October Newsletter

October Newsletter

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Beware of Phone Support Scams

scam-alert1Over the past year we have seen an increasing number our customers falling victim to telephone tech support scam artists. The scammers often call claiming to be a representative from Microsoft and offer to help resolve computer problems they detected remotely. Sometimes this happens in a reverse fashion where an infected computer will ask its owner to call via a pop-up message. If allowed to remote in, the con artists usually will open up the event viewer and point to the completely normal list of errors and warnings as the proof of the problem they called about. They will offer to resolve the issue and provide a support contract for a flat rate, usually $300. If their intended victim pays, they will pretend to fix problems and install software to allow remote access later. If declined, the veil of friendliness falls away and they often become irate, threatening, or sometimes will even lock the user out of their own computer by setting a startup password.

If you receive one of these calls or pop-up asking you to call an 800 number, it’s very important not to follow through with the call or allow remote access. Hang up immediately. No legitimate company will ever call you out of the blue to help you with your computer problems. Anyone who claims to have remotely detected problems with your computer could only know that if they have installed spyware on your system and should not be trusted. If you receive a pop-up asking you to call, it is likely your machine has already been infected by malware. If you have received a popup asking you to call or allowed remote access to your machine, it is best to bring your machine in for service and have us remove any remote access software and malware left behind.

In some cases legitimate companies outsource or provide referrals to remote support provided by poorly vetted 3rd-party companies. While such companies are not outright fraudulent, their behavior and actions are very similar. Their remote access software can cause undesirable side effects and allow remote monitoring. Representatives often try to strongarm callers into buying support contracts and unnecessary software under the guise that it is required to resolve the customer’s stated problem. A related scam is the first three results when searching for tech companies’ support phone numbers are often imposters posing as the company you are searching for. The safest way to look up a legitimate tech support number for a company is to use gethuman.com, which offers reviews from previous callers to verify the contact number is legitimate and instructions on how to navigate the maze of their automated phone system.

If you have been called by someone claiming to be from a tech support company and want to help stop them, you can report the call to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP or ftc.gov/complaint. More general information can be found on the FTC website. If you have already fallen victim and paid one of these scam companies, we recommend contacting your financial institution and requesting a chargeback to recover your money. This also lets the credit card companies know that these institutions are fraudulent.

Buy Tickets to Young Frankenstein to Support a Local Family’s Education in the Arts

We would like to tell you about Henry Casson. Henry and our CEO Jennifer Mayer have a unique relationship in that Henry regularly reaches out to Jen for advice on how to achieve his goals as an aspiring actor.
If you would like to purchase tickets to help Henry and his family lessen the tuition burden, please email tickets@charlottestreetcomputers.com with your request. The suggested donation for each ticket is $14.99. (This offer has expired)

Henry first hit the stage at age 4, and has since been featured in nearly a dozen theatre productions (most recently as Pugsley in The Addams Family). This summer, the enthusiastic young actor went, as he calls it, ‘above and beyond’ to gain entry into a month-long intensive at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. The audition process was intense, requiring Henry and hundreds of other applicants to submit resumes, head shots, and videos. Henry was thrilled to be chosen for one of the few dozen spots in the program. Classes ran from 7:30am until 9 at night, and several times a week, Henry, the youngest participant in the singing intensive, was selected to sing at a master class in front of a top professor. In the 14 hour days and dorm room nights, lasting friendships were formed with his fellow attendees of UNCSA.

In an effort to help offset the cost of his tuition, Henry has requested a distribution of tickets to the CSC Private Performance of Young Frankenstein at The Asheville Community Theatre on October 15th. He’s approached this task in the same manner as though preparing for an acting role and has diligently lobbied friends, neighbors and area businesses to purchase tickets.

This is particularly important to our CEO Jen because frequently, people will come to her asking for help without a desire to assist in the effort, and here is a 14 year old that’s willing to try to come up with ways to help his parents. Because of that, Jen really wants to positively reinforce Henry’s behavior.

If you would like to take your family and friends to see Young Frankenstein, please contact us.

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