Well the computer scammers have gone back to the phone lines to try and steal your banking and credit card information again.
This scam has been around a while but I wanted to write a blog entry to warn people again NOT to fall for it. I got a call just the other day and here is how it went. The caller had an Indian accent and at first was a "little" convincing. Me being a Microsoft MVP once in my lifetime I eventually saw right through it. He had my name and phone number from someplace, probably a phone directory.
Caller: Yes I am looking for ah a Mr. James Kenzig
Me: Thats me what can I do for you.
Caller: Ah yes Mr. Kenzig, sir I am calling from PC..(garbled) and am a Microsoft Certified Technician and we have noticed problems on your computer.
(Note that Microsoft will NEVER call you if you have a problem on your computer. Ever!!)
Me: Really? Which one of my computers? Mac, PC?
Caller: Ah sir on your Windows computer, we have noticed you have problems with your registry on your computer.
Me: Really? What registry key has the problem, I'll take a look.
Caller: Uh sir there are 2 files in your event log in the registry that have problems.
Me: Wait a minute is the event log or the registry that has a problem?
Caller: Uh sir we noticed there are 2 files in the event log that have a problem.
Me: Well there are only log entries that are in the event log not files are you certain?
Caller: Uh sir the files are in your registry of your computer.
Me: No I am pretty sure that there are no files in my registry, only entries that point to files. Where did you say you were calling from again?
Caller: Uh sir I am a Microsoft Certified Technician from PC...(garbled again). We know that there are 2 files in your registry that could cause terrible problems on your computer!
Me: (At this point I had enough of this idiot and said to him) Well tell you what, I am a Microsoft MVP and you don't know your @$$ from a hole in the ground and hung up on him.
Had I continued the call, this is how the scam would of worked: The scammer would of got me to go to my event log and try and have me find any error entry and claim that was the problem. Note there is always an error or two in your event log for Windows. It is inevitable.
The scammer would say, look there are the errors and would instruct me to download and install a file so they could "access" my computer to fix it. Once you have done this, EVERY piece of information on your computer is available to the scammer to see and use. The download will send your passwords back to the scammer and they will get access to your bank accounts or any other account you use on your computer. Further the scammer may ask for money to remove the programs from your computer to continue the ruse.
Bottom line here is to remember to not ever give any kind of personal information to anyone who calls you out of the blue. Microsoft, Apple or any other computer company will never call you. Be wary of anyone who wants access to your computer. Stay Safe.