Avoiding Telephone Tech Support Scams

Published by john on January 30, 2018 Under Tech Support

Over the past few years, a new twist on an old scam has become pretty common and it is important to learn about how this scam works, so you can avoid potentially damaging your computer, locking your computer files, or the risk of identity theft.

The Tech Support Scam usually starts with a call from someone who says that they have detected a problem with your computer or internet and need to login to your computer to check it out. Often, they will say that they are from Microsoft or some other company to gain trust and then then try to get you to go to a website to install a remote desktop access program, which lets them login to your computer over the Internet.

The end goal of the scammer is usually to get your credit card information, get you to purchase some questionable antivirus software, or otherwise extort you to pay them to ‘fix’ your computer. To that end, the scammer will often pull up pages or programs on your computer to attempt to scare you into thinking there is a problem with the computer. Eventually, especially if you refuse to pay them, they will often break or disable your system, so that it needs a repair or you can’t login normally.

If you ever get a strange call like this, here are some things to remember:

Tips for Avoiding Tech Support Scams

Microsoft is never going to call you out of the blue to tell you your computer is broken!

While Microsoft does have a legitamte support department, they are not just calling random people to tell them they have a virus on their computer. Their support calls usually start after opening a ticket on their website and they schedule a time for the call and is offered more to their paying customers, like those with Office 365 Accounts, and not just random people. Microsoft is not just going to give you a ring to tell you that you have a computer virus.

Nor will the IRS, your Bank, or most reputable services call you out of the blue like this. If you do get a call from someone claiming to work with a company that you are familiar with, like the IRS or your Bank, hangup and call them back, making sure to get the real phone number from a reputable source and NOT the person calling.

Don’t Give Someone Remote Access to Your Laptop if you Don’t Know Them!

If you get a call from a stranger and they want you to install software or to go to a special website, don’t! Most likely they are going to try to gain access to your computer, so they can scam you! This will give them full access to your computers and files and often if you refuse to pay them, they will break your computer.

If all else fails, shutdown your computer or internet!

If for some reason you do end up in a situation where someone is remotely ‘fixing’ your computer and you did not instigate the service call, shutdown your computer or internet immediately. While this should typically be avoided, if you have to, pull the power on your computer and then have the computer checked for viruses by someone you trust!

No Comments |

Add a Comment