A tech support scam has been designed to make you believe that there is something wrong with your software and that you need ‘their support’ in order to fix it. The scammers will pretend to be Microsoft support and in-form you that there are problems on your computer. They will make normal system outputs appear to be prob-lematic in the way that they misrepresent the normal functioning of your computer, thus causing you to think there is in fact a problem. Tech support scammers will persuade you to download and install remote manage-ment apps which will then give them access to your computer.
How Tech Support Scams Work And How People Can Identify Them
The most widespread scams are hosted on websites. You may be browsing a website to find that an error mes-sage pops up that you cannot dismiss. You might find your browser goes into full-screen mode and shows a blue screen or that there is a supposed malware infection with a tech support number to call. However, this is not the limit to how far they will go. They may even cold-call you directly to your mobile phone and claim to be rep-resentatives from a software company. Generally, if they take this approach they will ask you to go to your computer and open some files, while convincing you that there is a problem (when there is not). They will then ask you to give them access to your computer in order to ‘help’ you, by persuading you to install the remote management apps. Once they have gotten this far, they will use the access that they now have to your comput-er to view sensitive data, like user names and passwords. They will direct you to websites where they will ask you to enter your credit card information and other personal information. These scammers want access to your computer, your money, or both, but you have the power to stop them.
How To Avoid Being Scammed
If you get an unexpected or urgent phone call from someone claiming to be tech support, hang up. Do not rely on caller ID to make sure if they are legitimate, as they can easily make it seem they are from a reputable com-pany. If you get a pop-up message on your computer telling you that you need tech support, ignore it. The only legitimate pop-up messages will be from your security software telling you to do updates. If you are concerned about your computer, look for your security software’s contact number online, on a software package or on the receipt. Never give control of your computer over to anyone who contacts you.
If You Were Scammed In A Tech Support Scam
Get rid of malware. In order to do this, download legitimate security software and run a full scan of your com-puter to remove any threats. Change all passwords that you may have shared with someone. If you have already paid for bogus services with your credit card, call your credit card company and request that they reverse the payment immediately. Check your statements for any charges that you didn’t make and ask to reverse those too.
There are so many people who are unaware of how tech support scammers operate. Do not allow the scam-mers to make you another statistic. Stay informed, pass the information on to friends and family, and you can identify them before it’s too late.