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How to identify and prevent technical support scams

What are Technical Support Scams?

Technical support scams are scammers who pretend to provide technical support services and seek the trust of people. Through phone, pop-ups, SMS, or email, tech support scammers try to trick victims into paying for fake services or granting remote access to their computers.

It is dangerous to give someone remote access to your computer. Fraudsters can manipulate your computer to pretend to be a problem and force you to pay for unnecessary solutions. Remote access scammers can also install malware and cause real computer problems.

Computer viruses and other malware can be used by scammers and hackers to steal IDs, passwords, bank account information and more. Giving a scammer remote access is like giving a thief a house key. Similar to phishing attacks, remote access scams and tech support scams appear plausible using social engineering. Scammers investigate their prey (often on social media) before launching an attack. Fake pop-ups can scare your computer to be infected with a virus, fake emails can be delivered to your inbox, and fake tech support numbers often look legitimate.

It’s not anyone’s fault to fall into a technical support scam. Technical support scammers have many ways to target victims and are good at hacking people just like computers.

If you or anyone you know was the victim, report the cyber scam immediately.

How tech support scammers target victims

Older people are more likely to be victims of technical support scams, remote access scams, and other types of online scams. Some scammers are also known to pretend to be from Microsoft to call victims and use email to target unknown victims through spear phishing attacks.

Microsoft scammers usually create fake Microsoft technical support numbers or email handles, but you can also use a technique called spoofing to impersonate the actual Windows technical support number that displays the caller ID. The scammer can also impersonate a computer repair company. Therefore, technical support scams are also known as computer repair scams. They use Apple ID phishing scams to impersonate internet security companies, internet service providers, or high-tech jaguar notes like Apple. Whatever the form of the scam, the scammer’s goal is to trick the victim into believing that the computer needs repair and persuade them to install insecure remote access software. From there, scammers can cause error messages, connectivity issues, or other technical issues and offer a fix for the issue for a fee. Or it could hijack all sensitive information on the device.

How to Find Technical Support Scams

Unexpected calls, emails, or pop-ups from Microsoft or other companies are great warning signs of potential technical support scams. As a company policy, Microsoft does not send nuisance calls, emails, or online messages.

If you claim that the caller is from Microsoft, but you don’t remember contacting them, it’s probably a scam. If you see a pop-up or email asking you to call your tech support number, it’s probably a scam. If you feel uncomfortable with your stomach, it’s probably a scam. Tech support scams often originate from India. Email may ask you to contact a secure hotline. This is actually an insecure line of Indian tech support scammers. A pop-up window may appear that makes you think your computer has crashed and prompts you to contact technical support. Google searching for known Indian scammer numbers can be helpful, but it’s safer not to call an unfamiliar number.

Download the software only from trusted sources and avoid suspicious websites. Also, with actual technical support, you will not be required to pay by gift card, bank transfer, or cryptocurrency.

How to protect yourself from tech support and remote access scams

Boost your internet fraud intelligence with reliable security software that can protect and hide you from predators. You can also set up a firewall to create a security fence between your device and your network. Use one of the best ad blockers in your browser to keep away malicious pop-ups. Pop-ups can install malware that scans your computer for valuable information such as login credentials and passwords. Therefore, it is important to protect your account with strong and unique passwords and manage your account with one of the best password managers.

Sometimes scammers don’t even blackmail you with fake threats. Instead, they install ransomware that holds your computer hostage until you pay. Get a ransomware protection tool to keep greedy scammers out of your pocket.