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Beware Of Microsoft Support Scam Hoax Calls – Don’t Fall For The Scam

February 29, 2012

The world is full of scams and unfortunately people fall victim to them daily. We are all used to the Nigerian million dollar scam where they send you an email promising you millions in exchange for your bank details. Unbelievable that people divulge this information so easily, even my wife struggles to get mine.

A telephone scam that I have recently heard about is quite worrying and I have already met someone locally who fell victim to it. The scam begins with a telephone call (usually from an Indian sounding chap) telling you that they are from Microsoft (I can assure you Microsoft do not ring you at home) and they have detected a problem with your windows computer. Now, chances are that most households have a windows computer and they are just hoping that you have one so the scam can begin. The best thing you can do is remember that Microsoft will not call you and hang up the call. No damage done. Unfortunately, not everyone is technically minded and may well believe the ploy. Here are some things they can do to scam you.

  • Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.
  • Take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
  • Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
  • Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.

Neither Microsoft nor our partners make unsolicited phone calls (also known as cold calls) to charge you for computer security or software fixes.

Source:Microsoft.com

If your computer is working normally and you receive a Microsoft support scam call, ask them if there is a fee involved. If they say yes, just decline and hang up. Don’t allow them to guide you through any process on your computer. They will show you a screen in the windows administration services that makes it appear that you are at risk. I have included a sample of what you may be shown below (click the image to see a larger version). This is no reason to let anyone access your computer or ask for credit card details.

microsoft support scam

If you think you may be a victim of this Microsoft support scam Microsoft advises changing all your passwords for email accounts, bank accounts, etc. If you have given out credt card details I would contact your bank immediately and stop the cards to try and prevent any further transactions. I would also recommend downloading and installing a free security program such as MalwareBytes Anti Malware Free Edition and performing a full scan of your computer.

If you are not confident about checking the security of your computer I would recommend taking it to a local computer repair shop to get it checked out.

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Windows Stability Center Rogue Attack – Virus Removal Macclesfield

April 2, 2011

There is yet another rogue scam hitting computers at the moment. The lastest is called Windows Stability Center and presents you with a system tools type interface telling you that your system is insecure, infected, not optimized, etc. This is of course all nonsense and bears no relation to your actual computer. These types of infection are becoming increasingly common and legitimate antivirus companies are struggling to keep up with them. To the average computer user these rogue software infections seem all too real and many people are panicked into parting with cash and ultimately card details. If you do this you are in trouble as your card details will be cloned or sold on for sure. Next thing you know, your bank account is empty or you receive a large credit card bill. The software is also known as scareware for obvious reasons.

What To Do If Your Computer Is Infected

Don’t panic and make any hasty decisions if you think your computer is infected. Best plan of action is to shut your computer down and contact a  local computer repair company. Most antivirus programs are actually pretty much useless at stopping these types of attacks as they are modified almost daily to bypass detection. It is also possible to become infected just from simply visiting a website that has had malicious code added to it. I know people who were simply looking at shoes online and became infected.

If you are in the Macclesfield area ring PC Guardians on 07955 520730 and we will remove the virus infections for you. The cost for removing the rogue antivirus or system tools infections varies between £65-£80

The infections can affect system files and render a computer unusable in a short amount of time so don’t hesitate. Get it fixed immediately.

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Gmail Account Hacked

March 28, 2011

I was very surprised to discover that my rarely used Gmail account has been compromised and used to send out spam links. Luckily there were not many contacts in the account as I only use it for test emails. Unfortunately there were some addresses listed in the most contacted section. These are the emails that were sent the spam links. I have now emptied this section to prevent it happening again.
More worrying is how did it get hacked in the first place? I have good security on my PC and have since done a full scan with no infections found. Maybe I logged into my Gmail account from a compromised computer at another location which may well have logged my password.
Quite an annoying experience but easily corrected. When I tried to login to Gmail, they already knew something was not right as I was presented with options to verify myself and reset my password.

Take a look at this article on how to check if your Gmail account has been hacked and what to do about it.

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Are You A Victim Of Fake Antivirus Or Spyware Programs

April 29, 2010

One of the most prevalent and annoying problems you may encounter today is attacks from fake or rogue anti-virus programs through the Internet. These malicious programs pop-up uninvited and usually tell you that your computer is infected with many different viruses or spyware. This is a lie! The programs are designed for one purpose and that is to extract money from you. There are many different variations of these fake anti virus  programs around but they all have one thing in common. They are a nuisance and will make you and your computer very unhappy.

