Last Sunday night at 12:13 AM my phone rang. OK, I do talk to folks late night so it wasn’t unusual. Yet.
When I answered the call from “unknown caller,” what did I hear? A crazy robocall telling me that my computer had been hacked and I needed to contact “security” to deal with the problem. It went on and on (I just had to listen) about zombie machines and the dangers of not making contact with security—basically I should expect my computer to explode and my data to flutter about like confetti if I didn’t contact them immediately. Of course there was no good explanation of who “security” actually was or how on earth they would have access to that particular number, but they certainly wanted me to leap into action.
It’s not bad enough that I’ve received at least 100 spam messages in the last week about the fake NY traffic ticket and a failed USPS delivery. Now I’ve got robo-phishing fools calling me too!
Don’t Give Up Your Data!
I pay attention to security scams generally, and I hadn’t heard of this one yet. But of course it’s not new and I’m not alone. Others have reported a similar scam with a fake Microsoft employee calling to say that an individual’s computer had been hacked and they needed to walk through a process to fix it. There’s even a YouTube video about a similar scam and it can help you protect yourself if you’re unfamiliar with computers or these scams.
Rest assured that the company who provides your anti-virus and firewall software won’t phone you and say that your computer has been hacked. Neither will Microsoft. Since there wasn’t a human on the phone for me to uh…speak sternly to, I had to content myself with hanging up. Nevertheless, I’m still amazed at the audacity and lunacy of it all—and I’ve been in this business long enough to know that someone, somewhere, will fall for it. Don’t let it be you!