Tip of the Week - September 26, 2016 - Protect Your Computer From Scammers Who Call And Want Access To It

The call comes from out of the blue.   The number is not one you recognize and when you answer, someone with a thick accent tells you that your computer system has been hacked and he needs to tap into it immediately to keep you from have any problems or breaches in security.  Some people fall victim to this because the caller indicates he's from a computer operating company and is quite demanding.  Never give permission for anyone to access your computer or your personal information.   Do not answer their questions. 

What should you do?  First and foremost, hang up.  If you're curious who's calling, type the phone number into a search engine,  chances are you'll see hundreds of people have gotten the same call.   You can also ask the caller for an 800 number to contact the company he claims to represent.  The callers typically hang up at that point. The callers are persistent and want you to believe they are from an operating system.

"It's not rude to simply hang up on these people," said Kenny Ehrman, chair of the California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) Consumer Protection and Public Safety Foundation.  "It's better not to engage them.  Better yet, if it is a phone number you don't recognize, simply don't answer it.   These people rarely leave a message.  They'll just move on."