Who’s Accessing Your PC?

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Handcuffs  Last month a Luton man was successfully prosecuted for scamming users into paying for free software. He had hired a number of call centre staff in India to call UK residents and to trick them into giving them remote access to their PC’s. The caller would tell the victim that their PC had a serious issue and that they could fix it for them. They then charged victims between £35 and £150 for software which could be downloaded from Microsoft for free.

Trading Standards have hailed this as a landmark case, the first time a UK resident has been convicted of the Microsoft scam, however, there are many more copy-cat scams in place so how do you make sure you don’t fall victim?

Firstly, Microsoft do not make outgoing calls to their customers – never! If you get a call from anyone who says they are calling directly from Microsoft then it’s simply not true.

Secondly, unless you are paying for a managed support service on your home PC, no third party company would know if you had a virus or other issue with your PC and be able to get in contact with you about it.

Worried userSome of these callers can be very convincing and, with most users conscious of the number of viruses and security around, it is easy to be lulled into thinking that something terrible is happening with your PC, but if anyone calls out of the blue and wants access to your PC, don’t let them in!

If you are worried that you may have a virus or malware on your PC, make sure that your anti-virus software is up to date and running properly then run a full scan. Once the scan has completed, follow any instructions carefully to ensure that any infections are successfully removed.

If in doubt, contact a reputable local IT company who will have the tools available to remove any infections.

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