Answers...

to commonly asked questions.

scams

Is this a scam?

Scotty we keep getting this message from Jaci’s computer when my daughter try’s to log into Amazon.
IMG_4017

Is this a legit issue or do I need to have her set up an appoint w/ you.
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It's an ad pretending to be legitement. Do not call the number. If she can't work around it, I would be happy to clear things up remotely.

Tricked, not hacked...

Here's yet another example of the strategy bad guys use to trick you into giving up your username and password to any given service. Then they proceed to try that username and password on other services like Amazon, PayPal, random banking sites, eBay, and so on in hope that you use the same combination on multiple accounts.

Common email received:
Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 6.26.54 PM

Now click on the far right side of the email address to see who it's really from:
Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 6.26.08 PM

Now hover your mouse over the link in the email to see where you are really being sent:
Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 6.24.04 PM

So let's say you fall for it by clicking the link. What happens next? They take you to a page that looks exactly like eBay with one very important exception. It's not. Here's how to tell:
Screen Shot 2017-01-15 at 6.23.51 PM

Notice the URL address? That's not eBay. Moral of the story is don't trust the email links. If you feel it's really important, type the website address in yourself in your browser.

Do NOT fall for THIS!!!

With all the talk of getting "hacked" in the media these days I thought I would take a second to clarify what is really the most common occurance. Bad guys don't actually have to write super secret programs to get to your data. They just have to trick you into giving them what they want. So here's a very good example of how they fool us all:

You get an email from Apple about problems with your ID.
Screen Shot 2017-01-05 at 8.23.04 PM

Sounds legit. Yep, come to think of it, I have had some problems lately. I better click that big blue link right there in the middle.

STOP. Let's take a closer look at this email.
Screen Shot 2017-01-05 at 8.23.30 PM

If you click on the sender's email address, you'll get a better look at who is really sending it. In this case it's just some random @me.com email address. Needless to say, Apple's not going to send you an email from some guy's personal email account. But let's go a little further…
Screen Shot 2017-01-05 at 8.23.16 PM
There's a very useful feature in mail that allows you to see where a link is going before you click on it. Hover your mouse over any link and it will reveal the URL it's pointing to. In this case, it's not Apple. It's pointing to some random number IP address. So what started as a pretty convincing email, after looking a little closer we see it's a fishing scam. They're trying to get us to click that link. This is where you should just delete the email and move on. But let's say you didn't. Let's say you fell for the trap and you clicked the email anyway. What happens now…?

It takes you here:
Screen Shot 2017-01-05 at 8.24.15 PM

"Scotty you were totally wrong! It took me to Apple.com to log into my account." Nope, look a little closer.

While it looks exactly like Apple's ID page, check out the URL address in the menu bar at the top:
Screen Shot 2017-01-05 at 8.40.46 PM

You're about to give your AppleID and password to some guy in Uzbekistan and the first thing he's going to do is log into your account, change your security questions, wipe all your devices, change your password, harvest your email account for useful info so he can beg your close friends for money via email, sell your contacts to a spamming company, and maybe even take your hair appointment because he has your calendar also. Other than that, there's nothing to worry about.

Long story short. don't worry about being "hacked". You're not going to get "hacked". Worry about why you're being asked for your email address and password. As you've seen here, clicking the link does nothing. it's the decisions you make once you land on that webpage that impact your digital life. That's it. Just because a page looks like you think it should, doesn't mean it's the real page. If you are in fact worried about an email you get and think it actually is real, simply type the web address in yourself.

P.S. don't join open wifi networks that don't have passwords.

Don't be scammed! There's nothing wrong with your Mac.

Scotty,  been experiencing several problems including not interfacing with my printer.  Called Pixma to get them to reinstall software to fix and they said that that system has been compromised.  They further showed me that I have a virus in the name of Trojan Horse and that my network is corrupted by CSRSS.exe.  They suggested that they install, from their end, 'Network Shield' for $239 + tax for one year.    Can you advise , as they are sure that my personal data and financial info online is at the mercy of Hackers from Nigeria.  To date those have not been disturbed, to my knowledge.  I am wondering if I was talking to scammers. I used an 855 number on Pixma website.
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Ok. Where to begin? Pixma is a model of Canon printers so calling any number associated to “Pixma” would possibly result in the scam you’ve happened upon. Do not, repeat DO NOT give your card to any online phone service claiming your computer has been hacked etc... That is 100% a scam. The fact that you may not be able to print to your printer is irrelevant to anything they can see as having been hacked or having a virus etc...

Furthermore, CSRRS.exe would be an executable file that would ONLY run in windows as it is. Any file by that name would not run on your Mac. These type of companies: Tunemymac, Mackeeper, Network shield or whoever the people you spoke with, are all preying on mac users who may not know any better and would fall for any story they tell. It is a hoax. They will say anything to scare you.

You most likely dialed a number advertised on the web as an advertisement claiming to be able to help your mac. I can not stress enough that your printer issues have nothing to do with anything these people you spoke with. I strongly suggest you do not give any personal information out. Instead, you can join me on my weekly town hall on Monday and we may be able to troubleshoot the printer issue remotely. If you’ve never used my free town hall meetings, you can check out what they’re like in the link at the top of this page marked “
previous town halls”. No scams! Just free help.
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