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Beware the Scams

There is no antivirus that will protect you from your own behavior. As the software we count on to protect us has become sophisticated, the bad guys have become creative. Here are some of the scams to be aware of:


From FedEx, UPS, or USPS: "We were unable to delivery your package. Please open attachment to print shipping label" or similar text. When you open the attachment, a macro (programming within the document) will infect your computer with a virus.

From an email address you know: Commonly, there will be a few words offering a link to a website the writer says you might find interesting, or that features you. Of course, it's not from anyone you know, and the link is to a web page that will promptly infect your computer. Another scam that appears to come from someone you know may be a desperate plea for help. "I'm stuck in London/Paris/Istanbul and my wallet was lost/stolen. Please wire me $$$$ and I'll pay you back next time I see you." Since this didn't really come from anyone you know, the money you send will be gone forever.


From the IRS: You get a call from an IRS agent who swears you owe back taxes and if you don't pay immediately your bank accounts will be attached/frozen. Hang up!! The IRS will never call you. You'll get mail from the IRS if you really do owe taxes.

From Microsoft: You get a call from "Microsoft Tech Support" claiming your computer has been identified as having viruses/errors. He/she will then ask for access to your computer to "fix" the problem for a small fee. If you provide your credit card number and allow the access, you have compromised your card account, AND allowed viruses to be loaded onto your computer.

Computer Pop-ups:

You're surfing the net and suddenly a message pops up telling you there are thousands of viruses on your computer. Don't click!!! Even if the page you're on is one you've visited many times, it's still a scam (and probably has nothing to do with the page you're on).

You're working on your computer and suddenly get a pop-up prompting you to update your computer's drivers. Don't click! Most drivers are updated through Microsoft's regular updates.

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