PC Doctor April 20, 2020

Have your computer questions answered here! Search the PC Doctor archive or submit a question of your own at info@athollibrary.org

Dear PC Doctor:

I received a terrifying email message the other day. It was addressed to me by name and had one of my old passwords in the subject line.

The message said the sender had caught me doing something bad via my webcam. Part of the message said "while you were watching the video, your web browser acted as a RDP (Remote Desktop) and a keylogger provided me access to your display screen and webcam. Right after that, my software gathered all your contacts from your Messenger, Facebook account and email account."

It felt very shocking but then I remembered a few things - my monitor at work doesn't actually have a webcam! (I learned that the hard way when trying to do a meeting by videochat!)

This has to be a scam. But, it was scary. I wanted to share this with your readers.

Thanks,

Susan


Dear Susan:

You are right - this is a scam, and a convincing one!

Typically, the sender of this message makes a threat to release the video or tell your boss or partner what you've been up to, unless you send money or cryptocurrency. Don't send the money! Also, please don't click on any links that might be part of the message.

Note: This scam highlights why it's so important to change your passwords from time to time. The blackmailer who sent the scam email probably got your old password during one of the many data breaches that happened in recent years. Imagine if that still was your online banking password!

It's happened to so many people - the FBI put out a bulletin about it last summer, and you can read it here: https://www.ic3.gov/media/2018/180807.aspx

Until Next time,

Happy Computing!

PC Doctor

Editor's Note: Questions should be directed to PC Doctor, care of the Athol Public Library, info@athollibrary.org or Athol Public Library, 568 Main St., Athol, Mass. 01331, or dropped off at the library.

Posted: to Athol Library News on Mon, Apr 20, 2020
Updated: Mon, Apr 20, 2020

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