Scam artists have been around since the days of Jacob and Esau and their tactics are continually evolving. The latest generation of scammers prey on our ignorance about what can be done once someone has access to our computer data…. 

Tech support Here’s how the trick typically develops: You get an unsolicited call from someone claiming to be with Microsoft of Windows tech support, who say viruses have been discovered on your computer. In order to protect your data, you are told to immediately bring up a certain website and follow its instructions. An imitation screen may appear that shows viruses being detected and removed, but in actuality malware is being installed that allows the scammer to steal your username and passwords, hold your data for ransom or even use the webcam to spy on you.Your strategyHang up the phone. Microsoft does not make unsolicited calls. Also, do not click any links in spontaneous emails from “Microsoft” or in ads claiming to increase the speed of your computer.IRS sham Someone claiming to be from the IRS either calls or leaves a voicemail saying you owe back taxes and threatening that, unless funds are wired straightaway, legal action will be taken or you will be arrested. (Or they may say you have a refund waiting, but need to confirm personal information before they send it.) Sometimes “IRS” shows up on the caller ID, the con artist supplies their “badge numbers” and they know the last four digits of your Social Security Number.Your strategyDo not return a call from someone claiming to be with the IRS. The real IRS only opens communication with a taxpayer through the United States Postal Service.Cancer swindle Scammers jerk at your heart by asking for a contribution to some fake charity, often including words like “cancer” and “children”.Your strategyBefore contributing to any charity, check out its rating on charitynavigator.org. Instead of giving cash to door to door solicitors or your credit card number to callers, ask for more information about the charity (brochures, websites) so you can examine the cause first. Also be cautious of popular online giving sites such as gofundme.com.Chip card Con artists are mimicking card issuers and sending emails requesting personal and financial information, or asking that you click on a link before being issued a new card. The scammers are sending emails saying they are from companies such as American Express that compellingly uses the company’s logo and color scheme, and even have footer links such as “View Our Privacy Policy” and “Contact Us.”Your strategyNo credit card company will email or call you to verify personal data it already has on file before mailing a new card. If you’re ever unsure, simply call the number on the back of your card (not the one supplied by the email) and ask the company if it’s trying to reach you.