Category: Scams (Page 2 of 8)

Service Scams on Facebook

I have previously blogged about all of the duct cleaning scams on Facebook. And while I’ve gone on at length about that particular scam, it seems that duct cleaning scams are just the tip of the iceberg. There are a myriad of service scams on Facebook. Here’s what I’ve been studying and want you to know about:

Various Types of Service Scams

The service scams on Facebook come in different flavors. You might encounter:

How These Scams Play Out

These scams are carried out differently from other tech operations. Services scams on Facebook can actually result in service! Whether you ask for your ducts or your cars to be cleaned, the scammer will schedule with you (over Facebook Messenger), and someone will come to your address.

But the problems occur after the person arrives. Someone who has gone through with the contracted service might notice:

  • The service was not performed well, or the worker made mistakes and damaged things.
  • The work provided was carried out without proper licensing or insurance.
  • The bill presented was significantly more than the estimate or proposal.
  • Service was paid for, and problems with it were discovered later. Requests for follow-up were ignored, and the scammer later blocked the victim on Messenger.
  • Extra charges were made to the credit card without warning.

Protip: When hiring anyone for services, know the name of company you’re dealing with. When they arrive, that company name should be evident, either on their vehicle or on business cards/printed materials or their uniforms. If you’ve hired a company, but the worker at your door can’t name that company, something fishy is going on.

Why I Call This a Scam

Sometimes people actually get acceptable service from one of these Facebook posts. This being the case, you might argue: Is this really a scam? Or is it just luck of the draw, whether you get a good service provider or a bad one? I say it is a scam, and here’s my take on it:

The Facebook posts for duct cleaning or car detailing are deceptive. No company name is offered. The posting account is designed to show an American-looking name and a good-looking North American person or couple. They claim to be new in your town and just starting up a business. But it is all a charade. Everything is arranged using sock puppet accounts.

I’ve chatted with several of these service-scammers, to learn more about their schemes. I’ve sent some IP logging links to them, and for those that click, it typically shows me that they are in Pakistan. If I point this out to them, they block me instantly.

Ultimately, all of this deception puts you the consumer at risk. When you hire one of these service-scammers, you are paying money to some untraceable agent halfway around the world. S/he refers the job to someone in America, who then appears at your door to perform the task. And because the worker is not connected to a local or licensed employer, any of the aforementioned problems could occur. And should you call the police, the worker and the Facebook scammer are ready to vanish. All consequences will be evaded.

How to Recognize and Avoid These Scams

These scam Facebook offers can closely resemble legitimate service posts. It can be tricky to discern the crooks from the honest people trying to make a living. Here are some things to look out for:

  • Ask for the company name, phone number and website. Legitimate service providers will offer this as soon as you ask, if not sooner. Scammers will be cagey and dodge your question, or just give you an out-of-area number.
  • Nowadays, scammers use great English! But there are still “tells”. If they type “kindly” in a sentence, or if the language feels a bit off, ask if you can call their office to schedule, or simply move on.
  • Select and copy (Ctrl+C) the first sentence or two from their post. Then, click into the search field that Facebook offers. Paste (Ctrl+V) the verbiage from the post and see what turns up in search results. Many scam posts are duplicated all over the country, and this tactic quickly exposes many FB scams.
  • Look at the Facebook account that posted the offer. If the profile is Locked, then they are not from the USA, as that option is unavailable in America. If the account has many friends from other parts of the world, then that account may not be from a local. And scammers often click Like their own photos, so that should be another tip-off.
  • Find your needed services through personal referrals. Your friends and neighbors are unlikely to steer you towards one of these questionable outfits.

Other Dos & Don’ts

If you recognize a Facebook post as a scam, report it! Click the 3-dots next to the post and use the Report options to report it, first to Facebook and then also to the admin of the FB group. Just, don’t get your hopes up about Facebook’s response.

When paying for any kind of service, a credit card is best and protects you the most. Debit card transactions often cannot be reversed, and Cash App/Venmo/Paypal may not be able to help much after you’ve paid someone.

Microsoft Support Alert Scams

Microsoft Support Alert scams are very common on the internet. Please review these details, in case you meet one. Foreknowledge will help you avoid becoming a victim!

