If they called you, they probably aren’t good

A constant plague on the population of home computer users is the tech support/computer infection scam.  Basically when someone calls you saying your computer is infected, or when a popup suddenly appears on your screen warning about an infection, you can be sure it’s a scam.  The fact of the matter is that tech companies don’t contact you.  They want you to buy their products of course, but if you have a problem you are supposed to call them.  Tech companies do not keep staff on hand hunting around for problems on peoples’ machines.

Of course there are a few exceptions.  If you pay for a security program to monitor your computer then occasionally you will get a warning message saying that a site is suspicious or a download could be dangerous.  These messages will always identify themselves as the security program you are subscribed to, and they will always be a message, never a person.

Fortunately the more these scammers show up the more we can learn their tricks.  Here are some tips from the FTC on how to spot and report these kinds of scams:

Free Domain Policy:

One free .COM or .NET with purchase of a new 12-, 24- or 36-month hosting plan. Plus ICANN fee of $0.18 per domain name per year. You must add the domain name into your cart before purchase, and you must select a domain term length equal to or less than the term length of your plan to qualify for the free domain offer. If you purchase a domain name for a term longer than the term of the plan, you will be charged for the additional registration term at the then-current rate. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, sale, discount or promotion. After the initial purchase term, domains purchased through this offer are eligible for free renewal with renewal and payment of hosting plan. Domains without a hosting plan will renew at the then-current renewal price.

Introductory Pricing:

Special introductory pricing valid for initial registration for periods of 12 months or greater. Product renewal pricing is subject to change.