There is Never a Free Lunch

by lg0p89

Overall, technology is a great thing.

I cannot imagine what life would be like without my iPhone, laptop, etc.  It would simply be a mental drain, as everything would slow down exponentially.  Technology has made us more productive, given us the ability to contact family and friends in an instant, and, in general, made our lives so much simpler.  This is clearly the positive side.

As with anything, if there is a positive, there is a negative to counterbalance this.  There is always someone working to get something for nothing (and the checks for free; sorry for the 80s reference, but it was fitting).  These scam artists offer you something to make your life easier.  After all, this is exactly what we want.  This could take the form of a call or email stating the lottery has chosen you as a winner.  This could also manifest itself as you - Joe or Josephine Consumer - being called out of the blue by a Microsoft customer service representative letting you know your system is corrupted with a virus.  He can certainly fix the issue in a very expedited and quick time frame.  He would just need remote access to your machine.

This sounds easy enough.  You just allow him access to your computer and all will be fine in a few minutes.  The alleged Microsoft representative stated there are viruses on your system that could cripple it.

The person on the phone really is not working for Microsoft.  I know you are as surprised as I was (sarcasm) to hear this.  This clearly is nothing more than scamming a gullible person.  Microsoft does not cold call a consumer regarding their PC having a virus.  It just does not happen.  As a rule of thumb, there probably is nothing wrong with their system.  If they do allow the scammer the remote access, the bugs the scammer was supposed to protect the consumer from are put on the machine (malware, keylogger, or other software apps).  They could collect the consumer's credit card information and numbers, passwords for everything the consumer has logged into, and other private or confidential information.

The lessons to be learned abound here.  As a consumer, don't purchase computer services over the telephone.  This is only going to be a problem.  Also, don't let someone you did not initiate contact with have access to remote control your system.  If you do, you will have a bad day.  A little common sense goes a long way.