Telephone solicitations to people in the area about viruses or malware on their PC are still happening.
Just in the past few days, a further complaint was received by the Saanich Police about a telephone solicitation. The caller uses lines like “…this is Microsoft…”, or “…we see that your PC has viruses on it…” This then leads to a lengthy telephone call where the victim is encouraged to go to their PC and follow a series of requests and answer some questions about their computer.
After ‘identifying problems,’ agreement for a sum of money is made with the victim, which is then paid by PayPal. Then the victim is asked to allow remote access to their computer via the internet so that ‘security software’ can be placed on the machine.
The primary concern is that once remote access is gained to the computer, anything can then be done as if someone was sitting at the machine.
“Offering someone you don’t know remote access to your computer over the internet is like giving them the keys to your house. Once access is gained, a virus or software can be placed on your computer to monitor what your doing or access your banking information,” says Sgt. Dean Jantzen.
The public is cautioned to do their research when considering buying software from a telephone solicitation. Over the counter retail purchase of sophisticated security for your PC can be as low as $49.00-59.00. The telephone solicitation offers security software over the internet for a price of $169.00!
An internet review shows complaints of people being contacted by telephone who do not have a computer or no internet access. As well, once purchases are made, attempts to contact the company for technical support are impossible.
A link to a research paper from the United Kingdom about such telephone solicitations is included below.