THUNDER BAY – CRIMEBEAT – If you are running good solid virus software, and you are careful, your time online can be safe and productive or fun. However there are always scammers out there. Right now, Thunder Bay Police are warning the public to be aware of virus scams that have been reported this week. Since the inception of the new online reporting program, the Thunder Bay Police Service has received six complainants of possible virus scams in the community.
Typically what happens is that someone will call by phone claiming to be from Microsoft or another reputable software company. They will ask if your computer is running slowly and will offer to fix the problem remotely. The caller will ask for your credit card information and advise that charges will range between $35 and $470 per call.
Once you grant access to your computer the user will have access to all your personal information, including your banking information. Allowing a third party to download software or remotely accessing your computer carries serious risks.
The public should also be advised that not all virus scams happen over the phone. Callers to the Canadian Anti Fraud Center also report being scammed by responding to internet pop up ads.
Police want to remind the public to protect themselves by installing anti virus software and keeping it up to date. If someone calls out of the blue and offers this kind of help, it is probably a scam. Just hang up and contact the company yourself if you need assistance.
Visit the Canadian Anti Fraud Center’s website for the latest on emerging fraud trends, advice on protecting yourself and victim’s guides that will help you recover from fraud loss : www.antifraudcentre.ca