Byte Me Article 127 – How to switch off the scammers

How to Switch Off the Scammers

Well most of our regular readers will have heard enough about cloud computing from me for now and I know that the Telco’s want me silenced!  This week I will touch on two different subjects, the first of which are our own business hours.

For the last 16 years Kerr Solutions have never officially opened on a Saturday – electing to stick with 8:30 to 5 Monday to Friday only.  However for the last two Saturday’s I have found myself at the shop for various reasons and while there I found the number of phone calls and people looking for help was surprising.

As of today we will now officially open the shop from 8 to 12 every Saturday morning.  This will not affect our 24 hour emergency response service which has always been available and particularly suits business customers with mission critical servers and networks – even if they aren’t already one of our customers.  An emergency response can be obtained at any time by calling our general number and selecting option 1 from our automated phone service.

2013-06-01 Byte Me Article 127 - Saturday Trading

Moving on to the second topic of this week, we are seeing an increased number of calls being received by Central Queenslanders from so called ‘computer help centres’ offering to sort your computer problems remotely.  They are well versed in convincing people to allow them access to a computer via any number of remote connection/control methods.  They often say that they are from Microsoft or even from Telstra to try to gain your trust.

Once into your PC they are able to show you a screen (using every PC’s event viewer) showing logs of different errors that are occurring on your PC.  This is a standard section of your computers operating system that techs use to help diagnose errors – and there will nearly always be some errors showing up there.   Many of these errors can be ignored however scammers use this as leverage for their ultimate goal – to sucker people in and then start chasing credit card details to fix these problems.

We had a new customer from Stanage Bay this week that received one of these calls and was bullied into giving card details.  To gain these, the caller had eventually threatened to delete (beyond recovery) all of the users files and data if the credit card details were not forthcoming.  The caller had then taken a very large amount from the credit card (which the customers bank later refunded) and had caused the subsequent cancellation of the card and the resulting nuisance of having to order a new one.

It seems now that we are always going to get phone calls – and emails asking us for money or donations.  Some of these will be from legitimate and good organisations such as the Salvation Army and some will be scammers looking for an easy target.  Unfortunately, there are way too many ‘nice’ people out there that hate to hang up on another human, even when their gut feelings are telling them that this would be the safer option.

Try to remember that the longer you stay on the phone the more convincing some of these scammers can be.  If you do ever find yourself in this situation never forget that you CAN hang up and if you have already given access to your PC then pulling the power plug is SURE to stop the access.  If you are having problems with your PC then you make the call to a reputable IT service centre or take the PC in yourself for a tune up. 

Future Byte Me topics can be emailed to [email protected] and Bruce is contactable at Kerr Solutions, 205 Musgrave Street or on 49 222 400.

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