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Lifestyle // Click Chick
Alison Young

The Latest Scam To Target Hawaii

There are always scams going on, and you should be cautious about releasing your personal information.

It seems the most recent one to hit Hawaii is a phone call from an individual with a heavy accent claiming to work with Microsoft.

A MidWeek reader writes: “In the last several weeks I’ve received multiple calls from a ‘Patrick Jones,’ who claims he is working with Microsoft. He has a very strong accent, and says that his company has been hired by Microsoft to call and warn people that their Windows computers are infected and have serious problems. He claimed that this is happening in my neighborhood and tried to get me to log onto my computer and give him personal information. It really sounds like they are targeting seniors and ‘trusting’ users.”

“…if you see a pop-up window notifying you to update your software (typically a widely known software such as Norton), do not accept the update, since that is how the malicious software is installed.”

In this case, the caller claimed to be from “Gtechsupport.net,” but with these scams, the company name will vary, and the caller could also say they work for Dell, HP or any other large company.

The scammers are able to gain access to your computer by directing you to a website and asking you to click on a link. Once inside your computer, the scammers generate a Windows errors log, then they ask for your credit card information so they can fix it.

The bottom line: Don’t give out any personal information or go to any website they direct you to. To help prevent this, you might want to consider installing ad-blocking software so you won’t even be tempted to click on anything.

Other computer scams you should be aware of:

Reveton: This ransomeware lures you to a drive-by download website, at which time the ran-somware is installed. Your computer will freeze and a screen will display stating you have violated United States federal law.

The message further declares your IP address was identified by the Computer Crime & Intellectual Property Section as visiting child pornography and other illegal content and will ask you to pay a $100 fine by using prepaid money card services.

Do not follow the instructions, as it is an attempt to extort money with the additional possibility of using your computer to participate in online bank fraud. If this does happen to you, contact your financial institutions and file a complaint at ic3.gov.

Hotel Internet Connections: According to the FBI, there have been a rise in recent instances of travelers’ laptops being infected with malicious software while using hotel Internet connections.

This goes for any public Wi-Fi, but if you see a pop-up window notifying you to update your software (typically a widely known software such as Norton), do not accept the update, since that is how the malicious software is installed.

Take precaution before you travel by updating your software before you leave (directly from the vendor’s website) and check the digital certificate of any prompted update you receive to ensure it’s legitimate.

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