Seriously: Companies Cannot Scan Your Computer Unless You Let Them

by Geek Squad Agent on ‎01-31-2014 10:53 PM - last edited on ‎05-04-2016 10:33 PM by (2,912 Views)

But first, the new twist on the “infected-computer-call” scam.

 

In this retread of the classic computer phone scam, the caller talks the victim into giving them online access to their computer, making it appear as though the computer is “infected”. Once they have access, the scammer uses their remote access to encrypt the machine, locking the victim out of their computer if they refuse to pay to have it “fixed.”

 

Our Agents have discovered a way to unlock the computer, but it’s rather complicated and would require affected clients to get a Virus and Spyware Removal service. Not that we mind doing it, but we’d like to give people a heads-up warning on this, to help you avoid being their next victim.

 

There are some things you should consider if someone calls you asking for access to your computer:

 

  1. No reputable computer company will call you on the phone to tell you that your machine is infected. This is simply not the way virus protection works. If someone ever calls with this message, just hang up — they are just trying to scare you into making a bad decision.
  2. No matter how professional they sound, never give someone who calls you “out-of-the-blue” access to your computer. No legitimate organization – not your Internet Service Provider, software creator or hardware manufacturer – can access your computer without your permission. So anyone who says they have been scanning your computer and think it has a virus iks not telling the truth. It takes the same level of access to live scan a computer as it does to actively manipulate a machine using online access.
  3. Never – and we mean NEVER – give your bank account information to someone who cold-called you. You are asking for trouble. If the call seems valid – whether it’s from a charity, financial institution or someone offering tech support services – tell the person you will call them back. And don’t use the “special number” they give you – that could easily be a setup. Go to the company or organization’s web site and look for the telephone number there. If it’s a legitimate call, they won’t mind you calling back. If the person argues with you at all about this, hang up.

Again, this is basically the same scam as Derek discussed in his earlier post, but this version is more expensive to fix and more damaging.

 

Derek did a post a couple of weeks ago about a phone scam the Federal Trade Commission was warning people about. You may want to take a look at it if you missed it:

 

Computer-Related Phone Scams: How to Spot Them, What To Do If Affected

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