Don’t let this happen to you! I often get calls from clients in a panic because they fell for a scam that has been around for quite a few years. This scam will not only cost you money but could potentially comprimise your credit card or other personal information.

The scam begins on a phishing trip. No, not one that involves a lake some hooks and patience but it is similar. Phishing is when a scammer throws a scam out there many times until someone falls for it or “bites” then they reel them in on the scam.

The scam starts with a phone call. The person is very convincing and may even tell you they are from Microsoft (they are not) or that they are a Microsoft certified partner. Scammers know that many people are frustrated with their computers and just call numbers randomly until they find someone who believes that someone is truly monitoring their computer and has found a problem with it. They will ask you to go to your computer because they have detected the your computer is doing unusual things, infected with a virus or running really slowly. They will have you click on things that you don’t understand and explain that its bad and they need to fix it. If you agree to this they will tell you there is a fee and will ask for your credit card information and then will ask for remote access to your computer. While they are conected to your computer they may or may not fix anything. I’ve never actually whitnessed it happening so I’m not sure exactly what goes on.

The scammers seem really convincing, they even put up a very simple website with the name of the company they claim to represent and an address and phone number which is usually fake. If you do a google search for the address it usually comes up as not found or to another business.

No one will ever call you to tell you that something is wrong with your computer!

No one is monitoring your computer on your behalf, especially not Microsoft, there are hundreds of millions of computers connected to the internet, they dont have the time to call you, they expect you to call them if you are having a problem.

There is one exeption to the above statement and that is when your Internet Service Provider (the company you pay every month for internet access) such as Shaw, Telus , Bell etc may alert you to an issue. They may detect that there is an unusual amount of internet traffic or email coming from your household. If your ISP contacts you they will tell you to contact a quallified tecnician to take care of the issue, they will NOT offer to fix your computer for you.

I have heard of people paying as much as $400 to these scammers for a “lifetime” subscription to their services. Chances are that after a few weeks the phone number that they gave you will no longer work, if it ever works at all. Everyone I have every talked to about this has paid more to the scammers than I charge for a full clean up of their computer in person at their home or business.

Every panicked client that I have ever visited after they realised that they have just been scammed still had multiple probklems with spyware, adware and scareware on their commputers. Perhaps the scammers are looking through the computer for personal information, photos or videos or just planting some software to steal your passwords as you type them into websites.

Never trust anyone who calls you to tell you that they want to fix your computer remotely unless you contacted them first. If you have been scammed and you gave them your credit card information then call your credit card issuer immediately. Call Nerds 2 You next to have your computer checked out for potential software left behind that might let them back into your computer or possibly steal your personal information.

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