technology is scam 2.0 -->
Most of us depend on this piece of equipment for multiple tasks in our lives yet know little about how it works. That makes us vulnerable to those looking to take advantage of our lack of technological sophistication.
Awareness is the best protection. So I'm passing on the experiences of readers who contacted The Pilot last month to alert us to two different computer scams that tried to make them victims.
"You do have a Windows machine?" the caller confirmed with Edwards.
"I should have caught on right there," Edwards, 69, told me during an interview last week.
The distant technician began to work on some programs behind other windows open on Edwards' computer screen. "I had a whole bunch of corrupted files on my computer, and they were going to help me get rid of them," Edwards said the caller told him.
After a short time, Edwards grew wary and cut off the call. He never paid any money and believes he thwarted whatever the caller wanted to accomplish, "because they've been calling me ever since."
Edwards was a target of a likely "tech support scam," as the
The commission heard the first complaints about this kind of scam in 2008, Robbins said. In October, the commission sued six companies accused of operating fraudulent tech support and has since settled a case against one individual.
The first clue that these callers aren't legit:
The commission found no evidence that the phony technicians stole personal information from victims' computers. "They want consumers' money," Robbins said.
Still, she advised that consumers who gave these operators access to their computers should change their passwords, consider visiting a computer repair expert to check for a breach, and watch their credit reports for signs that personal account information was stolen.
And, she said, they should adhere to this lesson: "If you don't know who they are, don't let them into your computer."
Some unscrupulous actors will get into your computer even when you don't allow them access.
It said the
Martin, 71, realized someone was trying to swindle her.
The so-called "
Martin, a retired high school math teacher who lives in
Once removed, the virus doesn't seem to cause lasting damage or recur -- unless the consumer stumbles upon another tainted link, Weaver said. "People who are malicious and come up with these viruses, they find a way."
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