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  • Sep 20, 2023

Tech Talk with Jeff - Scams to be Aware of

There are general types of attacks that are made to fool us into giving away sensitive information, infecting or trying to gain access to our computers, or get us to send money.

Awareness, as always, helps you watch for and avoid these threats. The following are a few of the many ways bad actors try to get us.

Emails Providing a Security Update to Prevent a Virus or Threat

You receive an email stating that a high-risk virus is on the loose and you need to patch your system with the program or link provided in the message. Always be cautious about clicking on any link in an email or opening any attachment provided, particularly if you were not expecting the email. Most software will automatically update on its own as updates come out, as long as your computer is set up properly to do this. If you determine there is a need to possibly do what the email states, go directly to the vendor’s website to get what you need, never through a link or web address provided in the email. That way you can avoid being fooled into downloading something bad.

Emails or Pop-Ups Asking for Personal Information

Unless you have gone to a specific site that may need you to provide your personal information, do not provide it. Especially if it is on a site that you don’t know or did not expect to ask for it. This is a common way for hackers or scammers to get your information to be used against you. You should always be very leery and cautious about entering any personal information or login information into a site you did not specifically seek out.


My general view on surveys is, don’t enter your personal information into them. You are giving your information away for free and it can and will be used against you. Particularly the ones found on places like Facebook. You are putting out into the world way too much information about you, including your likes/dislikes and other information that helps someone determine the best way to try and scam you. Keep your personal life personal and not public.

Contests and Prizes

Scammers will try to convince you that you have won a prize. You only need to send them the cost of shipping. Wow! Guess what? This is a scam. A real contest prize will not cost you anything when you win (other than maybe taxes depending on the size of the winnings). Be wary of anything that is too good to be true and that you did not expect.


It's sad, but true, not all charities are actually real. Scammers love when bad events occur. It is an opportunity to scam people into “donating” them money. If you are going to give a donation, make sure who you are in contact with is a real charity and that the money you are donating is going towards what it is intended for. This takes some research, but is worth it to make sure you are not just helping a scammer.

Debt Collection

I have a debt I did not pay, and they are going to come after me. I need to pay that right away. Ah, slow down. Is it a real debt? Where was it from? Do you have documentation of your own on this debt? Scammers like putting pressure on people that they will be in serious trouble if they don’t immediately take care of a debt. Take a deep breath. You have time. Determine if the notification is real and whether the debt collector is actually what or who they say they are. You don’t need to stay in immediate communication with them. Time is on your side. Use it to research whether the notice is real.  also, if they ask you to pay through gift cards, it is absolutely a scam.

Romance Scams

"My “friend” is so in love with me. They have been talking remotely with me for months! They need some money to take care of a problem or to come see me." This is a total scam and is done all the time. Yes, the scammers will spend months suckering you so that you will eventually be hooked into giving them money and assistance. Just because they sent you a nice picture does not mean it is actually them. Be very cautious with this one. It is very real and very active out there. 

There are dozens of other types of scams, but this gives you a quick rundown of the more common ones. As always, you are the one that can best protect yourself. Stay aware and as knowledgeable as possible on the threats that are coming your way.

Be aware and be safe!

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