Tips to avoid phone scams

Unfortunately we get too many calls from customers who have been conned, or nearly conned, in a computer related scan. Nearly conned is just as worrying as the computer has usually been operated remotely meaning it’s been compromised and it’s very hard to say all is definitely well. When money has been transferred it has always always been at a cost of over £100.
Watch out for telephone scams

Watch out for telephone scams

Bottom lines are:

  1. If a company calls you, don’t let them take control of your computer
  2. If they have control of your computer and you suspect something isn’t right, don’t let them know, just unplug your router (which kills the Internet connection and their control of your PC).

Common scam techniques and the truth, these are some we have heard:

  • Your computer is running slow and we can fix it. Maybe true, but who is this company and how do they know your computer is slow? Most computers get slow so this will be correct for many cold calls they would make.
  • You computer has a virus and we can fix it. Same as above.
  • Your computer is affecting your neighbours and we can fix it – it’ll crash their computers, phones, break the smart TVs etc. Unless your neighbours share your WiFi, this isn’t possible for nearly all domestic situations. Sure viruses can spread across a network and this should be a concern, but if this is a concern you’re probably more able to be aware of this sort of scam in the first place.
  • You have illegal software on your computer. Even if you have pirate versions of software, the software company would have to work at NSA level to match a telephone to the computer running the software (unless you give it to them). Software is harder to pirate now than ever, so if you are running pirated copies you have really gone out of your way to do so – you are unlikely to have or will ever pay for it. The amount of effort a software company  will have to go to in order to receive money of you…it’s very unlikely to be worth their time (pursuing businesses is a different matter). If you’re concerned you have pirate software take it to a local computer shop like ourselves who can probably tell you in an instant.

If you have been scammed:

  • If you have paid money, tell your bank immediately. They have systems in place that should prevent further money being taken from your account and they may be able to get your money back.
  • If you have allowed remote control of you machine, disconnect it from the internet. Check that no unexpected or unknown programs are in the background. Unfortunately it’s very hard to tell if the machine is completely clean without doing a complete wipe and reinstall of everything (and backup your files first).
  • Installing a good firewall can show you all connections into and out of your computer – you can investigate each and block/remove any necessary.
Note: All information is accurate as far as we know, but further research is always recommended.
* Image used under license from Don Hankins

Windows 10 & Privacy


There has been some alarm over the default privacy settings in Windows 10. We’ve found a few guides that can help you tweak them to as you desire. What Windows 10’s “Privacy Nightmare” Settings Actually Do Digging into and Understanding Windows 10’s Privacy

If you have a good read of these you’ll be in good stead.

If you have problems with Windows 10 or any other computer problems just contact Horncastle Computer Services and we’ll be glad to help.

Excellent feedback from residential and business customers

Happy New Year to all visitors and customers. We had the new year is going well for you, you friends and family. It is for Horncastle Computer Services. Our customer-focused, friendly, professionally and flexible approach is working out very well for us…evidenced in feedback we are continually receiving from customers. Check out positive feedback and reviews of Horncastle Computer Services for yourself. If you need help with anything IT related don’t hesitate to call as we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.