Internet Searches Gone Bad

Oct 28, 2014   //   by nick   //   Blog, Internet Security  //  No Comments

Throughout the past 17 year years I have had the opportunity to troubleshoot thousands and thousands and thousands of computer problems. I have conquered computer network troubleshooting, virus cleaning, secure wireless networking, called credit card companies and stopped the auto charge on consumer credit cards for anti-virus and an array of other tasks. Recently I have seen a lot of online scams thriving. One of the things that bothers me the most is folks being scammed, and right in their own home.

Listen Closely: If an end-user wants to call Dell to troubleshoot issues on their computer they might go online and do a search for “Dell support phone number” and this is exactly where the problem starts. There are multiple utilities available to the scammers that enable them to see just how many searches were performed for certain keyword like “dell support” The scammers already know how many users type in Dell support on a monthly basis and they have managed to get their company names to the top of your internet search through paid advertisement. As an ordinary computer user you think that you have identified the 1-800 number for Dell but actually its an advertisement from a malicious company, many times they are overseas organizations. So then you go ahead and call the supposed Dell support number and bam,you get the these yokels. They will walk you through several different steps of troubleshooting and lead you to believe that you are in good hands and then at that moment they ask to remotely connect to your computer. Once they connect you sit back and watch them do their thing. Low and behold they find a problem and want to charge hundreds and hundreds of dollars to fix it for you, a problem that likely doesn’t exist or has been greatly exaggerated.

In one instance last week a client of mine right here in Wallingford, CT had a problem with their magic jack telephone system so they searched online and got the 1-800 number for magic jack support, or so they thought. The short of it is that they almost paid a kings ransom but they called me on their cell phone while they remained on the phone with “magic jack support”. I was in the area and had a few minutes so I paid them a quick visit. The so called magic jack support team had told the user that someone from a foreign country had hacked into their computer and that they could fix the problem for a few hundred dollars. The scammers were logged in and pulled up a command prompt, the black screen with white text. They ran a netstat command that shows the devices connected to your network, of course theirs was the one from a foreign country! The other thing that these low lifes did was type in the words ” zues virus detected… others are connected to this machines…) They were trying to scare these users into thinking all sorts of bad things. The fact in this case was that there was absolutely nothing wrong with their machine, they had a problem with their PHONES which is why they tried to call magic jack. They pulled the wrong number from their internet search and this is where it lead them.

The important points here are obvious. You need to pay very close attention to the output of your internet searches. Look at the website and make sure that you pull the phone number from the intended website. For instance if you wanted to call Dell then you should navigate to dell.com. From there you can drill down until you find the support options on their webpage. You can then be certain that you have the correct phone number. Be careful and if you have concerns call your local computer repair shop. Most if not all shops will be happy to advise you for free. Its not a big deal to take a 60 second phone call to help out one of our members of the community from the overseas scam shops looking to rip into your pockets.

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