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Telephone Scam in the High Peak

September 19, 2011 @ 3:03 am posted by Stuart Burnell

Recently we have been inundated with calls from customers, as well as customers through the shop to tell us about calls they have been receiving. This type of scam is on the rise and it would seem that the High Peak is being targeted.

Scenario: – You receive a telephone call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft or another reputable software company. They explain that your computer has a large amount of serious errors or even that it is heavily infected with a virus. You are of course worried! To prove these claims they will ‘walk’ you through a procedure that loads the inbuilt Windows error logging tool which will then show that your system has numerous  warning and error messages.

But never fear! The caller can then sort all these problems out for you!!

“Do not get caught out!”

This is a scam that first started in mid 2010, when the Guardian newspaper ran an article on the issue, which can be read here. When this type of scam first started the caller would state that they represented Microsoft to lend credence, but now as this scam is on the rise the methods used are becoming more inventive.

Callers are claiming to represent various eminent service providers or software companies and will often prove their claims by giving you the correct phone number or address of the company.

These people will seem very convincing to the inexperienced PC user.

When taken to the Event Viewer you will see that it contains numerous error and warning messages.

This is a screen capture from a PC that is in the workshop at the moment, as you can see there are a fair number of errors on display. These errors are quite normal on the average PC and can be caused by any number of reasons. For instance a power cut, a scratched CD, a cancelled software installation or even a service that does not start as quickly as usual. All these issues and many more will produce errors and warnings in the Event Viewer.

In short these errors are nothing to worry about they generally will not affect usage of your PC and would never be found without prompting.

The scammers are trying to prey on the victims’ naivety to try and sell them a product that will not correct these problems, because you do not have a problem in the first place.

I have personally received one of these phone calls, due to my knowledge I was well aware of what they were trying to do so managed to string them along for about half an hour before the scammer swore at me and then hung up.J

A lot of the time the caller will ask for the person by name, so it seems that they have access to some form of marketing list.

These calls also tend to be from non UK call centres.

Please be careful!! Some customers have fallen for this sort of scam and have lost money through no fault of their own. If the caller asks you to go to an internet link to install their software you can always copy the link and email it here to actionfraud to report any incident or forward any suspicious emails to the same email address in the link.

The actionfraud website itself can also give you some ideas of what scams are doing the rounds at the moment and can be found here.

Also remember here at Trusted IT we take our customers worries seriously, if you need any reassurance do not hesitate to call in for a chat with us.

Thunderbolt On PC: Will it follow in its predecessor’s footsteps?

September 17, 2011 @ 4:07 am posted by Benjamin Edwards

As you may be aware, Thunderbolt was first released as a new hardware technology for the new Apple MACs. It offers twice the theoretical speeds of USB3 and it’s ‘daisy chainable’, meaning you can connect them one after the other supposedly without losing a significant speed performance.

Intel recently stated that they plan to move this technology to PC’s, as Firewire was moved to PC’s during the USB2 era. Thunderbolt is Firewire’s successor as USB3 was USB2’s successor.

The two technologies aren’t manufacture bound, they can be switched if licenses are agreed upon, it just so happens that USB3 hit PC’s first, just like Thunderbolt hit Macs first. We’ve yet to see USB3 on MACs and we’re not even sure it ever will be (iPhones/iPods and MAC computers still use USB2 technology so no need to worry about compatibility just yet).

Cost of implementation for USB3 is cheaper than Thunderbolt and in reality, most end users aren’t going to want lightning fast transfer speeds for average use, this will only be a requirement of enthusiasts and workstation users. Therefore, USB3 is going to be a clear candidate for common usage in PC’s.

USB3 appears to be in the motion of a more universal connection standard, ie connecting external HDDs, peripherals and similar devices. The difference with Thunderbolt (besides the speed) is that Apple have decided to use it as their mini display connection too (similar to ATI’s Multi Display Port) allowing you to link Apple’s Cinema Display to your new Macbook via Thunderbolt and because there is another Thunderbolt port on these monitors, you can still connect external HDDs in the ‘daisy-chain’ concept I described earlier.

Now….for the speed comparison. USB3 is rated at 5Gbps that’s b for (BITS) NOT B for (BYTES), so you’re looking at 0.6GB/s (600MB/s) transfer and 1.25GB/s (1250MB/s) respectively. The increased speed from Thunderbolt does allow extra features such as external monitor support.

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