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Tech support scams

August 24, 2015

What is a Tech Support Scam?

What would you do if you received a phone call from someone claiming to be with a Computer Support company and they tell you that you have a virus on your computer? Would you freak out and give them access to your computer so they can fix it? Or would you question them further to see how they know there is a virus on your computer? Hopefully you would question them.

One of the latest scams begins with a phone call. Scammers get your name and other basic information from public directories. Once they have you on the phone they often try to gain your trust by pretending to be associated with well-known companies or they start to confuse you with a bunch of technical terms. If they feel they have gained your trust they may ask you to perform a series of complex tasks on your computer directing you to a legitimate computer file and tell you it is a virus. Their tactics are designed to scare you into believing they can help fix your “problem.”

Once they have gained your trust they ask for remote access to your computer so they can “clean” up the virus. What they really do is change the settings on your computer making it vulnerable. They may also install malware that could steal sensitive data like user names and passwords. They will also ask for credit care information or direct you to a bogus website for you to enter your credit card information so they can bill you for their phony services.

Regardless of the tactics they use, they have one purpose and that is to make money.

If you get a call from someone who claims to be a tech support person, hang up! A caller who creates a sense of urgency or uses high-pressure tactics is probably a scam artist.

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