Last week on Tech Talk presented by SumnerOne, our lead engineer, Jeff Groby joined Guy Phillips and Julie Buck to talk about online scams. Julie was even so kind to welcome Jeff to KTRS with a fun saying from her many years on the radio, "Don't be nervous. Don't be rocky. You're our special guest disc jockey!" All joking aside, Jeff had a very serious topic to address: What are some different types of scams circulating and what part you can play in ensuring that they are unsuccessful.
Microsoft Support Scam
This scam involves someone posing as a member of Microsoft tech support calling to let you know that your computer has been running slowly due to viruses. These people will then tell you that you need a certain service or software to fix your computer. These scammers are trying to trick you into paying for something that you don't need. A good rule of thumb to avoid falling victim to this scam is just to remember that Microsoft will never call you and tell you there is an issue with your computer.
Fake IRS Phone Call
Especially in the spring each year, taxpayers can get hit with a fresh batch of people trying to impersonate IRS officials. These scammers inform you that they need an immediate payment or else they will be sending law enforcement to your home. Just as before, these scams are using scare tactics to pressure taxpayers into paying a nonexistent fee on the spot. Similar to the Microsoft scam, the IRS will never try and contact you via phone or email. Communication from the IRS will be exclusively through the United States Postal Service.
The best advice for avoiding becoming the victim to these attacks is this: be a critical consumer. Be aware that the information sounds suspicious. Educate your friends and family about these scams and teach them to also be critical consumers. The internet is a great place, but it can also be dangerous.
Becoming a Critical Consumer
If you're interested in learning more about becoming a critical consumer or about educating those you work with, check out two of our previous blogs written by Jeff Groby:
- 15 No-nonsense Tips for Educating Employees About Email Safety
- 11 Tips for Training Your End Users on Security Awareness
Have you receive a call or email from what you believe is a scam? As Jeff mentioned, there are two sources where you can report the scam:
Be sure to check out last weeks video below to catch up and learn more about online scams. Don't forget to tune in or listen online this Friday afternoon at 4:20 for our next segment of Tech Talk!
Originally published April 10, 2018, updated February 11, 2019