How to avoid computer and Internet scams


Protect Your Access to the Internet

I’ve written about this countless times over the years, but the scammers don’t stop, so I won’t stop bringing it up. In my computer and IT services business, we still regularly get calls from customers that have let a remote scammer onto their computer. Sometimes they even pay the scammer before realizing it was a scam or they pay even though it doesn’t feel right but they just want to stop being hounded.

So, here I share even more tips to help ensure you don’t fall victim:

Never trust unsolicited phone calls saying your computer has issues: Even if they say they’re from Microsoft, Windows, Apple or another popular corporation, a legit company will never call you unsolicited saying your computer, Internet or an online account has issues. I’ve heard countless customers of ours get these scam attempts.

If you get a call out of the blue like this, I suggest just hanging up. Some legit companies (like Google or Apple) will send email and/or phone alerts on security concerns, so those could be true but they never call you or tell you to call a number. If in doubt, go to their website directly to check the status of your account or message/call them from contact info you get directly from their website. If you still are in doubt, contact a local computer pro for advice.

Never call someone if your computer says to: Similar to unsolicited phone calls, a legit company never pops up on your computer screen saying to call them, plays an alert message through the speakers or emails you saying to call them. These are also popular scam attempts we see often. In many cases you may find it hard to get the alert message off the screen or to stop the audio alert. If you need help, contact a local computer pro for advice.

Don’t click on Search Engine ADs: Most search engines display ADs that look like results. Sometimes this is helpful, allowing you to discover new products and services. But remember scammers can also try to trick you by posting seemingly legit ADs that lead to phishing sites. For example, even if the AD says it’s Walmart and looks normal, it could be a scammer that posted the AD. So, instead of getting…