Computer tech support scams target Brtiish Columbians

A new technology scam reaches out to take your money and run

  • Mar. 14, 2012 10:00 a.m.

Protect yourself, your money and your identity

For several months, phone scammers have been targeting British Columbians by pretending to be with a reputable computer software company, asking to perform urgent software updates and requesting hundreds of dollars as a fee for their service.

In response to this and other frauds, the province and Consumer Protection BC are teaming up during Fraud Prevention Month to provide tips to help British Columbians fraud-proof themselves.

Fraud Prevention Month is a national initiative with the goal of fighting fraud aimed at businesses and consumers. This phone scam is a prevalent one. The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre says it currently accounts for 70 per cent of all fraud complaints in Canada.

 

The phone scam works like this:

Tom, a B.C. resident, receives a phone call at dinner time. The caller explains he is from ‘Microsoft Tech Support’. He asks Tom whether his computer is running slowly and encourages him to download software right away to fix his computer. Tom has found that his system has been sluggish lately so he follows the caller’s instructions and bills the new ‘software’ to his credit card.

The total bill is in the hundreds of dollars.

Unfortunately, Tom has been scammed and has installed spyware, or malware, on his computer. The corrupt program can potentially monitor what he is typing on his computer, including personal information like banking details and passwords.

 

Here are some tips to protect you and your family from becoming a victim of this ‘virus-fixing’ scheme:

 

• If you receive one of these unsolicited phone calls, hang up and do not download anything onto your computer.

• Do your research and ask questions around all unsolicited phone calls.

• Get the name, phone number and website address of any company that calls you. Check to see if it is a legitimate company or if a real company’s name is being used as part of a scam. The Internet has a great deal of useful information on scam avoidance.

 

• Do not provide any personal information, especially your credit card number.

• To stay informed about possible scams and to warn others: Visit Consumer Protection BC on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/ConsumerProtectionBC. Report any fraudulent activity to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by calling 1 888 495-8501.

 

• Know your rights! If you have questions about your rights and  responsibilities as a B.C. consumer, please contact Consumer Protection BC, toll-free at 1 888 564-9963 or online at: www.consumerprotectionbc.ca

There are many scams out there and you should know that if a deal seems too good to be true — it is. Also do not give out any personal information over the phone or on-line. No legitimate bank, for instance, will ask for PIN numbers or personal information.

Just Posted

“Winter Heart” a musical gift to Sooke

Community Choir’s Christmas offering a thoughtful seasonal concert

Alleged child abduction attempt in Langford a family issue, RCMP say

Const. Matt Baker with West Shore RCMP says parents should not worry

Building permits up, but residential construction softening in Greater Victoria

Greater Victoria led the province in issuing new building permits in August

Wolverines hopeful for deep playoff run

Sooke high school has young ‘talented team’

‘Spread love’: UVic Pride replaces white supremacy posters in Victoria

Around 50 people walked through downtown on Nov. 12 to share posters of love

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Vancouver Island remembers

Important stories shared as Islanders salute those who made the greatest sacrifice

POLL: Have BC Ferry wiats ever forced you to cancel your travel plans?

Many BC Ferry passengers heading out from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen on… Continue reading

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

Racist slur cleaned off memorial at Qualicum First Nation graveyard

Site was hit by vandals on Friday; many immediately offered support and assistance

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Vancouver Island leadfoot clocked doing 143 km/h in an 80 km/h zone

Driver issued $483 ticket, has vehicle impounded after pinging RCMP radar in Lantzville

Most Read