Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Alert – Phone Scammers Target PC Users With Phony Virus Reports

Folks, here is a headline news story you should be aware of, and – also tell your friends and family about (heck, tell everyone at the office, too) — don’t let them become a victim of this “scare scam”.

Phone scammers target PC users with phony virus reports

Online con artists are targeting PC users worldwide in a brazen scam. It starts with a phone call from a “tech support specialist” who warns that your computer is infected with a virus.Read more..

Please.. if you read just one tech story this week, let it be that one. (This, or similar to this, has already been tried on several readers.. so be aware!)

• Loyal readers of Tech – for Everyone are probably aware that I receive dozens of requests from folks who want me to review their product and/or service — far too many requests for me to honor them all, actually. However, I would like to bring one recent one to your attention: there’s a new “engine” in town.

Findthebest.com, a unique comparison engine, allows consumers to make quick and informed decisions on all sorts of topics.

When it comes to shopping for hot new tech-products, their  electronics category is great for comparing smartphones, laptops, and tablets, based on the specs you care most about.

Findthebest.com allows you to:
•       Start with a comprehensive list of models and narrow down by brand, technical specifications, operating systems, network, manufacturer, price, and more
•       Compare with simple and easy to use side-by-side interface
•       Obtain unbiased ratings and detailed product specs

This site impressed me because they link to the manufacturer (or source) and any prices listed are MSRP — this isn’t about finding the best online price (you can use Shopzilla for that) but about making informed decisions.. or simply “finding out more”.
(Though I used tech devices as my example, you’ll find that’s  just one small ‘area’ of the site.) Take a look at Findthebest.com.

• It has been a while since the never-ending “browser wars” has come up here.. or I have been asked “which one’s faster?” In spite of the hype, I think we have settled into our choice. But, what the hey. I could be wrong. So here’s the latest “shootout”.

The BIG browser benchmark! Chrome 15 vs Opera 11 vs IE9 vs Firefox 8 vs Safari 5

Chrome 15 vs Opera 11 vs IE9 vs Firefox 8 vs Safari 5 … which browser will be triumphant?Read more..

Four Destructive Myths Most Companies Still Live By

Myth #1: Multitasking is critical in a world of infinite demand. This myth is based on the assumption that human beings are capable of doing two cognitive tasks at the same time.” Read more..

My plate is full, and much to do. Have to run…

Today’s quote:Today the world changes so quickly that in growing up we take leave not just of youth but of the world we were young in.” ~ Peter Medawar

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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November 8, 2011 - Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, Internet, Internet scam, security | , , , , , ,

12 Comments »

  1. Ditto on the scam report! READ IT and TELL others. Last week I got 3 calls from the scum. I like to play with them..or if I don’t have time..Tell them “I have a Mac”.

    Nice “Consumer Report” beta site…we need more like that.

    I am weary of the browser wars..It is up to the user…And “Multitasking” is overrated.

    As Sarah Conner says, “There is no fate, but what we make.” So I am off..making fate!

    Like

    Comment by delenn13 | November 8, 2011 | Reply

    • delenn13,
      Thank you for sharing your “RL testimonial” and.. also, for showing the decorum to chose a reasonably polite “scum” (my adjectives are not fit to print).

      Folks, she’s right: this one is something we all need to be aware of, and be talking about.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | November 8, 2011 | Reply

  2. I can’t figure out how these people that work for this “company” sleep at night. They really hit the shallow end of the gene pool.

    I am serious when I say tell people to tell others. You may be “tech savvy” but is your mother/father, grandmother, great aunt, or next door neighbor? They are calling everyone. I get a call at least once a week. How would you feel if they were to fall for this? Money taken, identity stolen…When all you had to do was tell them about it.

    Here’s some info from Windows Secret:

    Watch out for ‘Microsoft Tech Support’ scams

    The people may not speak very good English but they know their computers and they use the Event Viewer to scare people.

    What you should know about Windows’ Event Viewer

    Like

    Comment by delenn13 | November 8, 2011 | Reply

    • delenn13,
      Um.. I guess it’s how you’re raised, but we need to realize, not everybody likes America or Americans. Some are actively trying to destroy us and our “way of life”. And some places, it’s kind of a ‘national sport’ to fleece “dumb Americans”/”rich Americans”.
      (It’s really kinda sad how we make that easy for them..)

      Touristas.

      (That’s why when traveling abroad, some of us claim to be from Canada..)

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | November 8, 2011 | Reply

  3. I don’t think it is just an “anti-American” scam. It’s greed feeding off ignorance. Sorry, Microsoft doesn’t care if you are sending out viruses…They got your money already.

