Be On the Lookout for Phone Tech Support Scams
If you are having problems with your computer, there are a number of ways to get technical support without ever leaving your home. The wide availability of remote access tools makes it easier than ever before for skilled technicians to log on to your computer, identify the problem, update your software and leave your computer in great shape.
Unfortunately, the fact that remote tech support is now so commonplace has opened the door to scam artists and other criminals whose only goal is to separate you from your hard-earned money.
The scams take various forms, but one of the most common starts with a phone call from someone purporting to be an IT technician with Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Google or another large tech company. The person calling states that the victim’s computer is the source of malicious software or an automated attack.
In other cases, the caller says that their systems indicate the computer is about to crash, or that it is severely infected with viruses and needs to be cleaned immediately. No matter what the setup, the supposed technician claims to have detected a serious problem and says that they need immediate access to fix the issue.
If the victim does indeed provide permission, they could quickly find their system infected with all sorts of malware, from key logging software that steals passwords and identification codes to viruses that swipe bank account information and pave the way for identity fraud. The fake technician could even plant a back door that will lock the system until a ransom has been paid.
No matter what the setup or recommended solution, the best thing to do is simply hang up the phone. If the phone number has been captured by caller ID 1471, the potential victim should contact the police on 101 to report the attempted crime. These scams are growing, and it is important for them to take action.
It is also important to remember that no legitimate company operates this way. Microsoft will not call you if your Windows PC is infected with Malware. Google will not call you if your IP address is the source of suspicious activity. If you receive a phone call claiming to come from one of these companies, the best thing you can do is simply hang up and contact the appropriate legal authorities.