The occurance of email and phone scams here in Trinidad and Tobago has been on the rise recently. One in particular calaims to be a free Windows 10 upgrade. 

This comes in the form of an email with an attachment that claims to be the Windows 10 upgrade, or in the form of a phone call (usually from a person with an Indian accent) indicating that you have 'qualified' for a Windows 10 upgrade and that they are willing to guide you through the upgrade process.

If you receive any such email of phone call please ignore immediately and delete the email and politely hang up the phone.

These are actually cybercriminals attempting to install ransomeware and other types of viruses and malware on your computer. If you do initiate this conversation or click on the install, a ransomware virus will be installed on your computer. This will encrypt most of your files and also put a password lock to access your computer when next it's restarted. Your only way out of that is to pay the ransome via the instructions provided by the cybercriminal. You can find out more about RansomeWare from this article.

You should note that Windows 10 is now a FREE upgrade offered by Microsoft which you do not need to be pre-qualified for. Microsoft has also stated that they do not initiate calls to customers to assist with any software update or technical support, nor do they send emails with installation files attached. 

Click on this link to find out more about this scam from Microsoft and also how to officially reserve and get your Windows 10 Upgrade.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), allows you to connect with friends and family over the Internet, but comes with risks.

Downloading content over the internet is a great way to enjoy music, video, games and other entertainment. Downloading is also a very convenient way to obtain information in the form of Word documents, PDFs, photos and other files.

New technologies and high-speed internet connections have helped online gaming become a popular  pastime on the internet. Because gamers invest large amounts of time and money in games widely available today, others see an opportunity for mischief or illicit profit. The technological and social risks of online games should be understood by anyone who enjoys them.

Online shopping is a convenient, simple and quick way to purchase items from websites. As with anything you do online, any time you provide details like your email address, shipping address, phone number and credit card information, your information becomes prey for cyber criminals. 

The proliferation of mobile devices and the accessibility to a wider cross section of the society has led to an increased risk of targeting by cyber criminals. Aside from the actual physical loss of your mobile phone, which could put personal information in the wrong hands, there are several ways your mobile phone can be compromised.

Social networking sites are now one of the main means of staying in touch with friends and family. Personal and other pictures,  locations, relationships and even job information is shared, which makes these websites a prime target for cyber criminals.

Online banking provides the convenience of performing a range of transactions without setting foot in a physical bank. It provides the ability to check balances, pay bills, manage credit cards, make transfers and a range of other options without having to wait in line.

Email has become an integrated part of our daily lives and it is quite usual to send an electronic message rather than make a phone call. Email provides a means to stay in touch with friends, communicate with colleagues, receive various subscriptions and promotional information from online sources. Millions of email are sent every day in Trinidad and Tobago, and a significant percentage is likely to contain personal information that can be a target for cyber criminals worldwide.