Don’t let a computer virus scam ruin your holiday season

With the holiday season now in full swing scam artists are also on the prowl and wanting to turn your Chanukah or Christmas into one sad occasion, especially if you have a computer. One of the biggest computer scams continues to linger and you don’t have to be a victim of it, especially during the holiday season. The scam involves someone calling you up out of the blue to tell you that your computer is infected with a virus, malware or other infection. In many cases the person calling will tell you they’re from Microsoft or some other computer outfit and they’ll insist that they gain access to your computer remotely to remove the infection. However, it’s all an attempt to gain access to your data and the scam is continuously claiming victims even during the holiday season.

While this scam may have been around for some time, a slightly different version of it also exists where the user clicks on a link while on some web site and a message suddenly pops up with a warning claiming your computer is infected and to call some toll free number they see in the message. It will sometimes have an audio message giving you instructions as well. In both cases however the scammers will insist the user give them access to the computer remotely so the problem can be solved. In both cases the scam artists will use scare tactics to gain access and once that happens the user will go from someone that’s concerned about their computer to a victim in a blink of an eye.

What the user doesn’t realize is that it’s all an attempt to get your personal data. The scam works two ways, first they get access to your computer by instructing the user to load a particular piece of software to give them remote access or control to the computer. Then the scammers load scareware or other software which claims you have viruses, malware and spyware and that it can be removed if you pay for it. In other words, they purposely infect the computer in order to get the user to give up their credit card info even after the scam artists have made off with the data from the computer. And sometimes, the scammers just simply steal the data and get your credit card info as a bonus.

One of things to prevent falling victim from the scam is to have your computer checked out by a local computer professional to make sure the computer has no problems and is running smoothly. This way when you receive a call from someone claiming that your computer is infected with a virus or some other technical illness you’ll have confidence knowing that your computer has been checked out and is running smoothly. In other words, when you receive a call out of the blue from the scam artist you can simply hang up.

No computer repair person or company will ever be aware that you have a problem unless you call them first and let them know you suspect there’s an issue. Some of those who have fallen victim to computer scams have not only had their computers infected with malware, spyware and viruses, but have also had their data deleted or wiped out. Regardless, always make sure your data is backed up as well because it makes the process of recovering the data a lot easier if a scammer grabs it and runs. Also, filing a report with law enforcement is also not a bad idea so at least there’s a paper trail. Hopefully, these tips will prevent you from becoming the latest victim. Happy holidays.

For more about Panther TEK and their services feel free to call them at 480-980-8541 or visit the company’s web site at www.panthertekit.com.

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