Visit our Facebook See our Twitter
Visit our Facebook
See our Twitter
See our Twitter


 by Personal Computer Services


Its Monday, 9:30am and you sit down with the morning’s second cup of coffee and push the start button on your computer, your window into the world and all its goings-on. You open your favorite browser where your usual news site is bookmarked, inwardly anticipating what catastrophe will await its front page and BLAM! Everything freezes, and a blood-red screen is before you…it’s from “Microsoft”! “DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER! CALL US IMMEDIATELY! WARNING! WARNING! YOUR COMPUTER IS IN DANGER! THE END IS NEAR! CALL US! CALL US NOW!” Scary stuff! Human nature and kindergarten training tells us to follow these instructions, so without further ado you reach for the phone and call the number that “Microsoft” has given. Within minutes, access to your computer is in a stranger’s hands. Even before the stranger talks about how much it will cost to fix the problem and suspicion sets in, it is already too late. 

It’s not just “Microsoft”. It’s not just a red screen. There are many ways scammers will attempt to scare you into speaking with them. Phone calls, screen-freezes, messages that appear anywhere on your screen and never go away until you “click” on it. No matter how you are notified, the sole purpose of the message is to scare you into taking action. And unfortunately, most of us do just that.

Please, spread the word: Any entity that attempts to frighten you into action should be treated as SCAM-WAREMicrosoft will never call you to inform you that something is wrong with your computer. Never, ever! Scammers use an association with Microsoft, or other respected leaders of the computer world to make you think they are legitimate. They will use big names like Paypal, Amazon, Facebook, your bank name, any familiar association you may do business with online. They will use tech-names like “”, “”, anything that sounds legitimate enough to make you think they are contacting you with best intentions of “fixing” your computer, protecting you. Locking up your computer and shouting BIG SCARY WORDS in your face should be met with defiance, not fear.    

If this happens to you, here’s what you do:

  1. STAY CALM. Scammers are counting on your “freak out” in which hasty decisions are made and credit card numbers given. 
  2. Write down as much information as possible, names, phone numbers, and the messages given (DO NOT PRINT THIS SCREEN!). Here at PCS we keep a “Scam Alert” file and report all scammers to the appropriate federal agencies.
  3. Do not move your mouse or click anything* – Immediately shut down your computer with the POWER BUTTON – NOT THE START (OR WINDOWS) ICON. Push in the power button and count to 5 using IEEE Industry standards of seconds – i.e., “one thousand one, one thousand two…”. Your power light should go off. (Do not assume that because your screen went black that the power is off – be assured your computer is shut down by noting when the power light goes off!) *Important:  Do not click anything. Do not move your mouse across the screen – any of these actions can activate potential embedding of malware! 

Doing this does not guarantee that the scammers haven’t placed some nasty, sneaky malware on your hard drive. After all, how did they get in in the first place? We don’t mean to scare you (LOL), but It is imperative that you bring your computer to a professional who has the tools and knowledge to find what “bugs” have been placed secretly in the depths of your computer’s memory. Therefore:

  1. Call Personal Computer Services at (607) 433-7272. (Please, even if not us, be sure to bring your Computer to a professional!)

We hope you choose Personal Computers Services at 387 Chestnut Street, Oneonta (607) 433-7272 for this or any of your computer needs (repairs & sales). We have the experience and forensic tools that will get rid of anything those Scary Scammers may have left behind. Your Computer’s Security and Safety is our Number One Concern! It is our hope that with everyone’s knowledge and participation, someday soon we will Scare the Scammers right out of business!

Comments are closed.