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  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ariful Haque, Romana Leyva, , tech support scam   

    Multi-million dollar tech support scam busted 

    Multi-million dollar tech support scam busted

    The tech support scam usually takes one of two forms. The first is you’ll receive a call from someone claiming to be from a company like Apple or Microsoft telling you that your computer has been compromised. The other form is when you see a pop-up or some other warning on your computer telling you that your computer has been infected and you should call a number the pop-up provides to correct the issue. In both cases, the scammers are trying to get you to pay for services that you don’t actually need. This can cost victims anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars.

    This past week the Department of Justice announced that they had indicted two of these scammers. Romana Leyva, 35, and Ariful Haque, 33, were arrested for their roles in a tech support scam ring that raked in $10 million from 7,500 victims fro across the country. The pair are accused of allegedly setting up fraudulent corporate entities to receive money from the victims who thought they were receiving legitimate tech support services. In this instance, the fraud consisted of pop-ups telling computer users that their computers had been infected with a virus and if they closed the pop-up it could result in catastrophic data loss. The ring would also attempt to make victims of the initial scam pay for phony services again by claiming that the first fictitious company went out of business and for continued ‘service’ they would need to pay again.

    If you receive one of these calls you should immediately hang up as no real company is going to call you to tell you that you have a virus. Also, if you encounter one of these pop-ups it’s more than likely part of a scam and you should never call the number listed. After seeing one of these pop-ups you should also run an anti-malware program like Malwarebytes instead. These scams also tend to target the elderly so if you have an older relative who may not be that computer savvy, please share this story with them.

  • Geebo 8:00 am on June 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Jim Browning, , tech support scam   

    Inside the Tech Support Scam! 

    Inside the Tech Support Scam!

    If you’re not familiar with tech support scam, it’s an insidious scheme designed to hijack your computer for one reason or another. Groups of scammers will robocall people claiming to be from Microsoft. They’ll tell their victims that they have a virus on their computer and will ask for remote access to the victim’s computer in order to fix the problem. What they’re really doing is either injecting malware into the victim’s computer or stealing personal information from the victim. However, one man has made it his mission to scam the scammers.

    A man who goes by the pseudonym of ‘Jim Browning’ is skilled enough that he’s able to take control of the scammers’ computer when they try to take control of his. In one particular instance that Browning has posted to YouTube, he was able to not only spy on the scam call center but he was also able to change the scammers’ outgoing robocall message to warn people that the call is a scam. Browning recently told CBS This Morning that the reason he’s doing this is to make more people aware of the scam.

    Normally, it’s encouraged by security experts that if you receive one of these phone calls the best thing to do is hang up. Also if you see a pop up on your computer claiming that you have a virus be suspicious and try running an anti-malware program like Malwarebytes instead. While Mr. Browning’s methods may be unorthodox sometimes it takes a new way of thinking to combat the con men.

  • Geebo 9:05 am on August 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , tech support scam   

    New wrinkle on old tech support scam appearing 

    New wrinkle on old tech support scam appearing

    If you’re not familiar with the tech support scam, here’s how it works. You’re on your computer, browsing the web when all of a sudden a pop-up appears. It says something to the effect of you have a virus and you need to call a Microsoft technician right away. It then provides you with a toll-free number. When you call the number, someone says they’ll remove the virus remotely for a nominal fee. It’s a complete scam as Microsoft never asks you to call them for anything.

    Now, there’s been a new aspect added to this scam. According to reports coming out of Virginia, the scammers are asking for a new form of payment, then asking for additional payment on top of it. First the scammers ask you to buy a Steam gift card. Steam is a PC gaming platform and games can be bought with the gift cards. They’ll ask you for the Steam card’s serial number as the form of payment. Then they’ll say the number on the Steam card is invalid and they’ll give you a refund, but you need to then buy an iTunes gift card and give them that serial number. If you’ve made it that far, they’ll gain remote access of your computer and search for any vital information they can capitalize on. They’ll then sell the serial numbers to the two gift cards you purchased on the black market. So at this point, not only are you out of whatever money you spent on the cards, but you could have also exposed your financial information.

    Gift cards have become the new currency among scammers as of late. They’re easy to get and are virtually untraceable once the serial numbers are taken and sold. If you see any of these pop-ups that say you have a virus, never call the number on the pop-up. You should be able to restart your computer and you’ll be fine. More than likely you don’t have a virus in the first place, but just to make sure run a scan with your antivirus software.

  • Geebo 10:37 am on February 10, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , tech support scam   

    Google ad for Amazon was actually link to scam site 

    Google ad for Amazon was actually link to scam site

    Many tech news sites are reporting that there was a false ad for Amazon this past week when you searched for the retail giant on Google. The ad, that would come first in the search results, did not take you to Amazon, but instead took to you to a site that tried to perpetrate a tech support scam.

    If you went to the site on a Windows computer the site would emulate the infamous blue screen of death and advise you to call a tech support number. If you were in an Apple computer you’d receive a warning that your machine had been infected by ransomware and again be given a number to call. As long as you didn’t call the number your machine would be relatively ok.

    This scam has been around for about as long as the internet has. Fictitious sites would inundate you with pop ups telling you that your computer had been infected with some kind of malware and if you call an ‘official’ tech support number your computer will be fixed. When you call the number usually a ‘technician’ would gain access to your computer remotely with your permission and would use that opportunity to root around your computer for any information worth stealing.

    The problem with this particular scam is that it was perpetrated through Google, possibly the most perceived legitimate site on the internet. Google says that the problem has fixed but still leaves users concerned since this fake ad made it through their screening purpose. In the future users may want to not click on ads on Google’s search page and instead click on the listings instead, at least for now.

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