[Updated 4/7/16] Avoid Tech Support Scams
[Update 4/7/2016] On April 5 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released an alert on tech-support themed telephone scams.
This is a reminder to avoid falling for Tech Support Scams.
Tech Support Scams, typically, involve someone cold calling a potential victim, saying they are with a trusted organization or company, such as Microsoft or Windows, and warning that their computer is malfunctioning or infected with a dangerous virus. Then the caller (scammer) offers to help by having the victim download software, or remotely connecting to the victim’s computer, to fix the problem.
For the past seven years, or so, scammers have tricked people into compromising their computer security, credit card details, or bank account information, with this type of scam. More recently, the scam can occur when a popup window appears, on a computer or smartphone screen, warning of a virus, or computer problem, and providing a phone number (belonging to the scammers) to call for help. Some scammers even have legitimate looking websites (belonging to the scammers) listed with search engines, like Google.
In order to avoid these scams, be suspicious of any unsolicited phone calls or popup messages. Don’t automatically trust websites found via search engines, without researching whether they are provided by legitimate organizations or companies.
Information on how to detect, and avoid, these scams can be found at the following links…
- Avoid tech support phone scams [Microsoft]
- New Twist to the Tech Support Scam [AARP]
- Unsolicited tech support call? Just hang up! [Sophos]
- Avoiding Social Engineering and Phishing Attacks [US-CERT]
Additionally, legitimate sources of technical support include…