Scam alert


A reader called this week concerned about a scam call she received. The caller identified themselves as an employee of Basic Security. The story went that she had signed up for a trial security service when she purchased her computer and it was now time to pay for said service. If she didn’t pay, Basic Security would automatically take $299 from her bank account. They instructed her to go to to cancel said security service. The reader hung up on the caller at this point, which is exactly what she should have done.

I checked out the website, which is legitimate and links to Nanosystems based in Italy, and offers “a powerful, easy and complete solution for remote desktop control and support.” Had she gone through with the scammers instructions she likely would have given them remote access to her computer and the information on it. They also gave her a 1-800 number to call back if she chose to cancel in the future. That number does not appear on the website.

While scamming is illegal, making a phone call is not. Even when you are a victim, it is near impossible to recover lost money or identity. The only way to stop these people is to stop playing their game.

Please, please hang up on people like this. You are not being rude. You are protecting yourself and your finances. They cannot access your bank account unless you give them information. If you feel particularly mischievous, give them your Social Security or account number very slowly: 123456789. They will hang up on you. I know this from personal experience. Otherwise, don’t give them any information at all. If you feel that the call is legitimate, hang up anyway, and have someone else help you contact the company directly. No reputable company trying to get information from you will have a problem with this.

Remember, the Social Security Administration, the IRS, your credit card issuer, nor your bank will ever call you and ask for your account numbers. If someone does, let them hear a dial tone.