Beware of Telephone Scams

  • Al Medeiros

Recently I received a call from a lady who told me that the icons disappeared from her desktop and she received a call from “Cisco” telling her that she was being hacked. I went to visit her to check out her computer. It turned out some setting had been changed so it was pretty easy to get the desktop back to normal. She also mentioned that she was getting strange notifications appearing on occasion. It turned out to be from a remote desktop application. Nothing had been installed recently but she told me she had received a call from “Cisco” a few months ago and they told her she was being hacked and offered to fix it for $300. She gave them access to her computer and her credit card. The date the remote desktop software was installed was the date of the phone call from “Cisco”. They supposedly fixed the problem but when she checked she found they charged $1,000 to her credit card. I removed the remote desktop software from her machine.

If you get a call from anyone telling you that your computer has been hacked or they have detected some type or problem with your computer PLEASE HANG UP. No one is monitoring your computer. If you give them access, at best they will charge you a lot of money while doing nothing and at worst they will charge you a lot of money and set you up for future problems and payments. If you think you have a problem please call one of the Oakmont Computer helpers or work with a local reputable business.

“Cisco” is in quotes because legitimate companies like Cisco, Microsoft, Apple, etc. will never call you to tell you they’ve detected a problem on your machine. The IRS will not call you to report a tax problem; neither will Social Security nor the Franchise Tax Board. The people making these calls are scammers and they are only after your money. Please don’t fall for these scams.