The malicious programs affect your computer in different ways depending on which program you have. some will just annoy the hell out of you with pop-ups appearing every few seconds, others will disable parts of your computers operating system such as windows updates. Another effect of fake anti virus software can be redirection of your web pages. For example, you perform a search on Google but when you click on one of the results, your browser takes you to somewhere completely different. This alone is very frustrating.

Below are screen shots of fake programs to give you an idea of what to look for.

Many genuine anti virus products fail to detect and prevent fake anti virus and spyware programs. Purchasing a specialized product to protect your computer is the best approach. Spyware Doctor from PC Tools is a good place to start. The program offers good protection from most types of spyware and malicious programs and is quite a cheap purchase at only £17.99 for a 3 pc licence.

Another source of spyware can be free toolbars. Try and avoid any toolbar that offers to save you money or give you freebies as they may be dangerous. The only toolbar I use is the Google toolbar. With a little care most of these problems can be avoided but the makers of fake programs are getting smarter in their approach all the time so you need to be protected. Take care.

If you are in Macclesfield, Cheshire and are experiencing problems described above please contact PC Guardians for Macclesfield Computer repairs and Virus removal

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A Very Good Reason To Install AntiVirus & Anti-Spyware Software On Your PC

May 18, 2009

If you own a computer and use the Internet, you must have some sort of protection software installedright? If you answered no this question you are asking for trouble. Your whole identity and life could be already in the hands of criminals and they will have no scruples about exploiting your information.

Why would you even consider not protecting your computer and your information from thieves? You would not go out and leave your doors and windows wide open would you. So why do it with your personal information?

This short video from the BBC highlights what hackers are capable of and the information they can collect from your PC – Why you should install antivirus software on your PC

Don’t be a victim of cybercrime, there is no need to remain vulnerable to malicious attacks from the Internet. Protection is available for free from several companies. A favourite of mine is Avira free antivirus software just click the download.com button to download the install file. Once downloaded, double click and install Avira. Update the program and then perform a scan of your computer to see if it is infected.

Honestly, it is so easy to protect yourself there is no excuse to ignore it. Do it today before it’s too late and you need my services.

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Computer Repair Macclesfield – Your Computer Is Infected – Or Is It?

March 31, 2009

Don’t panic! Famous line from The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy and also good advice. I know many of you do exactly that when your computer goes wrong. There really is no need to panic. Whatever the computer problem is, there is a good chance that PC Guardians computer repairs Macclesfield can fix it for you.

Viruses and spyware are at the forefront of many Macclesfield computer problems and it is indeed a nuisance to end up with a computer infected with spyware. One of the most prevalent problems at the moment are rogue anti-virus and spyware applications. The first sign you have been infected is the appearance of windows system error messages and pop ups informing you that your computer has been infected. This is usually followed by an offer to scan your computer and fix the problems for you. Once you take the offer of a scan the ploy to extract money from you begins.

By this stage your computer has been infected and the rogue application will appear to scan your computer, after which it will report that your computer has hundreds maybe even thousands of infections on it. You will be offered the chance to remove the infections by paying for the full version of the application. Please do not pay for this software as it is complete rubbish and you do not need it. By paying you are not only giving money to criminals but there is also a strong chance that you are compromising your credit card details as well.

These applications go by various names including Win Fixer, Spyware Protestor 2009. Anti-Virus 2009 and others. The best plan of action is to call us and we will remove the spyware from your computer for you. Please be aware that these applications do pose a real threat and are difficult to remove unless you have the appropriate knowledge.

PC Guardians provide a professional, friendly computer repair service in Macclesfield and surrounding areas such as Bollington, Congleton, Prestbury, Knutsford & Leek. Often we will collect your computer and return it when repairs are complete.

Costs associated with this type of repair are in the region of £70-£80 and your computer will be with us for 2-5 working days maximum. You can contact us on 07955 520730

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Back To School Computer Repairs In Macclesfield

August 23, 2008

The time to return to school is fast approaching. A new term brings new lessons and more homework. Most children use the internet and the computer now to do their homework. But what if yours is not working properly?

If your computer is running slower than it used to or you are getting loads of pop-up ads for sites you don’t want, your computer may be infected with a virus or spyware. Spyware and malware are on the increase everyday and if you don’t have proper protection your computer is a sitting duck and could be attacked within minutes of connecting to the internet.

If you think your computer may be infected give PC Guardians a call and we can fix it for you and install adequate virus and spyware protection for you. We will also make sure your computer is up to date with all necessary drivers and software patches.

Don’t hesitate, for computer repair in Macclesfield call us