Recently I have seen an increase in “Tech Support Scams” affecting my clients and I feel it necessary to warn everyone. It’s a rotten thing to trick people into thinking their computers have been infected or attacked and solicit money by peddling a “cure.” The best defense is to know what it looks like and to have a solid plan of action when it does.
Usually scammers set up fake websites that users can accidentally encounter in day-to-day browsing. The site usually sends alarming messages to try to convince you that your computer is infected, or produces a blue screen and some phone number pops up that insists you must call immediately to stop some “threat.” The truth is, it’s just an insidious web design that emulates what a tech problem might look like. Once a user calls the number on the screen, the company on the other end will try to sell you software or a service to fix the problem. At best, the software is worthless or available elsewhere for free or the service involves simply removing the harmful website from the screen that was placed there by the scamming company in the first place. At worst, it could be malware — software designed to give criminals access to your computer and your personal information.
According to the Federal Trade Commission Website any of the following tactics are used:
“Once they’ve gained your trust, they may:
- ask you to give them remote access to your computer and then make changes to your settings that could leave your computer vulnerable
- try to enroll you in a worthless computer maintenance or warranty program
- ask for credit card information so they can bill you for phony services — or services you could get elsewhere for free
- trick you into installing malware that could steal sensitive data, like user names and passwords
- direct you to websites and ask you to enter your credit card number and other personal information
Regardless of the tactics they use, they have one purpose: to make money.”
NEVER TRUST A COMPUTER WARNING ON YOUR SCREEN THAT INCLUDES A PHONE NUMBER!!
Please, call Mac-Minded, LLC or your trusted computer support person and explain the situation. For a reasonably small amount of money, this scam can be thwarted!