malware

No gift cards for tech support scammers

Hey computer users, it’s time for a pop quiz.

A) You get an urgent call or email from a tech support company, saying your computer has a problem. Should you give the company remote access to your computer to make repairs?

B) A warning announcing “suspicious activity” or “security threat detected” appears on your computer screen. Should you call the number shown on the screen to talk to a technician?

C) One of these tech support companies asks you to pay for its services, maybe by using a gift card (like from iTunes or Amazon) or wire transfer. Should you?

Stopping scams targeting older consumers

The FTC has a long history of protecting people from scams.  As part of its ongoing efforts to protect people in every community, the FTC recently took steps to stop two schemes harming older adults: a tech support scam and a sweepstakes scam.

The price of free software?

Has your computer been acting strange lately? Maybe your default search engine or other browser settings changed, or you’re getting suspicious warnings about your computer’s performance. Are you are seeing ads that don’t seem to belong – like ones that cover up parts of the webpage or are on a site that doesn’t usually show ads? If so, you may have unwanted software on your computer. Your next step: get rid of any malware.

Ransomware re-do? Back up your files.

Based on early news reports, it’s possible that another widespread ransomware attack is sweeping the globe. It may spread using the same vulnerability that the WannaCry attack used in May, or it may be a new virus. Either way, if organizations don’t patch their software, they’re at risk. It’s crucial to keep operating systems and other software up to date.

Scammers don’t really give refunds

The FTC has been cracking down on deceptive tech support operations that call or send pop-ups to make people think their computers are infected with viruses. Recently, a woman who lost money to one of the defendant’s in the FTC cases got a call from someone who claimed to be with a company the FTC sued. (It was a lie. In reality, the company has closed.)

Fake emails could cost you thousands

Think you got an email from a business you know? Scammers sometimes use emails that look legit to trick you into sending money to them.

Avoid a tech trap

Scammers have been taking advantage of people who care about computer security. They ran operations in the US and overseas that used pop-up messages and phone calls to convince people their computers needed fixing. The FTC announced four new cases against these operations today, and — along with its state, federal and international partners — launched a national and international effort to stop these scams and get money back to the victims.

Woman talking with telemarketer

 

There’s no Nintendo Switch emulator

If you can’t get your hands on a Nintendo Switch gaming system, you may think an emulator is the next best thing. Think again. Online ads for emulators, sometimes with Nintendo branding, say they can run Switch’s games on your desktop. But there is no legit Nintendo Switch emulator. It’s a scam.

Free movies, costly malware

“Something for nothing” sounds appealing, but often there’s a hidden cost. If the something is a site or app offering free downloads or streams of well-known movies, popular TV shows, big-league sports, and absorbing games, the hidden cost is probably malware. Sites offering free content often hide malware that can bombard you with ads, take over your computer, or steal your personal information.

Global Connect technical support scam, part 2

Last fall, the FTC shut down an operation called Global Connect, which sent deceptive pop-up messages to people’s computers. The pop-ups claimed the computers had problems when they really didn’t, and the operators scared thousands of people into paying hundreds of dollars each for tech support services they didn’t need.We recently learned that some of these same people are getting called again.

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