Earlier today I got a call from 24seven PC Care, advising me that as a windows user my computer may have been subject to some “infection”. Oh-no I thought! “Is that like a virus?” I asked. “Oh, no,” I was told “these can not be picked up be any anti-virus software... this is not a virus... it's an infection.” “What like a malware infection?” I enquired. “Erm... yeah... things like that.”
Now being the natural sceptic that I am... and knowing my way round a PC I knew he was talking bull as much as he did... but just for sport... “So, how do I know if I have one of theses infections?” I asked.
Over the next 10 minutes the “customer advisor” aka salesman. Talked me through, in very simple step by step actions, accessing the applications history in the computers Run menu. He then proceeded to tell me that every 'warning' that appeared on there was one of these new “infections” trying to attack my computer. Now to me, because I kind of know what I'm doing, a warning file is just that a general 'warning' and not anything to be overly concerned about. But, had I not been a little tech savvy, I imagine this would have caused a lot of people to panic. But, that’s ok, because they will then talk you through going to their website and allowing one of their technicians to remotely scan your computer.
Now I was a little annoyed already because I could imagine how this call would have, entirely needlessly, struck fear into many of my friends and family members. So I informed them that I could not allow remote access to my computer as I worked from home and held information on there I could not risk anyone else accessing. “Oh but they can not access those files.” I was told “They simply scan the computer.” At which point I pointed out that if I granted them remote access to my PC, they could indeed do that. I was then told that because they have the Windows logo on their site, that meant they were partners of Microsoft, and I shouldn't worry about a thing. Oh well... as long as there's a picture on your website, that must mean everything's ok.
“So if I give you access to my PC, and you find any of these files, what happens then?” I asked, already knowing full well what the answer would be. “Then we can offer you full support and maintenance for just £76.”
Now, because I take online security fairly seriously, there's no way I was giving these people remote access to my PC. But, I'd bet my life on the fact they would have found one of these dangerous infections that required me to purchase there services.
Do not fall for these scams. Talk to less well experienced PC users you know, and make sure they do not fall for these scams. Stick with the tried and tested, reputable, online security products that don't rely on ill informed salesmen calling you and attempting to terrify you.