A great majority of computer users today live in fear of virus and malware attacks which can run riot in their systems and destroy vital data. A high proportion of customers paying for hard drive data recovery in NJ, are doing so because of virus attacks.
As if it’s not enough that we worry about the threat from viruses, a new breed of Scam artist has arisen to take advantage of our concerns. If you get an unsolicited phone call someday soon, purporting to be from any well-known data recovery service in New Jersey or anywhere else for that matter, the chances are you’re about to get scammed.
How Data Recovery Phone Scams Work
The scam artist will phone you and introduce him/ herself as a representative of Microsoft, Geek Squad or perhaps even Dave’s Computers New Jersey data recovery service. The scammer will tell you that a remote scan has shown your computer to be seriously infected with a virus. Next they will probably tell you that the virus is attacking your data and that there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Finally they will offer to get rid of the virus and recover your data, “you don’t need to worry” they’ll say; they can do it all remotely. Of course they will quote you a price and ask you to pay over the phone.
If you fall for the story, you will probably be happy to provide your credit card details and pay them the $100 or whatever price they are asking. You’ll also probably give them the details they need to remotely access your computer. After all, it seems like a small price to pay for getting rid of the virus and having your data freed from infection and impending destruction.
At this point the scam has a vicious sting in its tail. It would be bad enough knowing you’ve just paid a cybercriminal and will get nothing in return. However, you actually will get something, because now the criminal has remote access to your computer as well as some of your credit card details. What you’ll probably get is a barrage of malware loaded onto your computer, enabling the criminal to capture more of your personal information. Before you know it, your computer has given up your online shopping and banking details to the cybercriminal.
This kind of scam is a very real threat and because of its success, is on the increase. The perpetrators take advantage of the fact that many of us are not so technically savvy. When you think your personal documents are at risk, you become a soft target for the ill intent of these people. Forewarned is forearmed though and there are ways you can protect yourself from these data recovery scams.
How to Deal with a Scam Phone Call
The first thing to understand is that no professional data recovery service in New Jersey will phone you unless they are helping you with something you already know about. Similarly, Microsoft, Geek Squad or any other global tech organization will not phone you out of the blue. Should you get a call from anyone claiming to be a tech provider, you should treat it with suspicion. Scammers find you through publicly available information and they are taking a guess that you are a computer owner, as most people these days are. If you are in business, then they are even more likely to target you.
Here are some dos and don’ts to follow if you receive a suspicious call:
Do hang up the phone and contact the company from where the caller claimed to be phoning you.
Do not give the caller any credit card or banking information or succumb to any demands for money.
Do not give the caller any details or provide them with remote access to your computer.
The only people who should ever have remote access to your computer are those with whom you have a previous agreement for the provision of PC, laptop or network support.
What to do if you’ve Already Been Scammed
If you’ve already been unfortunate enough to have fallen victim to a scam, you should take the following measures:
Contact the fraud department of your credit card provider. They will refund any money you have paid and lock your account, before providing you with a new card. This will protect you from further fraudulent card debits.
Change all passwords on your computer, including the passwords to all your email and online accounts
Use your security software to do a full computer scan for malware. If in doubt, take your computer to a computer repair shop to have it checked professionally
The Cyptolocker Virus
In a similar vein to the phone scams, there is also a virus called Cryptolocker which operates in a similar way. This Trojan finds its way into computers via email or infected downloads. Cryptolocker is a new kind of Trojan becoming known as “ransomware”. Once your computer is infected, you will see a message telling you that your computer data has been encrypted. The only way to get the data unencrypted is to pay a ransom.
The message is inevitably correct. This virus does indeed encrypt your data, unlike the claims of phone scammers. Behind Cryptolocker is a cybercrime ring and they are the ones who will receive your payment – and payment details. You will be directed to a payment page and the payment itself will be demanded in Bitcoins or MoneyPak. Even if you pay, there is no guarantee that your files will be unencrypted.
There is no way around this viral encryption, the key is held by the cybercriminals themselves. If you should fall victim to this extremely nasty virus, you will need professional data recovery help. However, even this is not guaranteed to get your files back. Be sure to protect yourself from this virus and from phone scammers by backing up your data regularly. If you would like to talk to a New Jersey data recovery expert, for advice about phone scam or virus protection, Dave’s Computers are happy to help. Give Dave and his team a call today on 908-428-9558.
by David Molnar