An alarming trend I’ve been hearing more and more about is beginning to hit the Lawrence area. The scam involves your Internet Service Provider calling you about a problem. Typically in Lawrence it’s either Sunflower/Knology or AT&T. The scam is simple
“Hi, my name is (usually an Anglicianized name but spoken with a foreign accent) and I’m calling from (ISP). We’ve noticed your computer has a virus and we’d like you to go to this website (scam site) in order to remove the virus. If you don’t do this, we will be required to turn off your service. I can walk you through the process or I can assist you remotely”
Either the unsuspecting caller goes to the website to install the fake virus removal tool (which is actually a virus in itself) or gives the caller remote control of their computer and the virus then gets installed. Both scenarios are most unpleasant.
Like most other scams, don’t go to a website simply because someone pretending to be a trusted vendor told you to. When in doubt call your ISP and ask them. Current AT&T policy does not call customers to tell them they have a virus. Sunflower used to call customers and shut them off for viruses, but never had them go to a website. They’d offer their own computer repair service (at a cost) to remove the virus. (disclosure: their service competes with DoctorDave)
When in doubt, feel free to give us a call and we can help you determine whether you have a virus without risk of being taken in by scam. Don’t get taken in by this new phishing scam. Remember not all threats to your computer come from the computer!