Care and Feeding of your PC

FIGHT BACK

P C SURGEON

Scammers — prime candidates for retrospective birth-control. And with the ‘coming of age’ of the internet they are more numerous than ticks on a `roo.

I can almost guarantee that the vast majority of your online searches for ways to make extra money online will try to scam you in some way or other.

That observation is not made lightly, but is based on considerable diligent checking and cross­checking for many months.

Trouble is, those motivated either by need or by greed in their searches for extra income, are too easily beguiled by dollar signs.

They tend to think with their eyes rather than their brains. Sadly, the adage: “If it’s too good to be true …” flies right over the top without landing between the ears. I’m willing to bet that some of you reading this column have been scammed by an online honey-trap. Sickening feeling, isn’t it? But you can fight back.

 

EAGLE EYES

Lynndel ‘Lynn’ Edgington, is the author of Robbing You With A Keyboard Instead Of A Gun.

He is also the Founder/President of Eagle Research, a US-based group that fights online scammers. Here’s your chance. They are looking for volunteers to:

  1. Help find individual Donors. This can be one-time donors, or those who would be willing to contribute a dollar amount each month for a one-year, two-year or three-year period of time;
  2. Help find corporate sponsors, who will support Eagle with a monthly contribution from $1,000 to $10,000 for a one-year, two-year or three-year period of time;
  3. Provide general research services; and/or
  4. Provide computer forensic services.

Lynn also advises:
“As a volunteer, you do not have set hours but we do like to know that a volunteer can devote at least 8-10 hours per week, more if possible.

“Sometimes I have an urgent request that has a very short time-line, and I need to know who can help with the task.

“It is not mandatory you help, but if you say you will, then I need for you to help.

“One of our most critical needs of a volunteer is that everything we do must remain totally confidential.

“You cannot tell anyone what or whom you are researching for us.”

So if you’re interested in helping to fight scammers then contact him

 

COLD-CALL SCAMMERS

You receive an unexpected call from a person claiming to be from Microsoft, or a reputable technical organisation. Apparently your PC has errors. [Ha. No surprise there — they all have!]

Here are some additional red-flag warnings :

  1. They will want remote access to your computer. If you’re daft enough to agree they run a ‘scan’ that shows up fake viruses.
  2. And then they’ll want your credit card details to flog you the “fix” for something that’s not even there. [Full marks for creativity]
  3. The scammer may be very persistent.
  4. The scammer might use abusive or inappropriate language.
  5. The scammer may sound quite knowledgeable.
  6. And get this — if you fall victim to the scam you may receive a follow up call supposedly from an overseas government or law enforcement body.
  7. Apparently they can recover the money you initially lost to the scam — but this is another scam, riding the previous scam! [Inspirational stuff…]

 

SELF-PROTECTION

  1. If you don’t promptly hang up and fall victim to this scam, you will lose money, receive a service that provides no benefit, and you will compromise your personal and banking details.
  2. NEVER…NEVER give an unsolicited caller remote access to your computer
  3. But if you did, or if you fear that your computer has been hacked, call for help from someone like me.
  4. NEVER give personal, credit card or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.
  5. If you think you’ve given your account details to a scammer contact your financial institution immediately.
  6. If you fell for a scam, or you receive unsolicited emails and phone calls, then change your email address and phone number(s).
  7. Protect your computer with regularly updated anti-virus and anti-spyware software, and a good firewall. (Can you believe, after all the publicity about PC security, I STILL find computers without all or some? Duh.)
  8. ALWAYS read privacy policy/terms and conditions first. If you don’t agree with how a company will use your personal and private details, then don’t give it to them.