Cyber Scams – How not to be a victim

Who says the following: He sounded so legitimate. They were so aggressive. How was I supposed to know? Answer: the end user who has fallen victim to a computer scam. Every year, people are losing money to these cyber scammers. Here’s what you should know.

What they sound like: ‘Hi! I’m from (insert well known company such as Microsoft, McAfee, Google) and I can see that you have a problem.’ On average they will know your name and perhaps your town, all of which can be found easily online or in a directory. They will claim to be from tech support, a help desk, or a service center. They will use all of the right words. They will ask you to go to a website and log in or download a program that allows them access to your machine. And voila, they are in.

Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.

What to know: If they are asking you to confirm the details of your account, it’s a trick. Legitimate companies should already have this information on hand. It is almost never the companies calling you to solicit sales. Remember that business tend to generate their sales online or via phone when you call them, not the other way around.  Be wary if the person calling asks for all your credit card information. Honest businesses do not ask for these unless you are using that specific method of payment. Canada now has a do not call list. You can register your number to reduce the number of telemarketer calls. However, this does not eliminate them. So be aware of the to do’s.

If you’re in doubt, it’s wise to ask the advice of a close friend or relative, or even your banker. Rely on people you can trust. Remember, you can Stop Phone Fraud - Just Hang Up!
— Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre

What to do:

  • Do not respond to any unsolicited emails.
  • Never give control of your computer unless you can verify it is from a credible source and/or for a service that with whom you already have an account.
  • Report the scam to the police department, RCMP or the CAFC.
  • If you unwittingly gave out banking information, contact your bank immediately. Get your cards replaced and monitor your banking for any irregular charges.
  • Change all of your passwords to your computer.
  • Remove all remote access software and run a virus scan- we can provide you with this service.

Reference Websites: