Recently there have been in serious increase in the number of reported incidents of PC Support Scams.
What they are
In a nutshell they are fake technical support people or rings which call unsolicited and unsuspecting people, employing high pressure sales. They will get you to allow them remote access into your PC under the guise that your PC is infected with a virus or other software issue. Once in, and at best, they will perform some typically meaningless work and in some cases cause actual issues. At worst they will infect your PC with some form of malware or other information gathering program in order to steal your personal data or financial data (I.e. Credit card info). For this "service" they will make you pay up front, around the ball park of $165 and in some cases from what we have been told, higher.
Clearly Bermuda is being targeted. The Bermuda Police Service has made an announcement about this recently. Last week alone, we have had numerous cases whereas people have been either contacted, or have fallen prey to these scam artists. We have ourselves made a call back to one of these companies to get information as to a company name and location. In the background it sounds like a telemarketing environment, indicating that this a larger effort than a single individual. At least in two separate cases last week the call back number was the same.
Don't fall for it!
Here is their typical method:
The first rule of thumb is to never, ever allow anyone unfettered access to your PC unless you have a personal or business relationship with them. Typically, legitimate IT companies will never make unsolicited calls to individuals.
Always use a reputable IT firm or a well known person who knows what they are doing if you suspect something is wrong with your PC.
Don't fall for the high pressure sales. There is no way for an unknown IT company to know if you have software problems with your home or work PC.
These scams were popular about 3 years ago in the US, however legislation and resulting law suits appeared to clamp down on them domestically in the US. It would seem that they are skirting this legislation now by making their targets overseas and typically outside of the victims jurisdiction.
What to do