Beware of Computer Scams: Recognizing Spyware and Phony Calls

Scam Alert on laptop.

There are a wide variety of schemes being used to con people out of their money, and we want to arm you with the knowledge to protect yourself from becoming a victim. One way scammers are working is through scareware, a rogue security software. Scareware hides in pop-up alerts that advertise security software updates. If you click on the alert thinking you are downloading legitimate security software, you may inadvertently start to download scareware onto your computer. Scareware fails to report viruses and may install spyware onto your computer, gaining access to and stealing your personal information or slowing down your computer.  Oftentimes, customers are asked to pay for these fraudulent updates.

Another common way people have been scammed is through phone calls from somebody posing as a representative from a well-known or local computer or IT company. The caller convinces you to give them access to your computer with passwords and security information and asks for payment and bank details in order to “protect your computer”. Through these calls the caller then gains access to your bank account and computer. Genuine computer companies will never do this.

If you encounter any of these situations or question the legitimacy of a pop-up ad or phone call you have received, contact Hamilton. Our friendly, local and knowledgeable staff are trained to recognize scams and can offer solutions to help you protect your computer from viruses.