10 tips from NYS Troopers to avoid becoming a victim of online scams
The New York State Police from SP Canandaigua would like to make the public aware of a computer scam that is occurring in our area.
When logging on to a computer, a message is displayed on the screen that states to contact Microsoft due to a virus. The victim then contacts the phone number provided and speaks with a person who identifies themselves as a representative of Microsoft’s Security Office. The victim is then told their bank account information has been compromised.
State Police are advising anyone who receives such a call to not provide any personal information. Your personal information can be used to steal your identity and commit fraud.
The New York State Police offer the following tips to protect against various scams:
*Take a pause. Scammers create a sense of urgency to prey on victims’ emotions and their love for family members.
*Verify any supposed emergency by calling friends and family before sending money. This is especially important if a potential victim has been warned not to do so by the caller.
*If the caller purports to be a bail bondsperson, ask where the relative is being held and contact the facility directly.
*If the caller purports to be a law enforcement officer, get the exact agency name, hang up, and call that department directly.
*Be suspicious of anyone who calls unexpectedly asking to be sent money.
*Never send cash through the mail.
*Never purchase pre-paid debit cards or gift cards for the purpose of transferring money.
*Develop a secret code or “password” with family members that can be used to verify the identity of family members over the phone.
*Ask a question that only the real family member would know the answer to, such as “what was the name of your first pet?”
*Set Facebook and other social media settings to private to limit information available to scammers, such as the names of relatives.