As you go about your day searching the internet, you receive a call from someone with a strong accent, but they tell you they are from Microsoft and have been notified that your computer has had a number of errors and a possible virus.
“VIRUS? HOW COULD THAT BE?”
All you heard was VIRUS, and all you want do to is fix it before it corrupts all the precious files your computer holds.
Holding on to every word the associate tells you, you do as they say while they continue to tell you about the horrors that may come with the virus if you don’t act quickly.
Finally, they tell you that all it takes to solve your issue is giving them access to your computer so they may install their $300 lifetime guaranteed spam protection program.
Hold up, did they say $300 and access to my computer?!
They sure did, and it’s about time you hang-up your phone before you get duped out of $300 and give them access to all your personal information!
This, obviously, is one of the many ways “tech support” scammers are fooling you into dishing out fast cash, along with giving them easy access to all of your personal information. Don’t let this scare tactic make you their next victim.
Here are a few ways you can save yourself the grief and headache the next time someone “from Microsoft” or any legitimate-sounding tech company calls concerning your computer.
What to Avoid
If you’ve received a call and believe it may be a scammer, the FTC advises the following:
- Never give third party access to your computer if you are not expecting tech support.
- Tech support scammers are “spoofing” their numbers to look like legitimate callers. Be wary and don’t believe every number you see.
- Do not provide your credit card or financial information to someone who calls and claims that they are tech support.
- Never give out personal information such as passwords, financial information, social security number, or important dates to agents claiming they are tech support.
- If you are pressured into buying a virus/malware protection project or are told to pay a subscription fee, hang up immediately and call your security software company directly.
- Make sure to sign up on the National Do Not Call Registry.
What to Do When You’ve Been Scammed
If you feel like you’re a victim of the “Tech Support” scam:
- Trash any downloaded malware or files that appear to be problematic. Replace the fake software with legitimate security software that you’ve updated or downloaded from a reliable source.
- Change all passwords that you may have given out to third parties. If this password is the same for other accounts, change them too.
- If you have paid for a program that is a scam, check all of your bank or credit card statements for unexpected charges and contact your credit card company and ask them to reverse the charge.
Report the Scam
Lastly, if you have either been a victim or were targeted by a scammer, report the scam to the FCC and share your experience with friends and family so they won’t be the next victim!
Check out this “Tech Support” Scam in action. This victim shows us the step-by-step scare tactics a scammer goes through and how easy it was for the scammer to trash his computer once he gave them access.
Lesson Learned: Don’t speak with or upset a tech support scammer..HANG UP IMMEDIATELY!: