Here is the blog:
At least once a quarter one or more of my customers fall for a tech support scam. These scammers want you to believe your computer is full of viruses and that you need to hire them to resolve these issues. They get you to allow them to remotely connect to your computer and they ask for hundreds of dollars for services or products you don’t need. They might also take the opportunity to steal your passwords, upload other personal data, and install their own viruses.
These scams typically occur in one of three ways:
- Phone Calls: your phone rings and the callers state they are from Dell, Microsoft, Apple, or some other well known company. They say they have detected a serious problem with your computer and they need to access your computer to run a diagnostic test.
- Pop-up Warnings: a window suddenly appears typically while surfing the internet, often with blaring background sounds, stating that a serious issue has been detected and that you must call a provided telephone number immediately.
- Online Ads and Search Results: you are searching for help and the resulting ads or search results lead you to the scammer instead of a legitimate company.
If you are scammed to the point where you allowed the scammer to remotely connect to your computer, then you should assume that the scammer now has all of your online passwords and that your computer is now compromised. Your should immediately do the following:
- Power off your computer. On another computer, change all your online passwords and take the opportunity to create very strong passwords.
- If you paid the tech support scammer with a credit or debit card, call the credit card company or bank and try and stop the payment and cancel the card. If you paid with a gift card, contact the company that issued the gift card and see if you can get a refund.
- If you have a backup system image prior to the scam, restore the computer from that system image. If you don’t have a system image, then reinstall the operating system and all the apps (of course backing up your data first).