It seems like there is always someone out there trying to scam the honest guy. Sadly, you know that some people are being taken in, otherwise these low-life characters would move on to something else. The ‘Microsoft tech’ scammers have been around for a long time now, but their phone calls seem to be escalating. I’ve been getting 4 or 5 calls a week from them. Their scam is to tell you that your ‘Windows’ computer is infected and is sending out malware, but they can fix it if you just follow their instructions. Sure I will. If you follow their instructions, you will be turning control of your computer over to them. Then it will cost you to get it back. Funny, but they don’t seem to understand the difference between Windows and Mac. Guess the script they’re reading doesn’t cover that.
With the latest celebrity photos stolen from iCloud accounts and Apple’s subsequent announcement that they would be tightening security, a new email scam has surfaced. I’ve received the message twice in the last week. The messages were identical, with the same awkward phrasing (dead giveaway!) and the second message was tied to a different server. Of course, the first was no longer operating. Gee, I wonder why? Hovering over the hyperlink in each message (yes, I’m nosy that way) brought up the following:
Notice that it wants date of birth, Social Security number, mother’s maiden name. That’s all they need to set up phony accounts with your information, and your credit is shot.
This second screen capture is more frightening. It looked like someone was actually giving them the information requested. I’ve blurred it out, but this person actually exists at the address shown. Scary stuff. NEVER give out this kind of information.
Nothing is ever 100% secure, but you can protect yourself by just using a little common sense. Don’t click on hyperlinks that come in unsolicited email. They are easily spoofed. If it sounds fishy, it probably is. When Apple comes up with stricter security measures, it will make the national news and every tech site on the web. Never give your info to someone who calls you, even if caller ID seems legit. Caller ID is spoofed every day. It’s sad that there are so many scammers out there, but the minute one is shut down, another one takes his place. Just be careful of the information you give out. If someone wants your information, research first and if there is a legitimate need, you call them back.