Beware of Tech Support Scammers!
We all justify at some point to ourselves that we would never be scammed by those lurking the internet because we think we are savvy enough to catch these scams ourselves. However, without proper protection and knowledge, some frauds will find a way to be savvier than you and scam you before you even know it’s a scam! For example, the Tech Support Scam can fool anyone whether you are a 21 years old who has been on the internet your whole life or a 50 years old who just starting using the internet only a couple years ago. This scam can go a variety of ways so it’s best to read up on these tips and instructions here on what to look out for so you can prevent these scammers from getting your money!
Some ways tech support scams can happen is through a phone call where someone on the other line will tell you that a virus was detected or a locked screen on your laptop. With the locked screen, you cannot exit out of anything but there will a pop-up message stating you will lose all your files and pictures if you try shutting down your computer. This will cause an urgency and fear into the victims of this fraud. The pop-up will also instruct you to call their “Microsoft Technicians” at their toll-free number that will be listed. The “technicians” will ask permission to get total access of your computer and will tell you there is a charge in fixing your frozen screen. Do not trust these fraud technicians and do not talk with them. They will be scammers trying to get your personal information by retrieving stored data on your laptop including social security numbers, bank accounts, usernames and passwords, and they can even install spyware which will allow scammers future access to your private information.
In addition, watch out for scareware, automated programs that tricks you into thinking you need to download or buy unnecessary and dangerous software. Scareware can come in the form of a pop-up, emails, or fake websites that offer you free security scans or claiming that they found a malware or virus on your computer. It might look like these pop-ups or website is being generated by your actual computer, however, it is from your website browser, sort of like a locked screen. Do not be fooled by scareware and exit out of the browser if you come across one.
If you get a phone call about a virus on your computer, don’t talk to them, if you happen to come across a locked screen, just turn off your computer at the source and restart your computer. There should be no missing data or pictures and your computer should be working normally again. Do not trust any scareware pop-ups of free virus scans and exit out of your website browser immediately. It would be best to have an external hard drive so your files are automatically backed up separately from your computer. External hard drives are inexpensive purchase and worth it for your peace of mind. Please go to professionals like The Digital Docs if you feel you really do have a virus or spyware on your computer as soon as possible!