I run a small computer repair business on Maui.
I am writing today to alert the island's community to a large and well-orchestrated scam that concerns anyone who browses the Internet.
Briefly, here is how the scam works: The information you provided to register your computer, usually when setting it up for the first time, is being transmitted to the scammers when you browse websites they have infected with their spyware software.
The scammers take this information and contact you, usually by phone, claiming to be from the computer's manufacturer, Microsoft or a company that specializes in computer viruses and infestations.
They walk you through, allowing them direct access to your computer, and cause your machine to display window screens to convince you your machine is doomed.
Of course, they will be happy to resolve these issues for a modest fee (sometimes more than $200) and offer to speed up your machine as well.
All they need is a valid credit card number.
Please, never give your credit card to anyone you are not sure is a legitimate business concern.