What This Scam Looks Like

Support Alert scams appear as you surf the internet or open email. They are a type of pop-up, but don’t present like an advertisement. Check out this screencap of a recent support alert scam:

Microsoft Support Alert Scams

You can also safely see it in action this YouTube video. But there are some other critical details to this scam when it appears:

  • A loud tone may play, followed by a robotic voice. It may announce alarming things, like “Your computer has been locked”, “Do not shut off your computer”, or “Your identity has been compromised”.
  • All other windows that were open may be hidden and inaccessible.
  • The mouse cursor may disappear.
  • The X buttons and other elements will not respond to clicks or keyboard entry.

How You Might Meet this Scam

Here are some examples of how and when you might be accosted by this particular scam:

  • Clicking on a Sponsored Post or Ad on Facebook
  • Viewing a Celebrity Death Hoax article on social media
  • Visiting a Sponsored link or deceptive website from search engine results
  • Misspelling or mistyping a URL in the browser address bar
  • Clicking a link sent to you in a spam email or unexpected private message/text

Microsoft Support Alerts also originate from adware and malware installed on a computer. If this scam pops up frequently, then the computer may be infected!

What to Do When You Meet This Scam

Many people encounter this scam and feel helpless. The mouse doesn’t respond, the ‘X’ buttons do nothing, and the robovoice is urgently insisting to call the number before doomsday begins. But this is all part of the psychological ploy to get the victim to make the wrong choice (calling the number leads to an immediate remote control scam). Never call the number shown on these messages. Here are the right things to do:

  • Turn down your speakers, if the noise is too much for you.
  • Press CTRL + ALT + DEL on your keyboard, and then click the power icon to the lower-right. Choose Restart.
  • Or, press AND HOLD the power button on the computer, until it turns off. Let go of the power button and press it again to turn the machine back on.
  • When your computer is power back up, open your browser and see if you can use the internet normally again, but do NOT click Restore Pages, if asked. If you click Restore, you will resurrect the scam popups!

The messages on-screen may specifically tell you to not turn off your machine, but that is part of the scheme. Please do not believe it. Rebooting the computer is key to getting away from this scam!

How to Protect Against This Menace

This type of scam is powered by basic web pop-ups, so most antivirus programs won’t help. But there are other tactics & tools to lessen the likelihood of seeing this pop up:

  • Install an ad-blocker in your default browser. I like AdBlockPlus best.
  • Install Trafficlight in your default browser to reduce bad results in your searches.
  • Consider using FB Purity, if you spend a lot of time on Facebook.
  • Go into your browser notifications settings, and select “Don’t allow sites to send notifications”.
  • Resist clicking on any salacious news items, lotteries & giveaways or offers that are too-good-to-be-true.
  • Never click links in spam (email, texts, private messages).
  • Be careful when typing in any URL from scratch, as cybersquatters are ready to capitalize on your typos.

Despite all of these protections, you may still see a Microsoft Support Alert scam on your system someday. The creators of this are devious and determined to get around all barriers, and get better at their efforts everyday. So be ready to reboot, and you’ll be OK!

The McAfee Renewal Scam

Like so many other email-borne schemes, the McAfee Renewal Scam is just a fake message, asking you to call a number linked to criminals. Don’t pick up the phone! And don’t reply to the message. Check out these details, so you can react safely to this sort of email.

Here’s a recent example of the McAfee Renewal Scam:

the mcafee renewal scam

For many, this is an obvious fake, but I’ll still list out the giveaways:

  • The email came not from McAfee, but from some gobbledygook Gmail address.
  • Grammar mistakes abound: “successive transaction” and the use of commas in dates.
  • McAfee does not sell anything so expensive ($716.16)!
  • They used the word “kindly”.

If this shows up in your inbox, the truth of this matter is this:

  • There is no charge to any of your bank cards.
  • The order numbers are meaningless and all made up.
  • The phone number does not belong to McAfee. It rings somewhere in Scamdinavia, where cybercriminals are standing by for your call.

Anyone calling the number will speak with an eager agent who will seek to connect to your computer through remote control apps. Then they’ll press to access your bank website or other financials, to process a refund. But that will be a sham, where they will steal your money, through quick transfers and shell game switcheroos.

