Identity Theft Via Tech Support

There is a new wrinkle in the way hackers steal your identity. By posing as helpful Internet watchdogs offering help to those with a computer virus they mistakenly downloaded. Their real motive is to remotely gain access to your files. It’s the tech support scam that’s been overseas for awhile and is now migrating to our shores.

It starts with a phone call from someone claiming to be a software provider Microsoft Mcafee or Norton. You are told that your computer has a virus and may be in danger of losing all data but the caller can help if you follow their instructions. Just don’t do it!!

What they usually try to get you to download some software that will fix the virus. What the software really does is gives them remote access to your computer and all they files on it. Including everything from passwords, online banking accounts, tax info and so on.

A few users recently received such calls from men with foreign accents saying they worked for a computer firm when asked which one they hesitate before answering but insist their call is urgent. They instruct you to go online immediately so they can help you rid yourself of the virus by letting them have remote access.

Other users are directed to a website which also gives remote access to hackers they might also ask for your username and password. How are user targeted names and phone numbers can be harvested from online directories. Some calls are made with an auto-dialer in sequence.

What to watch out for?

A warning that you have a virus comes by phone or email. If you’re truly affected you’ll usually receive a security update or a warning directly from your computer.

Callers trying to sell you a subscription for security services or computer monitoring. Giving hackers your credit card information is an added danger.

When you answer the call, you hear a ringing tone. That indicates a callback system that could result in expensive long distance charges to you, since these people are usually calling from Europe or Asia.

If you believed you’ve already been compromised contact a computer repair company to disable the hackers remote access. Also notify your bank and credit card company and monitor your accounts for fraudulent activity.

Stop Identity Theft

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