The telephone is a popular tool used by fraudsters to fool others into handing over their hard-earned money. One effective con in their telephonic arsenal is the fake computer virus scam.
Why would a computer scam be more effective than some other forms of scams? Though most people have computers and understand how to use them, a great number of users are not computer experts. A scammer will combine fear along with technical jargon to make a person feel overwhelmed and helpless. The caller becomes the savior that will protect the target from unscrupulous attacks by others.
If a target falls for the caller’s lies, the target becomes a victim.
Here’s an example of how a scammer will convince a target to believe this con:
A person calls and informs you that she is from Technical Computer Experts. She tells you that her company has recently received error messages from your computer and that you have a virus that’s causing it. She also says that her company works with Microsoft and Apple Computers to put you at ease and convince you that you’re in good hands with a well-regarded company.
In order to remove the viruses from your computer, the expert instructs you to connect your computer to her company’s network secure sever. To accomplish this, the woman asks you to go to your computer and type www.teamviewer.com into your web browser. Once on the website, you follow her instructions to give her access to your computer.
After gaining access, the woman displays an array of material that proves your computer was hacked. She shows you errors in a log file and applications that have been stopped. She also shows you a black screen with red lettering that displays information to make it appear as though the hackers have been traced and that a number of viruses have been located on your computer.
Once the caller has convinced you that your computer is infected, she will offer service plans that will remove the viruses from your computer and keep them off for the plan’s duration. When you ask for more information about the company, she directs you to an authentic-looking company website to prove that her service is legitimate. After you’re convinced of the authenticity of her service, she directs you to PayPal to complete the transaction.
If you send the scammer money, you won’t receive the virus protection services offered and you’ll be out whatever amount of money you sent electronically. The scammer might also sell your name and contact information to other scammers for even more money. If that happens, the number of fraudulent scheme phone calls you receive will grow substantially and you’ll be forced to change your phone number to avoid them.
Don’t fall for this scam. No random company is going to call you to let you know you have a virus. The only virus is the scumbag on the other end of your phone call.
If you never answer a phone call from an unknown individual, you aren’t likely to face a situation where you have to deal with this type of scam. Let the call go to your voicemail and return the call only if you know the identity of the caller.