The good news is that this is easily dealt with, once you recognize the scam. When you get this kind of message, just delete it or mark it as spam. If you need further peace of mind, feel free to login at the real McAfee website, to check your account standing. And review your bank statements to see that no strange charges are there.

Arrest Warrant/Court Scams

Arrest Warrant/Court scams have been around for many years and still claim victims: An email or phone call or text informs someone that they are in trouble with the law. “A federal court has issued an arrest warrant in your name! An officer will be at your door soon to take you away.” Or it may be a hefty fine for some missed jury duty. In any case, if you pay the caller or emailer now, then the charges will go supposedly go away and they will call off the arrest.

If you get this kind of call/email, please know that US courts and officers will never contact you urgently for immediate payment. No one is actually coming to arrest you. The charges are made up and do not exist. Disconnect from any call resembling this scheme. Delete/mark as spam any email you receive about this. Contact your local police station if you have any doubts.

Hallmarks of this Scam:

  • The caller pressures you to pay now, before the officer gets to your house to cuff you and stuff you. High pressure tactics are common with scammers. The US Court System is slow as molasses, and would never do this to you.
  • The scammer asks for payment using Google Play cards or Walmart gift cards. No government entity wants these things! Anyone demanding a store card like this is always a scammer.
  • “You are welcome to satisfy your court debt using Zelle or Cash App!” Again, these payment methods are not used with the government. These quick-pay methods are for use with friends and family only.
  • The person trying to convince you to pay insists you may stay on the line with them. They won’t let you off the phone. They don’t want you to call anyone else. They warn you not to tell the salesperson why you are buying gift cards. They do this to keep you under their spell. They know that as soon as you talk with someone else, the scam will fall apart.
  • The supposed charges are for outlandish things you know you haven’t committed, like Illegal Drugs in New Mexico or Vehicular Manslaughter in NYC.

Also please consider:

  • Arrest Warrant and Court Scams may employ call spoofing, and your CallerID may show something convincing, like IRS, US Federal Courts or Attorney General’s Office. Please do not believe your CallerID!
  • Scammers often have your full name, address, phone number and other sensitive info. They’ve acquired it from public info websites or from data breaches. They may “confirm” that info with you as an intimidation tactic.
  • If you are emailed any convincing-looking “court summons” documents or citations, feel free to bounce them off of your local police or court officials. Do not call any numbers from the documents or email. Find their contact info through other means, or just stop by the local police station.
  • Real court summons and citations will arrive via the USPS, and look boringly official and officially boring.
  • Feel free to Google any phone number you see in such a suspicious email. Googling a scammers number will either turn up nothing, or many results showing that others have been scammed by that number.

Stolen Facebook Accounts

stolen facebook accounts

There is a large rise in Facebook Account Theft right now. I can’t explain the sudden surge, but for the last few weeks, I see people complaining about and suffering from stolen Facebook accounts almost every day. We need to go over the details, so that you are prepared and protected.

How Facebook Accounts Are Stolen

Your Facebook account can be stolen when a bad guy tricks you into revealing your password. Or, a cybercriminal can attempt to reset the password on your account, and then trick you into giving them the reset/authorization code. Then, they set a new password on the account, locking you out and giving themselves all the control.

To finalize the theft, the crook replaces the email address and/or phone number on your account with their own email/number. This makes it nearly impossible for you to recover your account.

Phishing emails are a common way to take passwords from people. Messages or pop-ups that look deceptively similar to real Facebook notices can pressure people to type in their credentials. But right now, I’m seeing a lot of password-theft happening via stolen accounts, using impersonation tactics. Example:

John Doe gets a PM from his cousin, Uncle Buck. “Hey, John! I’m having trouble with my Facebook account, and I need your help. Imma send you a code — can you tell me what that number is? It’ll help me reset my password, thanks!” John Doe thinks he’s helping his uncle, so he waits for the code to arrive by text message. When it comes, he types it in and sends it over.

But Uncle Buck isn’t Uncle Buck. A cybercriminal is inside Buck’s account, and when he gets the code, it allows him to finish a password reset on John Doe’s account. John Doe soon finds this out, when he is forced out of Facebook and cannot log back in. His account has been hijacked just like Uncle Buck’s.

