GEEK: How to debunk common scams like ProtectEra Pinterest Twitter Facebook Local NewsBusiness Facebook >> Jeff Werner is a software engineer and has been writing this column since 2007. Hello, Geeks! Even though this is publishing the week of January 7th it is still my first column of 2018, so I’d like to wish you all a joyful and prosperous New Year, filled with smoothly operating tech devices and minimal system errors. Don’t forget, I.G.T.M. is more than a computer help feature. I cover any and all aspects of technology, and tech is flowing out to the masses faster than most of us can keep up. So send in your questions, and I’ll be happy to try and bring some sanity to your crazy high-tech life! Meanwhile…• • •Q: I am ashamed to be writing this question due to my stupidity. I got a pop-up saying that my computer had been hacked. I was not able to get rid of it and it said do not shut down computer as it would render it inoperative. It had a number to call for help, said it was a Microsoft number, well I called it and got help. He wanted to call me back, which he did immediately. Claimed he was Microsoft and asked me to do a couple of key strokes, he got control of my computer. End result I got charged $299.99 for this service. Come to find out they sent a contract from a company called Protectera. I did not know if this was legit so took my laptop to a local repair person and had everything removed, hopefully. My question is have you heard of this company? Their number for service is [redacted]. Protectera Address: 116 Village Blvd, Suite 200, Princeton, NJ 08540– Roy W.Niceville, Fla.A: Don’t be so hard on yourself, Roy, you just got fooled. If people didn’t fall for these scams, the low-lifers that perpetrate them wouldn’t keep making the attempt. I’ve seen this scam before, though it may or may not be the same group. The ones putting on this show seem to have made an entire business out of it. I’ve never heard of ProtectEra before, but I did a little research on your behalf.These guys have a legitimate-sounding name, a toll-free callback number, and a web presence, all intended to make them look like a legitimate business. However, when you start looking a little closer, the façade falls apart. For example, there is a way to look and to see who owns a particular website. Every site on the Worldwide Web is registered at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, commonly known as ICANN. These data are publicly available, and performing a lookup of this information is called a “WHOIS” search. You can go directly to ICANN’s website at ICANN.org, and at the bottom of the right-hand navigation pane, you’ll find a link labeled “WHOIS”. Click there, and enter “protectera.com” into the search bar, and click “Lookup”, you’ll see that if this is indeed a business, it’s very oddly put together. The URL was registered through a domain clearinghouse, where it was probably purchased for a couple of dollars. No company information for “ProtectEra” is listed in the registration information. The address and phone number are those of the domain seller.I also used Google and Google Maps to research the address you supplied. Not surprisingly, that is the address of another company whose business line is leasing-out office spaces. They actually operate out of Suite 200.So, suffice it to say that the company is not legitimate. Of course, the dialog you saw also was bogus. I will go further and say that any dialog that pops up and says it contains a phone number for Microsoft is phony – Microsoft does not provide support in that manner. Never, ever click on such a dialog, and never, never, NEVER call the number, and don’t ever let anyone you’re talking to on the phone have access to your computer, no matter how legitimate they sound.You’ve done the right thing by having the junk professionally removed from your PC. Learn from the lesson, and follow the advice above, and you should be protected in the future.To view additional content, comment on articles, or submit a question of your own, visit my website at ItsGeekToMe.co (not .com!) WhatsApp Previous articleMASTER GARDENERS: Gardening is good for your healthNext articleWILLIAMS: Dangers of Government Control admin WhatsApp By admin – January 7, 2018 Twitter Pinterest
Bank Indonesia (BI) has bought Rp 234.65 trillion (US$15.77 billion) worth of government bonds under the “burden sharing” scheme to fund the widening fiscal deficit, pledging continued support for the sluggish economy.Of the total figure, the central bank has bought Rp 51.17 trillion worth of sovereign debt papers (SBNs) through auctions, as well as another Rp 183.48 trillion through private placement as of Sept. 15, BI Governor Perry Warjiyo said during a meeting with House of Representatives Commission XI overseeing financial affairs on Monday.On that basis, BI currently owns Rp 640.6 trillion worth of SBNs. The pandemic pushed the economy into a contraction of 5.32 percent in the second quarter. Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said the government had revised down its GDP outlook to an annual contraction of between 0.6 and 1.7 percent as the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic had taken a significant toll on consumption and business investment.Consumption, which accounts for more than half of the nation’s GDP, is now expected to remain weak and to contract between 1 and 2.1 percent, while investment is expected to shrink between 4.4 and 5.6 percent as demand and economic activity remain cool.The economy has shown substantial improvement in the third quarter compared to the second quarter as reflected by the purchasing managers’ index (PMI) and retail sales data, Perry went on to say. However, he also said the recovery remained slow amid the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic.“Although the coronavirus pandemic has limited economic activity, we have seen signs of improvement in people’s mobility and economic activity,” he said. “The fiscal and monetary stimulus will help avoid significant deterioration in economic activity going forward.BI has trimmed the policy rate four times this year by 1 percentage point in total, cut the reserve requirement ratio, eased lending rules and undertaken quantitative easing to support the economy. The central bank has disbursed Rp 662 trillion in quantitative easing measures.The burden sharing scheme between the fiscal and monetary authorities would lower the government’s debt burden going forward, the Finance Ministry’s financing strategy and portfolio director Riko Amir said, adding that the debt-to-GDP ratio would be slightly lower than 40 percent of GDP, “which will be lower compared to other emerging countries”.“This will mean the government has sufficient fiscal space to allocate spending in priority sectors post-pandemic,” he told The Jakarta Post recently. “The government will continue to increase state revenue and create efficiency in expenditure to control the debt growth.” However, credit rating agency Moody’s Investor Service said Indonesia’s accumulated debt and falling tax revenue would weaken its “debt affordability” and might deteriorate its credit quality.Debt affordability is a means of measurement used by Moody’s, calculated by the ratio of annual interest payments required to maintain a government’s debt to its annual tax revenues.Although the deterioration in debt affordability will be modest in general for emerging markets, Indonesia will have interest payments to account for more than 20 percent of government revenue, the agency stated.“We are not expecting a reversion to pre-coronavirus deficit levels in Indonesia until at least 2025,” Moody’s senior analyst Anushka Shah said on Sept. 16.Topics : “This is our commitment to support the economy through financing measures and bearing the debt burden so that the government can focus on spending the state budget,” Perry told the lawmakers, stressing that the central bank would continue buying government bonds through the scheme.The government and the central bank have agreed on a $40 billion debt monetization scheme, dubbed “burden sharing”, which will see BI buying at least $28 billion in government bonds while shouldering the debt costs.The coronavirus-induced economic downturn has sapped tax revenue, spurred government spending and necessitated record amounts of government borrowing as the country’s budget deficit may widen to 6.34 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), more than twice the initial deficit cap of 3 percent.The government, however, has only spent around 36 percent of the Rp 695.2 trillion stimulus it allocated to help the economy due to red-tape, among other issues.