What is a phone scam? This scam attempts to convince people to disclose sensitive information from a caller pretending to be from a renowned company
New York, NY (PRWEB) May 03, 2011
iYogi, the provider of on-demand remote tech support services, has announced the latest 'iYogi Scam Alerts', shedding light on different aspects of phone scams aimed to mislead users under the guise of well known brand names (e.g. Microsoft). Fraudsters are expanding and no longer limited to luring users simply through e-mails. Scams are growing active through multiple portals, including phone lines. To help prevent people from falling victim to phone line scams, iYogi regularly posts alerts about prevalent scams through its 'iYogi Alerts' — a popular series aimed to protect consumers from becoming victims of common scams and frauds.
With the massive increase in mobile phone dependency, it's no surprise that phone related scams have increased drastically. Phishing calls that come to one's mobile device are difficult to recognize. Often the calls have hidden charges or track future calls of the caller in an attempt to collect private and personal information that can result in major financial losses. The most common phone scams involve an unidentified caller impersonating a technical representative from a well known company—a company one trusts and most likely have done business with in the past. They might claim there are crucial issues with one's computer or that it has a dangerous virus that can cause the system to crash. This is when users should begin to think twice about how to move forward with what seems to be an innocent phone call. The moment they ask to follow specific directions to "fix" or "avoid" this critical problem, be cautious with any information provided to them. In most cases, the ploy is to provide directions to visit a particular website or download a specific program to allow remote access to victim's computer. In some situations, the con will ask for a fee in return for supplying preventive services for an issue that did not ever exist.
The end goal for this type of scam is to gain access to one's computer. This makes the mobile phone another medium for scammers to invade people's privacy, finances and time. If they do successfully gain remote access to one's phone, the offender now has the ability to send multiple viruses or spyware to the victim's computer. With access to the computer through spyware, personal details are easily and immediately accessible. These details often include sensitive property such as bank and credit card credentials. The risk of becoming the victim of identity theft is also very high. As stated above, cyber criminals are looking to steal personal information beyond just credit card details. They are equally interested in social security numbers, auto registration and insurance details, and almost anything else they can leverage to hijack someone's identity.
There are various safeguards that can be taken against phone scams:
- Guard against unsolicited calls
- Never divulge personal or financial details to an unsolicited caller
- Do not agree to purchase anything over the phone
- Insist on proper documents before committing to any kind of payment
- Use a credit card rather than a debit card if plan to buy anything over the phone
- Disregard any phishing calls received from well known corporations—the likelihood of a representative from a company such as Microsoft calling an average consumer is incredibly low
If victimized by a phishing phone call:
- Immediately contact a trusted tech support provider to confirm protection of the computer system
- Change account numbers and passwords of important accounts as soon as possible
- Install the latest security software from a trusted source
- Notify all the linked financial institutions about the possibility of identity theft
- DO NOT delay in reporting potential identity theft
What iYogi has to say:
"The popularity and excessive growth of mobile phones, within every demographic level, has opened new doors for scammers. It's imperative that everyone recognizes that online fraud continues to target victims through phone calls and text messages." said Vishal Dhar, President and co-founder, iYogi. "We can't stress enough the importance that all consumers always practice caution by not sharing critical information with strangers on the phone regardless of who they claim to be. Always verify the person's identity and follow the outlined safeguards provided above."
iYogi is a global on-demand services company that provides personalized computer support for consumers and small businesses in United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. iYogi's unique model, including proprietary iMantra technology and highly qualified technicians, is designed to eliminate computer-related stress and keep digitally dependent consumers and small businesses protected and productive. iYogi -- with its proven global expertise delivery model, intelligent customer insight systems, easy-to-use self-help tools and automated PC optimization and computer support services – offers users a simple yet comprehensive path to digital serenity. iYogi has perfected the remote technical support model to overcome the current limitations of in-store, on-site, or call center services. Major resellers and technology companies are turning to iYogi to improve customer satisfaction, reduce return rates, and deliver a compelling new-value added offering to customers. For more information on iYogi and a detailed list of technologies supported, visit: http://www.iyogi.com.