Don’t talk to strangers

Stranger Danger!!!!

This week I’d like to ask you not to talk to strangers. Or rather, crooks who commit Computer Software Service Fraud (CSSF). CSSF involves a victim being contacted via a phone call, an email or a pop-up message appearing on their computer and being told that there is a problem with their computer or that there is something wrong with their internet connection. The victim is informed that the issue can be resolved but will need to make a payment using their credit or debit card. In some instances, the fraudster will also gain remote access to the victim’s computer by installing software on their computer, thus allowing them to access personal and financial details. However, no fix takes place because there is no actual problem in the first place.

The National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB) has also reported that CSSF scammers are contacting previous victims, requesting that they pay money owed for a fake malware protection service they had provided. Alternatively, the scammer will ask for a new subscription fee in return for protection from a new threat. Often threatening language is used to force people into paying money.

Should you receive an unsolicited call:

  • Do not make a payment.
  • Never allow remote access to your computer.
  • Do not be pressured into making a decision – a genuine bank or another trusted organisation won’t force you to make a financial transaction on the spot.

If a pop-up message appears on your screen asking you to contact a number to fix the problem:

  • Do not follow any prompts on the pop-up to sign up to a service or call a number.
  • Never pay for something if prompted to do so by the pop-up.
  • Do not click the X to close the window as it may download malware to your PC. Instead, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc in Windows to see which programs you have open, and fully close your web browser from here.

Remember, computer firms NEVER make unsolicited phone calls to help fix your computer. Fraudsters make these phone calls to try to steal from you and damage your computer with malware. Treat all unsolicited phone calls with suspicion and never give out any personal information.

As a computer repair (and sales) company, we pick up the pieces of this sort of fraud at least 5-6 times a month and we rely on our customers to pass on the word – it’s the only way to try to put an end to this kind of criminal activity.

Posted in

Philip Brooks