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Thursday, Aug 21, 2014
Opinion

Beware unsolicited tech help

Staff
Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 04:02 AM

A few days ago, in the evening, I was working at my computer in my home office when I received an unsolicited phone call from a lady who identified herself as someone working for "Windows."

I asked, "Windows? Microsoft Windows?" She said no, "Windows, for your computer. We have received some information from your computers via the Internet that some files are not working correctly, and we want to fix them for you at no charge."

Sounded good, but strange. Microsoft is a business, and they are not free.

I replied, "OK, what can I do for you?" I suspected this could be Microsoft Windows or a phishing call.

The English-speaking person instructed me to "enter from my computer's keyboard, WWW.Logmein.windows.fix.com, from the "RUN" box of your window-operating system, and press enter." She instructed me through every step of the operation. "Upon completing this," she said, "we enter your computer remotely, and fix your Windows, for you. It is part of our service."

I declined, thinking this was a scam, and told her I was hanging up. Before I hung up, she said, "If you decline our help, your computer could crash, and Windows would not be responsible for the system after that. Your computer could be useless."

Again, I asked, "Are you with Microsoft Windows or with Windows?" "Just Windows," she replied. That led me to believe she was truly involved in a phishing scam, someone trying to get me to open my Internet connection to a remote user, for the purposes of getting personal information to be used in such things as identify theft.

Because she was so convincing, and I am somewhat computer-savvy, I was almost ready to open my computer to her but thought better of it. I'm sure this woman has used this scam before. Unless you know the person or company, you should never fall for a remote log-in scam.

The other night, for the second time in two days, I got another call, but this time it was a male, using the same approach.

I felt you might be able to inform others how easy it is for someone to get into your computer with such tactics. This phishing type of scam could cause you, the computer owner, to open your system unknowingly.

W. John Mullins

Tampa

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