Peter Clarke

PC PAL Andover and Winchester

Peter Clarke is based in Andover and looks after both residential & business customer in Andover, Salisbury, Winchester & surrounding areas. Tel: 01264 931000 or 01962 921000 Email: andover@pcpal.co.uk
Tips & How-to's 6th September 2016 605

Beware Of Old Dogs With New Tricks

warns Peter Clarke of PC PAL

Last month I reminded you of the perils of out of the blue ‘support’ cold calls. Recently I have seen a new twist on the old problem.

As you will recall, the problem arises when you receive a telephone call from ‘engineers’ purporting to be from Microsoft or BT or TalkTalk for example.  They convince you that there is a problem with your PC that they can fix and then encourage you to let them have access to your computer and hence your personal details!

Recently some customers have started to get suspicious during the call and have either asked questions which show their scepticism or even hung up on the cold caller.  Unfortunately, this doesn't help as they are still connected to your computer and, in some cases, they have put a password on which only they have access to, effectively holding your files to ransom.

So what should you do?

  • Anyone calling up out of the blue and asking to connect to your PC should be refused
  • If you do allow people to connect to your PC and start to become suspicious do not let the cold caller know - go to your router and switch it off - no internet connection means no further access to your computer

It is not always a complete disaster as I have successfully accessed files for a customer whose computer did have a password loaded on to it when the scammers knew my customer was on to them; but prevention is better than cure!

I have also seen two other variations on this kind of attempt to get your personal information including credit card details:

  • Some scammers offer free adware programs to 'check out your computer' for you. Not surprisingly these programs always find 'a problem' and there is a convenient phone number for you to call for help.....
  • You may suddenly see a 'pop up box' where a 'concerned engineer' asks if you would like help with cleaning up your infected computer via an online chat

In these cases it is best to ignore the contact you receive and go instead to a reputable computer engineer if you have any doubts regarding viruses or issues with your computer.

If you want to discuss this further or need any help following one of these calls or attempts at online contact, please don’t hesitate to call me.

Peter Clarke

Peter Clarke is based in Andover and looks after both residential & business customer in Andover, Salisbury, Winchester & surrounding areas.

Tel: 01264 931000 or 01962 921000
Email: andover@pcpal.co.uk

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