Bergesch Computer Services, Inc.
320-274-6100
Ad free site!
See About Us.

Opinions, suggestions, recommendations or ideas found on our site are applied at your own risk.  

Scams - It can all go wrong very quickly if you are not careful!  

There is an increasing presences of scams attempting to get remote control over computers.  Once the scammers have control, they will cause problems (that never existed to begin with) and demand payment to fix those problems.  If you do allow control and then change your mind about it, shutting down/restarting the computer will likely result in a relaunch of the remote session and/or they will call you back (over and over).   See also Internet searches.

The three common scams are:

  1. You are having problems with your computer, you do an Internet search for technical support, find a link to what you believe is the manufacturer then call them. 
    -or- 
    You receive a unsolicited phone call informing you someone has "detected" a problem on the computer, and/or this is so and so from IT, or from some official sounding, or well-known company.
  2. You stumble upon a bad site that presents an error message on screen along with dire warning not to shut off the computer and with a phone number to call.  The message may even appear to be from your ISP (Windstream, Midco, etc.).
  3. You receive an email with a lot of your personal information, e.g., email address, name, mailing address, ISP information. The article on that
Be aware that these are all scams and here's what you should do:

Note: If upon restart of the computer and opening the Internet the same site comes back, the home/start page was hijacked.  See our March '17 newsletter.

More recently they are calling representing themselves as from Windows - but who is Windows?   The company name is Microsoft!  Who by the way will never call you.  Here is a Microsoft article worth reading:

If you did give control...

DISCONNECT FROM THE INTERNET, even if you have to unplug the modem/router!  Then...

Look through Programs and Features for any remote software like LogMeIn, TeamViewer, GoToMyPC, Citrix, etc. and uninstall any found.  Look in the Task Scheduler for any reinstallers.  Look in MSConfig for remote services.  Do deep scans, see our Infected? page.

Phony Internet or Email warnings include just about anything you can think of. 

Email scams near bottom of this page.  The more popular Internet warnings are something to the effect that:

Driver Updates are likely Scams!

ANY driver or update needed, will be obtained via Microsoft's update or the actual manufacturer's site directly.  You do not need a third-party "driver update" software and certainly do not call a number or click some random link or notice that appeared on screen indicating a driver is needed - see Internet page scams below!

Hyperlinks, email included(discussed below) are not always what you expect!

In the Internet Explorer, hyperlinks show their true destination in the status bar...  For example, a link may read one thing but looking at the status bar you may see something else.  Example:  http://www.microsoft.com is actually a link back to our site...
 

If you do not have a status bar, turn it on, see this.

Internet page scams

ANY dire warning with a phone number to call is a scam!  Try restarting the computer.

If you do stumble upon anything like the examples below, don't click anything, instead "X" out of Internet altogether.  If you cannot "X" out, end the process(es) as discussed near the top.  If that does not work, reboot the computer!  

This first one from a completely legitimate site.  Don't click anything, instead bring up the Task Manager (Ctrl+Alt+Del) and end all iexplorer processes.  If using Chrome > end those, if Firefox > end those, etc.

See our Jan '17 newsletter for another idea on killing rouge sites.

 

All of these are from known Junkware sites listed on our Hijacked! page...

Updates needed - it's all B.S.  See Windows update

  

They can even target based on your Internet provider...
scam

Despite the Microsoft and Google logos, this one takes you to a site you shouldn't visit.
Likely you will be unable to close the browser normally so don't click anything but instead, reboot the computer!



This one may come as an email (see below)...

Uninstalling crap

Here's some real crap! "HDQuality" which goes by various other "HD" names.
You cannot uninstall it without installing something else unless you very carefully read the uninstaller options...

During uninstallation some will actually install something else!  So read the prompts carefully and if there's an option to do a custom uninstall, choose that, but read the options carefully. 

Even more about these types of scams in this ZDNet article.   

Another type of scam is to hijack your home page and make it look like a BSOD error...

Recently a customer snap this picture of their computer and wondered if it was legitimate.  It is not.

This is simply a scam website with the browser in the full screen mode where the toolbars, addressbar, etc. are hidden.  Try it, press F11 on the keyboard to see what happens.  To recover from the full screen mode, simply press F11 again.

So once they recovered from the full screen mode, they needed to reset the home page and disable/remove the Internet junk that found it's way in... 

Email scams

Here's a new one (to us).  We received what looked like a hijack email message but the link was going to google.com so thought it was safe - WRONG!  Some how a Google link that begins with http://www.google.com/webhp?
(with more characters after the question mark), will automatically redirect the browser, so watch out for these...

Email scams...

There are probably more email scam out there than email addresses.  Ok, a bit of an exaggeration but there are a lot!  They try to get you to click something.  Don't click anything, just delete the message!  Instead, if there's any possibility it could be legitimate, lookup the correct phone number and make a call.

We just love this one we received with a subject of "Parking Violation Notice"

An Email scam tries to do one things and that is to you to click on something.  DON'T CLICK. 

Always, hover over the link (but don't click) to see what website you will end up at!  See if the domain name is familiar or makes any sense at all.  To the right cancosm... 

 

To the left, filmovis... 

If there is ever any question, hover over the link, record the name and do some diligent research.

Here is a recent example, notice when we hovered over the apparent Verzion link to "Manage Your Account...", the actual destination was some site starting with alicemiletism... 

The always popular, thank you for your order (nice syntax)