A Tech Support scam is a type of scam that involves a hacker and a telephone call. Generally the scammer claims to offer an authorized technical support service, mostly through cold calls to unsuspecting users. Such cold calls are generally made by callers claiming to represent a well reputed technology company’s support department.
A fraudster, contacts you claiming that viruses have been detected on your computer. The fake tech representative alleges that they can remove the virus for a fee, generally around $100-$400. Sometimes the scammers charges the user to download some programs that are available for free online to signify the apparent virus. Other times, they install tracking software that gives the fraudster the access to personal information on the system.
Although such scams came into the picture from the year 2008, it has become far more common in the last couple of years, gaining attention from media organizations from across the world.
Precautions to Minimize the Risk of being Victimized of a Tech Scam
Never assume that the individual contacting you is an authorized representative working for the company they say they are. Always remember that the legitimate companies will never call you without solicitation or neither they will tell to pay for tech support.
Reach out to the tech company yourself. Find the valid phone number for the company and ask them whether a representative contacted you.
Do not allow remote access to an unauthorized stranger. Never allow someone to take remote control on your computer of your computer unless you are certain that they are certain that they actually representing a legitimate company.
Do not share your personal information. Never disclose your personal information such as login credentials, credit card details or bank account numbers over the phone. To protect your personal details and Bank Details you can use privacy protection software-XA Troop.
Keep a record of your charges. When you buy things over the internet or phone, always use a credit card or a debit card so that you can better dispute fraudulent charges.
How does the Tech Support Scam Work?
Tech support scams typically rely on social engineering. Hackers use large number of confidence tricks to get the victim to install remote desktop software, by which they take over the control of the user’s system, and then use variety of windows components and utilities to make the victim believe that the computer has issues that needs to be fixed, before proceeding for the victims to pay for ‘support’.
The Execution and Initiation for the Tech Scam
There are many ways to commit the tech support scam. Generally it begins with a cold call, usually claiming to be associated with the original tech company or by advertising on popular search engines and/or spamming keywords related to commercial products and services that an unsuspecting user may search for and leading to web pages containing a number to be called.
Some scams has been initiated via pop-up ads on infected websites instructing the potential victim to call a number. These pop-up ads on infected websites instructing the potential victim to call a number. These pop-ups often resemble error message.
Spotting and Avoiding Tech Support Scam
Tech support scammers use many tactics to trick people. Spotting these tactics will help you avoid falling for a scam.
Pop-up Warnings – Tech support scammers may try to lure the victims with a pop-up window that appears on your system. It will look like an error message from the operating system or antivirus software, and it will also have the logos from trusted companies or websites. The message on the window warns of a security issue on your computer and tell you to call a phone number to get help.
Online ads and listings in search result pages – Hackers try to get their websites to show up in online search results for tech support. Or they might even run their own ads, hoping you will call the phone number to get help.
What to do if You Think your System has Some Issue?
Always update your system software an run a scan. Ask from a knowledgeable person if you doubt your skills. Many software protection companies offer support online as well s offline as per the users convenience. The store that sell computer system also offer technical support in person.
Steps to Take if you Get Scammed
- If you paid a tech support scammer with a credit card or a debit card, you may be able to stop the transactions. Contact your card company or your bank right away and let them know what happened and ask if they can reverse back the transaction.
- If you paid the scammer with a gift card, contact the company that issued the card and let them know about the scam and whether they can refund the amount.
- If you gave the hackers the remote access of your system, update your system’s security software, then run a scan and delete anything it identifies as a problem.
- If you have shared your login credentials to a tech support scammer, change your password immediately. If you use the same password for different accounts then change those passwords as well.
Tech support hackers are regularly targeted by scam baiting, with people looking out to cause inconvenience to the hackers by ruining their time and by disabling their systems by deploying distributed denial of service attacks and destructive computer viruses. Scam baiter may also attempt to lure scammers into exposing their unethical practices by leaving dummy files or malware disguised as confidential information such as credit card or debit card information and passwords on a virtual machine for the scammers to attempt to steal, only to infect themselves.
While older people and individuals are unfamiliar with technology, the most important thing to do for everyone is to engage them in training to learn when to spot this multi channel scam. It’s extremely important to teach the individuals on how to avoid these scams, and suggest measures that warns users about scam sites or a general education program.