Scammers continue to grow bolder, so it’s important to protect yourself and your information and be aware of current scams. One of the most prevalent scams these days is a tech support scam.
There are two main variations on this scam:
In the first one, a person calls you up and says they’re from “tech support.” They claim your computer is at risk and you need some new device, software, or other “solution” to make your computer safe. While pretending to be tech support, they may tell you they’ve discovered a vulnerability and you need to do what they say to keep your computer and information safe. To increase the likelihood you’ll believe them, some of these scammers may even spoof the caller ID so your phone actually displays a phone number from a legitimate company.
In the second variation, a scammer might send you a bogus email, create pop-ups, or use fake blue screens to make you think something is wrong. These fake error messages aim to trick you into calling them – where, again, they’ll trick you into giving your financial information and paying for fake solutions to this contrived problem.
Sometimes, these scammers will convince people to click on links or install applications that will give them remote access to your computer. Once they have access to your computer, they can install malware that can harvest your files and information, or take over your computer for their own uses.
Remember, companies like Microsoft don’t send unsolicited email messages or make unsolicited phone calls to request personal or financial information, or fix your computer. Any communication they have with you has to be initiated by you. And, legitimate error and warning messages never include phone numbers.
So if you see any of these signs, it’s a fake – hang up. Don’t respond to the caller or follow the directions they provide. Simply shut down and restart your computer. If you want to speak to someone at Microsoft or another company, visit their website (double-check for the lock icon next to the URL) and find their customer service phone number so that you can be sure you’re speaking to the correct person.