How to Protect Your Facebook Account

  • Never share any security code with anyone. When a numeric code is texted or messaged to you, it is for your use only. In the wrong hands, that simple code can defeat the security of an important account. This goes for Facebook, Gmail, your bank login and any other online account you use.
  • Facebook offers some basic security tips at this page. Implement as much of their advice as you can handle.
  • Consider setting up additional security features for your Facebook account, like 2FA and login alerts. More info on that at this page.
  • If you get any fishy emails or PMs from people you would normally trust, pick up the phone and call the sender. Figure out if they really sent those message, or if you’re corresponding with some impostor in Scamdinavia.
  • Change your Facebook password at the first sign of trouble.
  • Review your Facebook Profile and make sure your Friends List, phone number and other personal info is not viewable by the public. The privacy level on that info should be “Friends Only”, or better yet, “Only Me.”

What to Do If Your Facebook Account is Stolen

  • Do not delete any security-alert emails that you receive from Facebook. They could be invaluable toward recovering your Facebook. When your password, email address or other sensitive info is changed on your account, you will receive an email. Each message will state: “If you did not make this change, click here.” Sometimes, clicking where indicated is your only hope of reverting the scammer’s change!
  • Try to recover your account at . Alternate links and methods are at this page. I must warn you, though, this process can be time-consuming, frustrating and ultimately unsuccessful. Facebook has made this process difficult, and there is no easy way to contact them.
  • Contact people outside of Facebook, to let them know your account has been compromised. Tell them to not trust your account until further notice. Ask them to look at your account for any suspicious posts or content. If they see anything that looks bad, suggest to them that they report it to Facebook.
  • If you want to try to call Facebook, please know that it probably will not help. They do not want to answer the phone for non-paying customers, and at this time, you cannot yet pay Facebook for proper support. But I will give you their corporate numbers in California, just in case: 650-543-4800 and 650-308-7300. Please be careful seeking out other Facebook contact info, as most of the phone numbers you might see in a Google search belong to scammers.
  • There are many companies on the internet that claim to be able to recover your stolen account, for a fee. Most of these are fraudulent operations. Beware! But one company called seems to be legitimate. I can’t vouch for them 100%, but they have a significant internet footprint and reasonable reviews about the recovery services that they provide.
  • If all else fails, or the recovery process is too money or time-consuming, make a new Facebook account.

Relevant for Protecting Other Social Media Accounts

This post focuses on Facebook, as that’s where I’m seeing the most harm done right now. But the overall threat and advice is relevant elsewhere. LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitch, Twitter… Accounts can be targeted and stolen on many other social media websites, using the same tactics I’ve described.

And the amount of support you get (almost none) will probably be the same, if you are a free or non-paying user. I will help where I can, but I have no special abilities to get Facebook to do the right thing. It’s up to you to stay alert and not get in a jackpot. Stay suspicious, my friends!

Celebrity Death Hoaxes

As you use social media, please pause before clicking on a celebrity death news item. I’m seeing a resurgence of celebrity death hoaxes on Facebook and other platforms right now, and they all lead to trouble.

I don’t blame people for clicking on these. Some of them look very believable. But anyone can post anything on Facebook, and Meta is very bad at policing itself and removing bad content. It’s up to us to think twice and avoid or report hazardous posts.

Celebrity death hoaxes are nothing new. The recent batch seems bent on tricking users into installing adware and malware on their computers. Here are some shots of the deceptive screens that appear for anyone unlucky enough to click these things:

Anyone falling victims to these sorts of downloads may soon suffer from lots of pop-ups, sales offers and web redirects, or worse. If you’ve caught some computer-crud from these hoaxes, give me a call and we can clean up your system fairly quickly.

And if you see any news on social media about a celebrity death, resist the urge to click. Instead, open a new tab and go to a trusted news website, and search for the celebrity’s name there. That should be a safer way to determine the truth of the matter.

Dish Network Scam – “Receiver Updates”

dish receiver - it can typically update itself

Dish Network subscribers are starting to get unexpected calls about receiver updates. These are yet another scam, similar to the Xfinity Discount scam. Here’s what you need to know before you get one of these calls:

How The Scam Works

A scammer calls and identifies himself as a Dish Network representative. They’ll claim that the Dish receivers in the house urgently need a software update. “We can send a technician to your home to do this upgrade for $300, or I can walk you through it over the phone for only $199.”

