Computer tips: Beware of these technology scams

Even my clients, as informed as I keep them, occasionally fall victim to technology scams. I here stories from friends and family who were taken advantage of as well. I want to share a couple with you in this e-mail. Please see below for the "service special."

1. Phone call from Microsoft or Yahoo. For some reason it’s one of these two companies. A client recently told me that they got a phone call from Microsoft at 4:45 in the morning. Wow. They are desperate! For some reason they are either looking in a phone book or getting access to some database of software users. Usually these phone calls are coming from India. There is no doubt that Microsoft and other tech companies use contracted services overseas to provide support. It is possible that in their downtime these call centers start doing some dirty work. Apple generally uses US call centers. I know that Dell has an option at checkout to pay for "North American Support". Lenovo’s support here is generally US based, from my experience. From my recent experience dealing with HP’s support on my ProBook, I found that the employees in India are HP employees and not contractors. With the HP EliteBook laptops, customers do get US support. I’ve dealt with Microsoft support before. If you really like Yahoo Mail (and don’t get it through ATT internet) they have a $49 a year Plus option where you can get phone support. However, both with Microsoft and Yahoo –YOU CALL THEM, THEY DON’T CALL YOU.

2. Advertisements stating that you need to clean or look at your computer. Some ads look so real. They make you think you have a virus or that your computer is slow or needs to be optimized. Know what anti-virus, anti-malware programs you have on your computer, along with any cleaning utilities. Keep them updated if you are prompted. If you are somehow notified of other programs, ignore!! Common programs in these categories that I may have installed or used on your computer include
Mac: Intego, ClamX AV, ESET, App Cleaner, Clean My Mac 2
Windows: ESET, Kaspersky, Microsoft Security Essentials, Webroot, CCleaner, Spybot Search and Destroy, MalwareBytes, Win Patrol, System Mechanic by Iolo