Avoiding virus phone scams Today, with so many different scams out there that cyber criminals use to steal your personal information, one that seems to have resurfaced lately in our community is the virus phone scam. And if you become a victim, not only does this put your computer at risk, it could also result in the loss of personal identity. Random Call First, you have to understand that the phone numbers these criminals use are usually random, and they have no clue as to who you are or what type of computer you have. What they count on is the fact that with all the computers out there these days, the odds are in their favor that if they make enough phone calls, sooner or later they’ll find someone with a home computer. By asking a few questions, they can figure out that you have a Windows computer which now makes you a target. How This Scam Works Basically the way this scam works, is the caller pretends to be either a Microsoft support representative or some security expert who tells you that several viruses have been found on your computer, and the only way to remove them is to have access to your computer. Since they sound so convincing, and have you believing that you could lose all you files if not removed, you enter their internet address into your browser which now gives them full control. It’s here they show you several files that they claim are viruses and tell you they can remove them. To perform this service, they will have to charge you a fee which you can pay by credit card. As dangerous as it is, many hand over their credit card number without hesitation because at this point, they’re desperate to get rid of the problem. Key Logging Malware Now comes the bad part. The software they install which appears to have removed the so called virus is actually malware which could be a key logger.A key logger is program that runs silently in the background, and collects every keystroke you type such as your passwords and bank account information which is then sent back to them to be used to steal your personal information and identity.So now, not only have they collected about hundred dollars, they also have your personal information. How To Avoid Being a Victim of Any Scam 1. Hang up. Ending the call is the best way to end the threat. 2. Never provide any personal information that can be used to steal your identity such as your social security number and certainly not your bank information. 3. Never allow a stranger to guide you to a certain web page, or instruct you to change your computer settings or download software. 4. If possible, get the caller’s details, and report any instance of this scam to your local law enforcement. 5. If you have been compromised, change any passwords and user names that could plausibly have been compromised, and run a scan with up-to-date security software. 6. Lastly, spread the word. Tell others about it. Education is the best way of avoiding any scam if you know what to look for. If you have become a victim, don’t be embarrassed because these people who perpetrate these scams have been doing it a long time, and know all the right things to say to scam you out of your money. So to avoid being a victim of a cyber crime, be proactive and use a antimalware software and never give out any personal information that could possibly be used to steal your identity no matter how sincere or official these criminals sound.