At this point, the victim may object, and the scammer is ready: “But sir, it is just a one-time payment of $199.99. Without this, your TV will soon stop working!” When the victim argues further, the crook may offer to offset their fee by promising $25 discounts for several months on future Dish bills. If the victim still does not cooperate with payment, the scammer may become rude, and claim that he will just shut down the entire satellite service.

It should go without saying: If the crook gets any kind of payment over the phone, they will disappear with the money, and the victim gets… nothing. The “upgrade” was a dog-and-pony show and nothing more.

Why This Scam Is Convincing

This scam has a lot going for it, and has the potential to dupe a lot of people.

  • The scammer on the phone already knows your name, address and (obviously) your phone number.
  • Your CallerID may be spoofed to show “Dish Networks”.
  • They will instruct the victim to press buttons and navigate menus on the Dish receiver/TV with a convincing level of accuracy.
  • If the scammer learns your Dish account PIN, s/he may make changes to your account or add discounts to your billing, to “prove” they are a capable Dish rep.

Do’s & Don’ts

  • If you find yourself on this kind of call, hang up ASAP. The less you say to the scammer, the better.
  • Never antagonize or berate the caller. Remember: They have your address. These crooks can get hostile and the worst-case scenario could result in you getting swatted.
  • Don’t volunteer any extra info, especially your Dish account number or PIN. True Dish representatives never ask for this info over the phone.
  • To verify any Dish Networks communications, or to report a fraudulent call, call their main number at 1-800-333-DISH or chat them up on their website.

Steam Card Scams

Steam Cards function like gift cards: you spend an amount of money for the card, to be able to use that as a voucher on the Steam website for purchasing video games and other software. And like any other gift card, Steam Cards are often targeted in scams.

Steam Cards can be bought at physical stores or online through the Steam website. They’re often on display with other gift cards, but the scams that involved Steam cards are a little bit different than you’d expect.

Examples of Steam Scams

  • You find yourself locked out of your Steam account, and someone is contacting you to help you regain access to it. But they need you to buy a Steam Card and send them the number from it before anything can be restored.
  • Someone messages you, stating, “I accidentally reported your account and am worried that you will be banned from Steam. Contact Steam Support at this number/email and do what they say to remove the account ban!” And if you cooperate, the fake support person will threaten to delete your entire library of games unless you buy Steam Cards for them.
  • An attractive person messages you over Steam or Discord, asking for Steam Card Codes, so that they can play the same games with you. Instead of pressure tactics, they may be flirtatious or send racy photos.
  • You encounter a Bitcoin investment opportunity, where you fund it with Steam Wallet eGift Cards.

In any case, treat Steam Cards as you would all gift cards: They are equivalent to cash, and should only be given to people you know and trust. Treat unexpected requests for Steam Cards as you would any other gift card scam. Shut it down as soon as you recognize it. Block or avoid the person trying to commit the scam.

If you don’t use Steam, you may still need to be aware of all of this to safeguard any young gamers in your household. As your children or grandchildren come asking for Steam funds, make sure everything is on the level. Check that they want these cards for their own use. If you learn that they want a Steam Card for something other than just buying a game, you may have a teachable moment on your hands!

Remote Control Scams in 2023

Remote control scams are alive and well in 2023. I blogged about this just a year ago, but this is important enough to go over again.

Scammers grab as much money as they can.

A remote control scam is where someone is out to steal your money, and they use remote control software to get into your computer. Once they have access to your system, they’ll push further into your finances (and your consciousness) to take as much as they can. Some of these bad guys are aiming for a quick $300. But this year, I’m seeing where they aim higher. In the last month, I’ve spoken with victims who have lost $30,000, $75,000, and more than $100,000 to these cybercriminals.

What makes these scams so dangerous, though, is that there is nothing you can put on your computer to protect against them. There is no virus to guard against. Your computer is not being infected or hacked. It’s largely a social-engineering operation, where the victim’s brain is the target. If the crook gets inside your head, then they will win. So please be knowledgeable about how remote control scams work, so that you don’t become a victim someday.

