As 2018 comes to a close we wanted to help raise even more awareness about the current state of Cyber Security in Donegal. As you may know we have been successfully keeping our clients from all over Donegal Cyber aware and secure for over 10 years now. In those years the threats facing your average home or work computer user have changed and actually increased dramatically.
Back over a decade ago the main threat to your computer was from viruses, in many cases they would just be an inconvenience that would slow down your computer or interfere with your Internet connection. Since 2010 there are many new threats to your computer as Internet speeds increase, the price of computers drop and especially with the availability of super fast fiber broadband it is easier now than ever for a cyber criminal to quickly attack your computer with a Ransomware virus or other similar method. In those years, what we would consider to be third world countries have developed and many tens of millions of these people now have computers and cheap Internet access, this means that the threats will keep on increasing exponentially each year as the temptation to scam money abroad from wealthier countries is too much to resist.
Devastating Phone Scams:
Phone scams are also very common in every Donegal town, parish and village, especially from large Asian call centres where staff are underpaid and not monitored correctly, (or at all) many of them have turned rogue and spend all day every day calling homes and businesses in every corner of Donegal. They have realised that there are many elderly people living in this area that has endured greatly from mass immigration over the intervening years of the recession so it is a rich hunting ground for potential victims for these criminals.
These phone scammers directly target the 50+ age ranges as they are well aware many of them are not that Tech Savvy and come from a pre-Internet and computing technology generation. They are well trained by there (unfortunate) employers in Indian and Pakistan in both the sales and the psychology of how to get people on the other end of the phone to do exactly what they want, which is usually to hand over there credit card numbers, actually log them into there Internet Banking account and transfer bogus virus removal fees to their personal accounts in Asia via money transfer services. They also frequently try to get people to scan or hold up to the computers web-cam there drivers licence, passport and utility bills so they can screen shot them in an attempt to steal their identity and sell them online to other cyber criminals on the dark web.
Over the last decade the reports of these attacks have gone from an occasional frantic call every six months or so too literally calls on a weekly basis. In many cases these scammers are so convincing and skilled at manipulating people that the victims spend hours on the phone handing over all there personal and financial information. The reason this happens is that once the scammer gets the person on the phone carrying out complicated tasks and pressuring them to complete the tasks, the common sense part of the brain is switched off, family members have repeatedly told me that they could not believe what they were seeing when they walked in and found there father or mother or elderly neighbour handing over all there banking and credit card details over the phone or computer.
The reason this keeps happening and the reported incidents keep growing is that they are unfortunately succeeding. So if you can please take the time to make all family members aware of this scam and let them know that they can pretend to be from any well known Irish company such as AIB, Bank Of Ireland, Eir, Vodafone etc, or American companies such as Microsoft or Dell or even The The Irish Revenue promising a bogus tax refund. None of these companies in the main will contact you by phone without you first making contact with them.
If you have any concern or have been attacked by these scammers then please feel free to contact us on 086 375 6907 we understand the stress and hurt this attack can cause you and will keep all reports strictly confidential and help get you back on track.