Happy Scam Day

Every day I get a call or email (or text, Facebook message, tweet, DM on Nextdoor... I thought this technology thing was supposed to make things easier!) where the person lets common sense go out the window and needs my advice to not be technically savvy but help them understand there's a scam happening and I need to talk them off a ledge, quickly.

Some recent examples:

  • Microsoft, Apple, Dell, etc WILL NOT CALL YOU.  They do not call.  Never, ever.  Mom, you have a better chance getting called by one of my teenage boys than by Microsoft telling you that Windows is expired.  Hang up on them and move on.
  • If someone who you haven't talked with in years sends you an email and requests a Game Stop gift card scanned and emailed to them with the PIN number exposed for their son, why don't you pick up the phone and call them to see if it's really from them.  (Hint, it's not.)
  • If you get a pop-up message in your web browser that says you have a virus (Zeus, Zlob, etc), and to call a number, it's not a virus, just a really good advertisement.  Hold down your power button for 10 seconds. (NOT 5.... 5 is not 10.  See Monty Python and the Holy Grail, fast forward to the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch scene for clarification.)
  • And no, your grandson's not in a Chilean jail.

What I will tell my clients is to learn how to take a picture and text it to me.  I can quickly respond and hopefully provide a quick intervention (I'm an interventional technologist - guess I need some new business cards) to hopefully cut the bad guy off at the knees before they can steal your stuff.

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