How These Scams Begin

A remote control scam begins over a phone call. That call starts in various ways:

  • A unexpected notice pops-up on your screen. It claims you are being hacked or infected with many viruses. Or it may accuse you of viewing illegal adult content and threaten you with fines or arrest. A robo-voice warning may blare out of your speakers, and urge you to dial a particular phone number. These pop-ups are often difficult or impossible to close.
  • You receive a robo-call. The recording tells you that there is a problem with your computer or online account, and you should press 1 to be connected with an agent now!
  • An email announces that a charge is pending for something you didn’t buy. Something like a Norton renewal, Geek Squad payment, or an expensive app from the Apple Store. And at the bottom of the email, a phone number is offered to you if you wish to dispute the charge.

These alerts almost always drop a big name: Microsoft, Paypal, Amazon, Apple, etc. But that big tech company is not responsible for the urgent notice. You’re being lied to by an impostor. The scammers are just looking to get that phone call started, by stealing and using a respected name and logo!

Getting Inside Your Head

Once an active scam phone call begins, the cybercrook gets to work immediately. And their work is akin to hypnotism. They tell an urgent story, using very convincing jargon and details, in order to get your cooperation.

There are so many stories I can hardly remember them all:

  • Hackers are attacking your PC right now!
  • No worries, I can get you a refund for that charge.
  • I see that your computer is running slowly, and I will fix it for free.
  • We overcharged you in the past and would like to compensate you as an apology.
  • You have not paid these back taxes and officers are coming to arrest you in less than an hour.

If they get inside your head, the next step is to see if they can get inside the computer (or mobile device). They guide the victim to install a small program for this. And often, the victim hardly realizes what’s going on, due to the stress & panic of the situation.

If You Give a Crook Your Mousie…

These bad guys use the same remote control tools that all the good guys use. They just need to convince their mark to install one before the scam can progress. Here are some examples:

  • The crook emails a link to the victim, for downloading their “helper” app. They instruct on how to click the link and then to click Yes on any prompt while the program loads.
  • The scammer asks the victim to open Quick Support from the Windows Start Menu, and they ask for the access code on its screen.
  • A bad guy explains how to open a Run window. He then dictates a website to type in, something like or .
  • The criminal tells how to use the app store on the phone to get an inspection app. But once the app is opened on the phone, it turns out to allow remote access.
remote control apps in the Google Play Store
These are just a handful of free remote access apps that scammers can use.

Anyone who follows these kinds of steps will permit a scammer full control over the computer. It is the same as when I connect to your computers to fix them. The cyber criminal will see the screen and be able to mouse around on the system. But they aren’t there to fix anything. Instead, they’re fixing to invade some bank accounts!

Further Convincing Details

Once aboard the computer, the bad guys often “get right to work”, running scans and opening lots of windows. They may show off a complicated Control Panel to show the thousands of errors on the system. Or launch a DOS window that is covered in IP addresses of the hackers targeting the system. They also can place lots of new and curious icons on the desktop:

convincing icons left behind by scammers
Bogus Icons That Sure Look Impressive

Whatever they demonstrate is just computer theater. The goal at this stage is to overwhelm and impress the victim, to get them to fall in line. They are “tenderizing the meat.” The crook really wants to be sure that they’ll get full cooperation on the next step of the plan.

Step 3: Profit

If the scammer has gotten this far, they will now start the financial part of the scheme. Some scammers still ask for gift cards, but the greedier criminals want to see the online bank accounts. They know it’ll net them more money. So they insist that the victim go to their banking website and login, with these types of stories:

  • I will be happy to refund you the $500 fee, if you can just show me what account number to transfer it to.
  • We must safeguard your savings before the hackers get to it. They have almost gotten your money, but we can move it to a safe government holding account before they hack you!
  • You can satisfy your debt with a quick transfer and I can show you how to do it through your bank’s billpay.

