Saturday, January 14, 2012

The latest scam hits the coast

The problem with computers is that we mostly all have one but don’t know sufficient about them to avoid the pitfalls they bring to us. I regularly get emails from well meaning neighbours warning me of a virus that apparently neither Microsoft nor Norton know how to cure. In every case so far, the virus has turned out to be a hoax. I also receive emails telling me that my online banking with a bank I have never used will shut down if I don’t reactivate it and of course I get emails from Nigerian gentlemen who want to give me a fortune for helping them release a trust fund for them.

The latest wheeze is to access people’s Hotmail accounts and send out emails from them to the whole address book. Ha, ha that is a fun thing to do isn’t it? 

The latest scam to hit Orihuela Costa takes things even further. Apparently you get a phone call from a number with a UK prefix, the caller speaks in English and tells you that your computer is sending a huge number of emails that are collapsing the system. The kind person offers to solve the problem for you by taking remote control of your computer and then guides you through the process of giving them that access.

What the caller actually  does is install malware which both infects your system and at the same time gives them access to all the personal details including bank numbers via a keylog tracker or by looking at your cookies.To add insult to injury, they charge you 350 Euros for doing this!

There are legitimate times when you would want to give someone remote access to your computer for example if you had a software fault and called the manufacturer's helpline. As soon as the fault was rectified you would close the access down (it is closed by default of course). Like with opening .exe files from people we don’t know, we now understand that we should never allow remote access to our computers for people just over the phone.

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