Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Bastards Can Go Straight to Hell

Seen at

A friend of ours who doesn’t own a computer received a call like the one we received this week. The man at the other end introduced himself as a technical support person and said they had discovered we are having some problems with our computer, and they would like to help us reconfigure our settings so that it would work properly.

He sounded ever so professional, I am sure (Scott spoke with him), but of course he is a scammer and as soon as he gets you to give him the information he needs about your computer, he can hack into it and copy your banking records, credit card numbers, passwords, anything you do online. Then he can go on a shopping spree.

There is no one who should be calling you about your computer problems. When you have a computer problem, YOU call THEM. Your internet service provider, or your bank, or your phone company, does not need to call you for any information or send you an email asking you to confirm your settings or passwords. They’ve already got your passwords; the legitimate company does not need you to verify anything over the phone or by email.

If someone claiming to be a legitimate business is calling you, hang up, look for the number of your internet provider or whoever the caller is claiming to be affiliated with, and call the company yourself, directly. Do not follow any link the caller provides you with, or call any number they give you.

It sounds simple enough, but these guys are good at what they do, and they very often convince people that changes are required or else big problems are in the offing.

The bottom line is: if they’re asking you to give them numbers or passwords, or telling you to enter anything into your computer, or even to click on a link they send or go to an url they give you, they’re scammers.

I’m such a cynic about phone scams that I won’t donate to any charity that telephones me. Not a one. In the past couple weeks I received two phone calls from World Wildlife Fund, asking if I could increase my monthly donation. I was having no truck with that and gave the caller short shrift. Then I found the WWF email address online and sent them a short letter: call off your dogs (if indeed these weren’t scammers who phoned me), or my monthly donations will stop immediately. Most of the money brought in by these hired fundraisers goes to the fundraising companies themselves, anyway. I believe it's upwards of 80 per cent. And even if these callers, for example, were volunteers who are dedicated to the planet's wildlife, I don't want to be approached by phone.

What kind of scams have the bastards tried to pull on you, lately?