Look out for these on-line & phone scams

We hear about these things but generally it happens to other people. This week scams came a little too close for comfort!

Scam 1:

This weekend we were contacted by a client who answered a phone call from someone claiming that the client's PC was sending malicious messages and that they should download a program which would clear it. Thankfully our client had the presence of mind to phone us on their mobile and ask for advice. We said "never ever grant access - including downloading a program - from someone you don't know or who has called you out of the blue" If this happens put the phone down right away and check with your support company to see if there is anything wrong. If you have a reputable anti-virus and security package installed you shouldn't have any malicious malware on your PC.

Scam 2:

Last week another client received a message on his lap-top screen saying his anti-virus software had expired, he was at risk and he should pay $75 for a new subscription. He did - using his credit card - and installed the new software. Shortly afterwards all his application programs ceased to work. When he clicked on a screen icon nothing happened. He brought the lap-top to us and we quickly discovered that he had been the victim of malware, probably a key-logger. The registry settings were changed so that when an application such as Word or Explorer is started up control is passed to the malware program first - and collects any useful information on the way. Initially you won't notice anything until the program deletes itself leaving the application icons and your PC inoperative.

The only way to ensure the malware program has been eradicated from the laptop is to "clean and wipe" and reinstall Windows and applications. This is disruptive to his business and of course incurs an unnecessary expense.

There's also the worry that in the short while the malware was active it could have collected some personal information and of course that the criminals could have used his credit card for more than the $80.

Scam 3:

I received an email which at first glance appeared to come from a friend. She said she was in Spain and had had all her money and possessions including her phone stolen and could I help by sending her money. My suspicions were aroused mainly by the bad English and spelling - not like my friend at all!  Investigation of the innards of the email show it didn't come from her email address at all but from a different place altogether. The reply-to email address isn't necessarily what you see as the "from" address.

We should all be very careful!

Contact Realcom Applications:   email - sales@realcom.co.uk  telephone - 01530 440000
Froggarts Cottage, School Lane, Coleorton, Leicestershire, LE67 8HT

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