Fraudsters may call you out of the blue claiming to be from a well known IT support company or software firm informing you that there is a problem with your computer that needs fixing, like a virus. The fraudster may already know your name and other personal information from public records such as the phone directory.
They may ask you for the username or password for your computer, or direct you to visit a website and install software that allows them access to your computer under the guise of helping you to fix the problem. This leaves your computer and personal information vulnerable to the following threats:
- You may be tricked into installing malicious programs that could capture sensitive data such as passwords or usernames
- They may request your credit or debit card details so they can charge you for false services they claim to have provided
- They may take control of your computer remotely and change settings to leave your computer vulnerable to other common online threats
- They may direct you to fraudulent websites that ask you to enter personal or financial information such as your bank account details
How can I protect myself?
If you receive this kind of unsolicited phone call, simply hang up. Remember the following at all times:
- Legitimate IT and software companies do not contact customers in this way
- Never give any personal information to an unsolicited caller
- Never give control of your computer to an unverified third party
If you are still unsure contact the firm they claim to represent, using their publicly listed contact details, to establish if the call is genuine.