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Beware of computer takeover scams

Fraudsters have been trying to scam people out of money and possessions ever since time began, and in todays world of modern technology scammers can quickly and easily find out personal information about you and your family to your detriment.

From a friend in need scam to scam emails telling you that you’ve won hundreds of pounds, scammers have no shame in trying to lure your hard-earnt cash away from you. One of the most common scams however is where the scammer tries to takeover your computer on the pretext that you have a problem with your computer or that your broadband is slow.

Here’s our tip tips to keep you and your family safe online.

Caller ID

shutterstock_1173699898If you receive a phone call, do not trust the caller ID as phone numbers are very easy to fake. Most scammers will claim to be calling from a large corporation to try and gain your confidence. They may say that your computer is sending error codes and will ask for permission to access your computer to take a look. If you agree you will give them remote access to your computer and therefore giving them access to all your information. They may try and persuade you to buy anti-virus software and ask for your bank details or credit card details. The best thing to do in these situations is to hang up. Do not get into a conversation about the why’s and wherefores just simply put the phone down.

Personal Information

Scammers are becoming increasingly clever at finding out as much information about you as possible before they make contact. They may know some personal details such as your address, phone number, mother’s maiden name etc. but this does not mean they are who they are saying they are. Some large companies have had huge security breaches which does mean that your personal information may have been accessed and therefore this knowledge cannot be trusted.

Broadband

shutterstock_1017080488Your broadband provider is very unlikely to call you and advise you that you have a virus. Make sure you are with a trusted broadband provider like POP Telecom and make sure you know their protocol for scams. They will never ask you to log onto your computer and install random software. Do not trust anyone that calls you to say you have a virus on your computer even if they claim to be from Microsoft. Unfortunately, their intent is to gain access to your computer to glean personal information and access passwords and bank accounts.

To protect yourself further make sure your computer is update regularly with the most up to date anti-virus and anti-virus spy software as well as having a good firewall – https://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/definition/firewall. This will help reduce the amount of spam emails that you may otherwise receive.

If you do fall victim to a spam make sure you change all of your passwords immediately, advise your bank and any other company that may be affected, cancel all your bank cards and contact Action Fraud (https://www.actionfraud.police.uk/) or your local police on 101.