Remote Access Scam

When it comes to scams, people will find ways to accomplish their end game. Remote access to your computer or laptop is one scheme that seemingly is more common and even more nefarious than some forms of viruses. With the right kind of software and tools, hackers can easily remote into your computer for vital information. It can start off in many ways. One way is hackers who will remote in on your webcam and verbally assault you or threaten you unless you give them money. Another, and perhaps the most common hackers gain remote access is by you giving them permission.

As is so often the case, when asking for technical assistance from Microsoft, Apple or local IT company, remote access is common in order to diagnose and fix a problem. However, that auspice is different from a message that may appear to pop up on screen alerting you there is an error and remote access is necessary. It is a common scare tactic that should be at least mentioned so people are aware of the dangers. Here is what you need to know so you won’t fall into a remote access scam:

  • Solicitation is illegal. IT companies and software companies like Microsoft and others cannot solicit errors on your computer. It is written in every contract they offer giving you a safety clause.
  • People who gain remote access to your computer isn’t necessarily caused by a virus. The common assumption is scams like this are possible only through viruses, but this is not always the case. It only requires software and hardware know how and one can have access to your computer.
  • Updating your operating system is a good way to at least slow them down. Keeping your OS fresh and updated will help prevent people from remoting in your computer. Many who access remotely are familiar with one set of old configurations and work around that. By updating your OS, they are left guessing.

If you see your webcam accessed or a message pops up alerting you that your computer requires remote access, report it to authorities immediately. Then contact your service provider. It’s also not a bad idea to check out your financial information after an incident. Whatever the reason for remote access, we must remain vigilant and not leave ourselves vulnerable.