These days, it can be hard to tell who are the good guys and who are the bad guys and all it takes is one time to let your guard down and it’s game over.
Unknown to a lot of people, there has been a scam going on for a while regarding people posing as Microsoft (or an affiliate) to advise of a virus or malware infection on the victim’s computer (which isn’t there in the first place). The person who is calling then offers to disinfect the computer for a fee but doesn’t actually do anything to fix the non-existent problem.
What is more worrying is that people with Macs receive the same phone calls and some fall for this trick despite not running Windows.
Along similar lines, you should also be cautious about people calling up claiming to represent a financial institution, security companies or a utility service. I find it disconcerting that when I receive such unexpected calls that I am asked personal questions to verify myself yet the person calling does nothing to verify their identify or genuine representation of the company. In such situations, at a minimum, I usually ask for a phone number to call back and attempt to verify the phone number on Google to make sure it is all above board.
The bottom line is that you can always provide information to someone at a later point in time but once you provide that information it’s very difficult to revoke or render invalid. It’s better to exercise caution with legitimate entities than to hand out your personal information and your money without doing some research.
If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true! Keep your wits about you!