    In Canada I have probably been getting these phone calls for about 6 months or more. NOW Microsoft cares because they are using their name. According to your article..”In June of this year, Microsoft published a warning about the scams, including results from a survey it conducted in the U.K., Ireland, U.S. and Canada. The survey showed that across all four countries, 15 percent of those surveyed reported having received one of these phony support calls…..I’ve heard from Windows users and legitimate support specialists who’ve seen this scam in action in Australia, Canada, and the UK. Recent reports from Microsoft indicate that the scammers have widened their net and are now working in languages other than English, targeting Windows users in Poland and the Czech Republic.

    I also got one reliable report from an extremely trustworthy source: my mother.

    Like

    Comment by delenn13 | November 8, 2011 | Reply

    • delenn13,
      You’re probably quite right in this instance.. I was speaking more ‘generally’… Either way, I cannot print my cure for that disease.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | November 8, 2011 | Reply

      • You need a strong woman behind you with authority.. Babylon 5 – Severed Dreams – YouTube Love it when Delenn kicks butt! Never ever want to cross an angry Minbari!

        Heads up! MAGIX Xara Xtreme Photo & Graphic Designer 5 Silver “Do you enjoy photography and love photos? Do you want your photos to look flawless and give them a versatile, creative design? Then Photo & Graphic Designer 5 is the optimum solution for you.

        The free download is only available until November 24, 2011 Download size: 365 MB”

        It’s an older version…V.7 is out now.. I think it is overkill to call it the “The $89 Photoshop-Killer” but it it is a decent program.

        It’s actually a bundled package..You get:

        Fast Photo Optimization = Graphic Designer 5
        Detailed Photo Editing = Photo Designer 7
        Organize, Print or Burn Photos = Photo Manager 10

        Just make sure you UNCHECK the Magix Ask Toolbar if you don’t want it (you probably don’t want it :) And you have to register to get the code so use an email you don’t care about.

        Like

        Comment by delenn13 | November 9, 2011 | Reply

        • delenn13,
          I had not heard of Magix (looks interesting) and never seen Babylon 5 so, thank you for the links.

          Like

          Comment by techpaul | November 9, 2011 | Reply

  4. What a scary story! Thanks for the warning. Is there a good way to decipher if the caller is scamming you or not? Any helpful suggestions as to how a user can handle this situation regarding their computer?

    Like

    Comment by Alexandra Lawrenz (@TuneUp4Windows) | November 15, 2011 | Reply

    • Alexandra Lawrenz,
      I don’t think there’s any “if” here.. or decision to be made .. it’s a call out of the clear blue sky.. (and, I cannot print what I would say to the caller).

      It is the exact same as any other unsolicited (not requested) item you may run across — delete it unopened. Telemarketers or Telescammers? Hang up.
      You are dealing with one of the lowest forms of life there is, so you don’t need to worry about hurting their feelings.. MHO.

      If you think there’s some possibility your PC might be infected (irrelevant of the call) you can/should visit a online virus scanner. I have a list, with links, of several good online scans on my website, here. (My reco is Housecall)

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | November 15, 2011 | Reply

    • No one should call you out of the blue about your PC sending out anything..least of all Microsoft. Not even your ISP.

      About 4 yrs ago…my husband was in a bot net. He is great at hardware;he hand built our PCs but..actually “reading and clicking on things” he is the worst. I have probably uninstalled the dreaded Ask Toolbar about 10 times from his PC because of CCleaner. He just happily clicks through the installations. We have a network but we only share one folder…kinda like a “DropBox for the PC”. I would never let him install anything on my PC.

      Anyway..I digress..Somehow he ended up on a bot net and we didn’t know it. Our ISP totally cut us off and sent us an email letting us know what had happened and why. Which was really bad….how do you fix it with NO internet? So I called(I got the number from my bill NOT the email) and they let us back on and I fixed it. I called them back and they said we were OK.

      I personally like to mess with them and really act dumb like I am doing what they say. If they are spending their time with me, they are not scamming some other person. You could curse at them, hang up but I am sure they don’t care. It’s a numbers game and they are making money. The police can’t do anything as they aren’t in a country were the rules matter.

      Like

      Comment by delenn13 | November 15, 2011 | Reply

      • delenn13,
        Thank you for sharing that.

        While a part of me likes the idea of “messing with” scammers, I generally don’t recommend it and I don’t do it myself. Plenty of people do it (play such games) though (there’s even YouTube videos)(search term “messing with scammers”) .. almost like a sport .. and have gotten quite creative at it.

        I would like a much more permanent solution than wasting their time..

        Like

        Comment by techpaul | November 15, 2011 | Reply


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