The Oregon Department of Justice has received more than a dozen complaints about scam artists attempting to gain remote access to Oregonians’ computers. These scammers contact consumers by phone or email claiming to work for a computer company and that the consumer’s computer is at extreme risk of being infected with viruses or malware due to tremendous amounts of internet activity. They offer to walk the consumer through security measures to protect their computer, and in an ironic twist, lead the consumer to download the very malware they are warning them about, gaining access to sensitive financial information.
One consumer in Lane County reported falling victim to a scammer claiming to work for an apparently New York-based company called Login4Speed. A letter sent by the Oregon Department of Justice to the company’s listed address – 257 Albany Road, New York, New York, 10280 – was returned as undeliverable. The scammer likely used a bogus address in the United States to appear legitimate but in reality is operating from overseas.
Last year Oregonians reported losing nearly $2 million to scams. Attorney General Kroger offers the following advice to avoid falling victim:
- If you receive an unsolicited email or phone call claiming your computer is at risk or needs attention, hang up or delete the email. Never open attachments or click on links from suspicious emails.
- Make sure your computer has up to date anti-virus software. Perform a virus scan on a regular basis.
- Pop-up ads commonly carry malware. Do not be enticed by fake offers of “free” stuff, surveys or contests. Also, never provide personal information through pop-up ads.
- If you suspect a virus or malware is lurking on your computer, stop shopping, banking, and other online activities that involve user names, passwords, or other sensitive information.
- For more on what to do in an e-mergency see: www.onguardonline.gov
If you receive a suspicious solicitation but are unsure whether or not you are the target of a scam, please call the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392.