Federal Trade Commission
Recognizing these common signs of a scam could help you avoid one.
Links are to an official website of the United States government:
Here are a few tricks to identifying these fake email alerts.
First look at the FROM address. If it isn’t from the domain name you are expecting then most likely it is bogus.
In this example the FROM address shows it is from a bar and grill domain name.
Next look at the “Payload” link – the thing they are trying to get you to click on. In this case it is the Blue Verification box. If you hold your mouse over the link in the email you will see a popup window showing the path. Look at the domain name within that path. You will see it doesn’t not go to a logical email server address or domain name you recognize.
If the email were truly from your email provider these elements would be more logical.
As always TeleComputers RECOMMENDS you do NOT upgrade to the new Windows 11 Operating System (OS) until the first full OS Patch has been released by Microsoft.
Usually, a year or so after the first release of a new system (like Windows 11) Microsoft will release a FIX patch which will repair all the issues reported by people who DID install the new system. Those who do install the new system are then BETA testing it for Microsoft with their own computer and time. Problems found could cause you to spend hours trying to find solutions online or cost you money for tech support when things go badly. We get a lot of phone calls to our tech support line when people realize that their things are no longer working.
Best bet for TeleComputers clients is to NOT approve of the download or installation of Win 11. If you happened to have already installed it, you may be able to reverse the install if you act quickly. Microsoft has been shortening the amount of time that end users can revert to an older operating system. With Win 10 it was 30 days with Win 11 you have 10 days. So DO NOT wait. Revert while you can. Our best tech support people will not be able to get you back to Win 10 without reinstalling the operating system from scratch. Basically, back to when you first got the PC.
Microsoft notes on its own Windows Update page that “Some Windows 10 features aren’t available in Windows 11. Certain apps and features may have additional requirements.”
If you have the Microsoft Office Suite installed – some of the Office programs will stop working or may require you to obtain a new user key (perhaps have to purchase the new keys) to get them to work with Win 11.
RECOMMENDATION: DO NOT UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 11
In September Microsoft decided to release a patch that would stop an exploit called PrintNightmare from taking control of your windows system through the Printer Spool process. Unfortunately the patch was worse than the exploit because it has caused a lot of shared printers and network printers to stop functioning completely. We have been answering tech calls to fix printer problems since the release.
For most we have removed the updates – on some we were able to reinstall the network printer or share. This is certainly a Print Nightmare!
Work as if you are sitting in front of your work computer right from home or on your laptop anywhere in the world.
As Covid-19 spreads more and more people are considering working from home. But where to start?
There are several software packages that allow you to do this – some are free.
Fill out our contact form if you need immediate help setting this up. We can remote access into your PC any where in the world and set up Remote Access between your Home and Office devices. We do this all the time for our network and business clients. We can easily do it for you usually within one hour.
Look closely at any email you get that may be pretending to be from DocuSign.
As with all email that contain an attachment or a link – look closely before you click!
I thought everyone knew about this but after two more people in as many days have had their computers hacked and locked up, it seems that many are still not aware of this.
Microsoft will not call you or ask you to call them! It is a scam. The two people mentioned above have given out their credit card information and each lost hundreds of dollars due to this scam. Plus now have to cancel the credit cards and still have a computer that doesn’t work.
If you don’t know – it usually begins with a pop up screen while you are looking at a page on a web site. The message is intended to scare you into calling a number to speak with a Microsoft Representative. Once they show you a bunch of fake pages on various web sites to convince you that you have hundreds of bad files and virus/trojan infections – they will volunteer to clean your PC over a Remote Access connection. This is where you allow the access to your PC; they can see your screen and move your mouse and keyboard. We use this type of program daily to legitimately fix computers for our clients. It is a great tool but these people are using it to scam you.
The entire scam is to get your credit card information. The call usually ends with the “fake tech rep” using a real (little known) Windows security feature called Syskey – to encrypt your computer with a password. Once that is done you can no longer open your computer unless you can guess the password. This can be fixed but it is not easy and sometimes requires that the computer be reset back to factory (like the day you bought it). This means you lose any and all information that you do not have backed up. You do know you should be backing up all those photos right?
So what should you do – as soon as the browser window shows you the fake warning screen – close the browser. If the page keeps coming back up every time you open the browser – that means your browser has been hijacked to use the fake warning page as the home page. You can change the home page setting in the browser settings to make it go away. If the page keeps coming back up and filling the entire screen so you cannot get to your desktop icons then you may have been infected with Ransom-ware. This is another form of extortion to get your money – immediately disconnect from the internet by pulling the plug to the network or turning off the WiFi or shut down the computer (hold the power button down until it goes off). Seek assistance from a legit Tech Support person. They will have seen this many times and can get you back up and running.
I hope this helps.
Fake Tech Support Scams – Fraudsters who use remote desktop support programs while scamming their victims have made it difficult for legitimate IT companies to convince users that they can be trusted.
Scammers have made an estimated tens of millions of dollars by tricking computer users into thinking their PCs are infected. The scammers “cold call” people, tell them that harmless error messages in the Windows Event Viewer are actually signs of a major problem, and then convince them to install a remote desktop program that gives the scammer access to their computer. The scammers pretend to fix the computer and charge its owner for the unnecessary and imaginary service. The same tricks can be used to steal users’ passwords and private information. Some even go so far as to hold the computer for ransom by encrypting all the files.
When you are looking for Tech Support make sure you initiate the first contact or phone call. Do not trust anyone who calls you out of the blue. As more people become educated as to the scam it will make it easier to hire a legitimate Remote Access Tech Support Service.
According to an article by Kiplinger.com about 3.3 million people are victimized by unsolicited technical support scams every year and the fraudsters rake in an estimated $1.5 billion. Here’s what to do if you’re one of them.
“You need to make sure the scammer doesn’t set up camp permanently. Disconnect the affected machine from the Internet immediately to keep the crook from accessing your computer while you batten down the hatches. Use another PC, tablet or smartphone to change your passwords, starting with financial sites and e-mail accounts. If you paid for the bogus service with a credit card, ask your card issuer to dispute the charges, and monitor your statements.”
Then call us – Tele Computers Services – our company has been around since 1991 and is one you can trust. We will get you back to where you were before the scam. We charge a flat fee no matter how long it takes to resolve the issue. You can watch on your computer screen as we do the work remotely. Our Remote Service Call also includes a full year license of WebRoot (a $39.95 value). WebRoot is one of the best anti-virus /malware programs ever invented. It will find things other name brand AV programs leave behind. This will ward off attacks in the future.
Compare the alternatives to our Remote Access Tech Support: Best Buy’s Geek Squad charges $150 for in-store Virus and Spyware removal and $250 if the technician makes a house call. Staples charges $160 in the store and $300 for a visit to the house.
The typical hijacked email account is usually used to send out hundreds of thousands of spam email to lists from all over the internet. Your inbox will begin to fill up with “undeliverable” notifications as what “looks to be” legitimate messages from you are returned when they cannot be delivered for some reason.