FTC Offers Advice for Avoiding Tech Support Scams

by Tech Mainstream Staff

June 27, 2017

According to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), tech support scams have increased. There are various techniques used by scammers to lure one into this type of scam. The scammer will either, "call, place alarming pop-up messages on your computer, offer free “security” scans, or set up fake websites– all to convince you that your computer is infected." Scammers first try to phone you, then subsequently tell you that you have a computer related, albeit feigned problem and that for a fee it must be fixed. The scammers will try to impersonate legitmate companies, such as Apple or Microsoft, use complicated technical terminology and make you open the supposed error prone file(s). Then the scammers will try various methodologies to rid your device of the bogus problem:

* Ask you to give them remote access to your computer – which lets them change your computer settings so your computer is vulnerable to attack.

* Trick you into installing malware that gives them access to your computer and sensitive data, like user names and passwords.

* Try to sell you software that’s worthless, or that you could get elsewhere for free.

* Try to enroll you in a worthless computer maintenance or warranty program.

* Ask for credit card information so they can bill you for phony services, or services you could get elsewhere for free.

* Direct you to websites and ask you to enter your credit card number and other personal information.

The FTC also offers advice to prevent scammers from taking your money and gaining potentially dangerous access to your computer or device:

* If you get an unexpected or urgent call from someone who claims to be tech support, hang up.

* If you get a pop-up message that tells you to call tech support, ignore it.

* If you’re concerned about your computer, call your security software company directly – but don’t use the phone number in the pop-up or on caller ID.

* Never share passwords or give control of your computer to anyone who contacts you.

* Get rid of malware.

* Change any passwords that you shared with someone.

* If you paid for bogus services with a credit card, call your credit card company and ask to reverse the charges.

For a complete analysis visit, https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0346-tech-support-scams


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