Computer Advice from Señior Tech

By Senior Tech from the February 2013 Edition

The other day I was working in my office, when our Canadian phone line rang. The call was coming from a local area code back home and although I didn’t recognize the number I answered the call. The caller claimed to be from an organization called ISC, Internet Security Commission, and that my computer was infected with a virus. I was intrigued, as of course I knew my computer was not infected with any virus.

So I decided to play along and hear his story. Playing a under informed computer user I allowed him to lead me through his spiel. Apparently I was one of thousands of Canadians who had a virus that was transmitting over the Internet. He asked me if I was the only computer user in the household. I told him I was the only computer user and there was only one computer. His voice became very serious and informed me that it was my duty to ensure that my computer was free of Internet viruses. I asked him what had to be done to free my computer of the virus. He said he would load a program on my computer to clean the virus off my system.

normal in the Windows operating system. Once in my system the caller would be able to load any files or control my system.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be able to fix viruses on your system, do not give them access to your computer. The caller will try to scare you into giving access but resist. If you are concerned that you do have a virus on your system, take your computer to a reputable repair shop. Then also ensure that you have an up-to-date antivirus program running on your system. If you are running Windows go to www.microsoft.com where you can download a free antivirus program from Microsoft. Microsoft is the company that produces the Windows operating system.

By the way, when I returned the call displayed on my telephone I heard a fax tone. Criminals use programs that allow them to spoof their real phone number with any number they choose.

Señior Tech resides in Manzanillo during the winter, and Canada in the summer and fall.

I asked him to tell me about the organization ISC. The caller implied that ICS was the official Internet security company and their responsibility was to keep viruses off the Internet. He insisted that I allow him to remotely log into my computer and install a program to clean the virus.

I then told him that I knew that there were no viruses on my system and that ISC was not the official Internet company that looks after viruses because there is no such organization. I then told him I was going to contact the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) computer crime division and he promptly hung up.

A friend recently told me about his experience where a company had remotely installed a software fix on his computer. After the software had been loaded on his computer he was asked for his credit card to clean the viruses off the system. He refused, and then when the call was over he realized he was no longer able to access his computer. He took his computer to a local repair shop where the cost was over one hundred dollars to get the system back up and running again.

I was not prepared to let the caller access my system. If I had, he would have gone into my system log files were he would have shown me a number of errors. These are normal in the Windows operating system. Once in my system the caller would be able to load any files or control my system.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be able to fix viruses on your system, do not give them access to your computer. The caller will try to scare you into giving access but resist. If you are concerned that you do have a virus on your system, take your computer to a reputable repair shop. Then also ensure that you have an up-to-date antivirus program running on your system. If you are running Windows go to www.microsoft.com where you can download a free antivirus program from Microsoft. Microsoft is the company that produces the Windows operating system.

By the way, when I returned the call displayed on my telephone I heard a fax tone. Criminals use programs that allow them to spoof their real phone number with any number they choose.

Señior Tech resides in Manzanillo during the winter, and Canada in the summer and fall.

 

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Manzanillo Sun’s eMagazine written by local authors about living in Manzanillo and Mexico, since 2009

Manzanillo Sun Writer

Manzanillo Sun's eMagazine written by local authors about living in Manzanillo and Mexico, since 2009

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