COMPUTER 101–EMAIL AND TEXT SCAMS

The Mouse Trap
by Janis Weber

Check out all of my archived articles from the Sylvania AdVantage HERE.

Warning, warning, warning! Scammers are out to get you. All-day and everyday scammers are looking for a way to get your information and use it against you. Don’t freak out. As long as man has been on this earth, someone else has wanted what you have. The circumstances just evolve. Most of all of us have internet in the house and probably on our phones. Scammers are getting better at it all the time. There really is no place to hide, so let’s be proactive and be aware.
Below are a few emails and texts that are common scams and suggestions for what to do. First and foremost, when you get anything suspicious do not only ignore it but never touch a link provided or call the phone number supplied. The scammers, 100 percent of the time, use a valid method to find you. One thing to always be aware of is that

scamming links are blue in color.

RED FLAGS
•“Thank you for your recent order. Please click here to assure we have the correct address. If this is not your order, please call this phone number.”
•Lottery, sweepstakes, and competition scams. An email, letter or text message from an overseas lottery or sweepstakes company arrives from out of nowhere.
•“Your computer seems to have been compromised. Take action now to avoid further damage. Click here or call this number.”
•“We need you to confirm your contact information with your bank or credit card account. Click here to validate your private data.” A phishing email often appears to come from an organization that you know and trust, like a bank or financial institution, asking you to enter your account password on a fake copy of the site’s login page. If you provide your account details, the scammer can hack into your account and take control of your profile.
•Advance fee fraud. A scammer requests fees upfront or personal information in return for goods, services, money, or rewards that they never supply. Instead of disputing it within the notice, go independently to the vendor and see if you ever placed an order.
•Really cute items promoted on Facebook. Please try to avoid the temptation of clicking on it. Too many times, the item will take a very long time to arrive if at all. If you have already paid for it good luck trying to challenge or contact the vendor. Totally frustrating.

If you own a small business, you can be targeted by scams such as the issuing of fake invoices for unwanted or unauthorized listings, advertisements, products or services. A well-known example is you receive a bill for a listing in a supposedly well-known business directory.
Scammers are unscrupulous and take advantage of people who want to donate to a good cause or find an answer to a health problem. Charity scams involve scammers collecting money by pretending to work for a legitimate cause or charity, or a fictitious one they have created. Often scammers will exploit a recent natural disaster or crisis that has been in the news. A big holiday season is an example.
In summary, please never click on or call a phone number provided in an email or text. This makes you a prime target not only for the swindler, but your information is most likely sold to other scammers. It is a huge business. Links are super dangerous. Oh, and never use a debit card online for anything. You have little recourse if you need a refund or are scammed.
AMEN.


Next Sylvania Senior Center Classes

Many classes are open by reservation only. Computer classes are not scheduled yet, but you are welcome to use the computer lab Mondays and Wednesdays 1-4. Check the SSC newsletter and website for the most current information or call Susan Jennelle at 419-885-3913. I hope to hold classes this year. We are getting there. Check the Sylvania Center Newsletter to see what is happing.
I Make House Calls (I am vaccinated and wear a mask)
I will come to your home or office and help you with almost any predicament including repairs, upgrades including software, tutoring or printer issues. I can be your resident “geek.” I have an endless amount of patience and knowledge with years of experience. Give me a text or call at 419-290-3570.


BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER TODAY
– It’s not if, but when you will lose data!
Janis Weber, B.A., owner of Ohio Computer Training & Support, is a professional computer adjunct instructor. E-mail any specific questions or comments to JwPCtutor@Gmail.com or contact her for assistance at 419-290-3570. Private tutoring and repairs are just a phone call, text, or email away. Check out my archived articles on the Sylvania Advantage website (SylvaniaAdvantage.com) titled COMPUTER 101.

 

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