“Hey scammers! Pick me, pick me as your next victim!” said no one ever…
You may not have literally uttered these words, but you might as well be waving a white flag if you own a computer. The majority of households in the U.K. own or have access to a computer, and if we can confidently say that, you can bet scammers know that too!
Despite UK consumers’ attempts to protect themselves from scammers, these low-lifes continue to weasel back into the scene. Scammers thrive on fear and will claim that our life-lines, better known as our personal computers, have been flagged and are in need of technical support.
Disguising themselves as agents from a well known company (i.e. Microsoft), scammers quickly lure victims in with scare tactics of corrupt files, viruses, or detection of malware, resulting in consumers wanting a quick fix.
Surprise, surprise, conveniently, the scammer then informs their target that the so-called defected computer’s warranty has expired, but don’t fret because they’re more than happy to help! All the victim needs to do is give the “agent” third-party access to their personal computer and pay a one time fee of 195 pounds over the phone with a credit or debit card to register for a warranty renewal.
If you haven’t already gotten the skeezy feeling that this call just doesn’t sound right, it’s time to get with the program. This scammer’s call has red flags waving from the get-go.
Red Flag 1:
Tech support does not receive notifications of errors on someone’s computer. As such, they will not call customers to help repair a defect on their personal computer.
Red Flag 2:
Companies will not call customers directly warning them of expired warranties or security updates.
Red Flag 3:
Never give third-party access to unexpected callers if you have not confirmed that they are from a legitimate company.
Red Flag 4:
Never share personal or financial information over the phone, especially if you are not expecting a call from an agent.
Scammers use all of the above tactics to steal your identity and money, and to damage your computer with malware. It’s important that if you receive an unexpected call from a tech-support agent, that you tread lightly and avoid giving out any personal information until you’ve confirmed that you are speaking with a legitimate agent.