Nowadays, tech support scams are on the rise and everyone is a potential target. This means if you are not careful enough, you too could be a victim of this crime.
Today, scammers and fraudsters are everywhere and this is not an overstatement. In fact, these criminals have sophisticated tricks and they are looking for potential victims.
Scams come in various forms and they could be online social engineering scams or many others. The fact is that there is an avenue for smart gadget users to be a victim of scammers.
What’s tech support scams?
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So, what is a tech support scam, and how does the scam work? In most cases, tech support scammers convince their victims to believe their computer has a serious problem.
The alleged serious problem is usually a “virus” and the scammers want their victims to pay for tech support services they don’t need, to fix a problem that doesn’t exist.
In essence, a technical support scam, or tech support scam, is a type of fraud in which a scammer claims to offer a legitimate technical support service. In the end, they will ask you to pay by wiring money or putting money on a gift card.
Also, they can ask for prepaid cards, cash reload cards, or use cryptocurrency or a money transfer app. This is because they know those types of payments can be hard to reverse.
How tech support scams work?
Scams are now using high-pressure scare tactics to get what they want from you. Unfortunately, their scare tactics are often extremely convincing to unsuspecting victims.
Scammers are becoming really smart and new types of tech support scams are always emerging and becoming increasingly sophisticated. Below are some examples of how tech support scams look so that you know what to look out for:
- #1]. Impersonate support staff: The scammers will pose as support staff from legitimate companies or brands.
- #2]. Create fake problems: These scammers often create fake problems and offer to help you solve the problems. They will make you believe that you have a serious problem with your device and the best solution is for them to help you out.
- #3]. Gain access to your device: They start with pop-up windows and then use tactics such as manipulating your cursor.
- #4]. Steal your data and money: Their end goal is to gain access to your personal information or get money from you.
How to avoid tech support scams
Luckily, some great antivirus software like Avast out there can help block your device from accessing fake websites. The fact is that most of these fake websites are set up by tech-support scammers to convince unsuspecting potential victims.
If you come across a website that seems malicious you can report it to any of the antivirus software providers you are using. So, what can you do to avoid tech support scams? Well, below are some of the best ways to go about it:
#1]. Educate yourself
You will need to educate yourself about the device you own or use. This will help you to understand the device and identify issues when there are any. Also, look into the technical support that’s available to you and how it works so you are not caught off-guard.
#2]. Double-check messaging
Always inspect the messaging of someone reaching out to you. This is important if they claimed to work for companies like Microsoft and offer any kind of technical support.
#3]. Never send money
Tech support scams always lead to losing money to someone you don’t know. Therefore, never send money to anyone or hand over your credit card details or send money using a money transfer app or website to anyone.
Don’t click any links and be careful of who talk to over the phone. Don’t answer calls from an unknown number. Also, don’t call any numbers sent to you by someone you don’t know.
If a number you don’t know called you, there are some online platforms out there that you can use to verify caller IDs or numbers. Platforms like Whocalledme or Unknownphone can be really useful and helpful.
Report the scam call
To help the police and other law enforcement agencies tackle these calls, report the incident to Action Fraud on Tel: 0300 123 2040. If you can, supply the name of the company (or at least, who they claimed to be), plus – if possible – the phone number they called you from.
If you’ve been a victim of a scam call or you’re worried that you’ve granted access to your PC or given your bank details to an unsolicited caller, it’s important to take some key steps.
Contact Action Fraud and seek a crime reference number to help you pursue any lost funds from your bank. Also, alert your bank to what has happened, and to be extra safe, run an up-to-date security scan. Scan your computer with an effective security tool.
Beware of tech support scams, it’s arguably one of the most common scams nowadays. We hope these suggestions are helpful.