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CCSO: Beware Of Computer Scammers

Post Date:08/24/2017 9:35 AM
ComputerSecurity
The Collier County Sheriff’s Office reminds the public to be vigilant with anything you do on your computer. 

CCSO continues to receive complaints about people allowing remote access to their computer by unknown subjects posing as computer company representatives. This can allow for excess billing to the victim (usually in the thousands of dollars), access to all of the information in your computer, and criminals blocking your access to your own computer.

The scams work in different ways.  It may involve you clicking on a pop-up ad, or someone calling you claiming to be with a computer company.  These individuals will often display knowledge about you and your computer, giving the perception that they are a company you have previously dealt with, or are an official with the brands you use.  They may ask for a form of payment, access to your computer, say that you are entitled to a refund, or another ruse.  Providing them with what they ask for may result in devastating consequences.  Computers contain much of our personal information; from financial accounts, to personally identifying information, to pictures, to contacts, to your business accounts and more.

Only allow someone whose identity you are absolutely sure of access to your computer. If someone contacts you, attempt to contact them back at a phone number, e-mail address, or website you know is theirs before you grant any access remotely.  Limit access to people and companies you have already vetted.  

If you are asked to provide credit card or bank account information in order to receive a refund, this could allow fraudulent charges to be made.  If you provide someone with remote access to your computer it offers the opportunity for a scammer to do whatever they wish with your computer. Many scams will provide a professional and legitimate appearance, often as well-known organizations.

Just because something is on the internet, or someone says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. Remember, the internet is not regulated. And while many people use the internet for legitimate purposes, others do it maliciously. There is no urgent need to allow access to your computer, or provide financial information until you are sure of whom you are dealing with.  

If you have questions, would like helpful tips, or would like to file an internet crime complaint, please visit the FBI’s Cyber Crime Complaint Center at www.IC3.gov. For assistance with any suspicious encounter involving a request for money or personal information, contact the Collier County Sheriff’s Office’s “Call Before You Pay” fraud hotline at 239.252.CALL (2255). The hotline is staffed by a CCSO detective in the Financial Crimes Bureau between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.  
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