These criminals usually don’t care what your bank password is. They typically ignore your bank account numbers. They just want to see your balance. They want to see what the jackpot amount is, and their next scheme adjusts accordingly, to drain your account. One possible scenario:

The thief spots $500 in the checking account and $50,000 in the savings, They offer to refund the fake Norton charges to the checking. “We will give you your $400 back to you right now!”. But after they initiate a transfer, the bank account will refresh and show a $40,000 incoming deposit. The scammer will get angry and loud, claiming, “You mistyped it! You messed it up and took $40,000 from me! I will lose my job for this! I will call the police on you, unless you send me back that money!” And then he will attempt to wire transfer $40,000 out of the savings account to … some other account that he controls.

Here’s another far-fetched story:

The crook sees $20,000 in checking and $80,000 in savings. They say, “OK, look, we can save your money, but we have to move it all into your checking account. The hacker is attacking your savings account” After a quick money shuffle, the checking account holds $100,000. “Oh no, the scammers noticed what I did, now they are hacking after your checking account! We will have to move all your money to a protective FBI account. If we don’t, the scammers will take your money in the next 15 minutes. I can see that they have almost hacked your Bank of America security. Quickly now! We can bring back all of your money after the scammers are defeated!”

This is it. If the scammer has gotten this far, they’ve just won the lottery. The small fortune in American Dollars they’ve just grabbed will convert to a large fortune in their country’s currency.

If they have anything else to do with their victim at this point, it will be to buy for time. They may have other stories now, to calm the victim, to get the victim to relax and just wait a few days. This is to give them time to transfer and hide the money, to make it harder to for that money to be clawed back when the fraud is detected.

If You Have Lost Money To This Scam

After the scam and phone call ends, the hypnotism will fade away and the truth will dawn. At this point, you’ve got to act fast, to get a tourniquet on the situation:

  • Contact your banking institution to let them know you may have been scammed. Do NOT wait until the morning, call any and every number you have for them, until you reach a live human. Describe the entire scam-process to them, and they will know what you are talking about. Follow all of their instructions to a tee, to protect your account and seek recovery of your money. The sooner you contact your bank, the greater your chances of recovering your money!
  • Disable or uninstall the remote control software used by the bad guys. If you don’t know how to do this, turn off the computer and seek legitimate computer help!
  • Change your online banking password (your bank may help you with this when you contact them). Change the passwords to any sites you logged into while the bad guys were connected to your system. Change as many passwords as it takes to get your peace of mind back.

Final Notes & Commentary

When I teach people about these scams, a frequent comment I hear is “Boy, how stupid do you have to be to fall for this?” Let go of that sentiment right now. Scammers can rob people, regardless of intelligence or education level. I have helped so many people recover from these crimes, and the victims come from all walks of life. Some are business owners. Others are teachers. Many have gone to college and have Dr. before their names or many letters after their names. Let’s not victim-shame or victim-blame. We should instead focus on how skilled the criminals are at their game. Some of them truly are world-class hypnotists. Recognizing them as a serious enemy is a better mindset.

Big tech companies are not going to call you out of the blue with an unexpected crisis. It’s always a scam. If you still have doubts, talk to someone else before taking action. Call a friend or a computer tech or a family member. Only call phone numbers that you can trust 100%, like those printed on your billing statements or found at GetHuman.

Antivirus software defeats viruses. Ad-blockers stop malicious ads. Firewalls defends against hackers and malware. But as I mentioned at the start, this type of scam belongs to none of those threat groups. It doesn’t matter if you have a PC, a a Chromebook or an iPhone. Your head is the target, not the device. Knowledge equals protection with this issue, and that’s what all these words are here for. Please be aware, and cultivate a healthy mistrust for the unexpected.

Xfinity Scam – “50% Discount”

There’s a scam going around right now, promising a 50% discount on your Comcast/Xfinity bill. You might see this scam in your email, Facebook feed or even get a phone call! In any case, please know that it is not a legitimate offer.

It is too good to be true. Anyone duped into calling the offered number will reach a scammer, not an Xfinity rep. And the crook will press you to pay some advance money to qualify for the fictional discount. Once you send them any kind of payment, they’ll disappear.

Xfinity doesn’t offer any deep discounts like this, but you are always welcome to reach out to them to verify other offers you might hear about. You can report this scam to them when you receive it, if you like, but rest assured they already know all about it.

« Older posts Newer posts »

© 2023 BlueScreen Computer

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