The 5 Biggest Signs of Tech Support Scams
Tech support scams have become more prevalent in recent years. While the specifics of these scams vary by occurrence, there are several common signs of tech support scams. Most involve scammers calling you (some will also send pop-up messages) and claiming to be a team of computer techs from companies like Apple or Microsoft.
Once they’ve got your attention, these scammers tell you they’ve detected a virus or malware program on your computer, and that they can remove it quickly, provided you give them remote access to your computer. You may also be asked to pay for these miracle services.
Each year, thousands of people fall victim to scams like these, and they can put your pocketbook and your sensitive personal information at risk. Luckily, avoiding such scams is as simple as knowing how to recognize the signs.
5 Sure-Fire Signs of Tech Support Scams
Tech support scams may vary from scammer to scammer, but they all share similar traits. Here’s what to look out for:
1.Techs who Reach out to You
With few exceptions, techs won’t reach out to you if your computer becomes infected with a virus. The only possible exception is if you’ve paid for a monitoring service. Even then, the communication would come from an entity you know and trust, not a major company like Microsoft.
With this in mind, be wary of any tech who reaches out to you to tell you your computer is infected. It’s likely a scam.
2. Techs who use lots of Technical Terms
The scammers behind these fraudulent programs are trying to scare people, and they do that by using lots of technical terms meant to confuse and disorient you. The less you understand your “computer problem,” the more likely you are to turn it over to them to fix.
If you were dealing with a reputable computer repair tech, on the other hand, the tech would go to great lengths to help you understand your computer’s problem and to put it in terms that were easy to grasp.
3. Techs Who Request Remote Access
An urgent request for remote access is one of the sure signs of tech support scams. Few reputable techs will ever ask for remote access to your computer. While remote repair is a valid approach to computer issues, you are the one who initiates this remote repair service, by visiting a local shop or partnering with a company and requesting it.
Be wary if you’re contacted by a tech who asks to access your computer remotely. More likely than not, this is an attempt to steal your data or money.
4. Anyone who Wants Your Credit Card Information
As a general rule, stay far away from anyone who asks you to send them credit card information online. These people are likely trying to bill you for fake services or steal your sensitive information and identity. Even if you partnered with a reputable remote support company, they’d never ask for your credit card information like this.
5. Urgent or Unexpected Phone Calls
If, at any point, you get an urgent or unexpected phone call from a “Tech support” operation, hang up right away.
If you have any doubts that the call was a scam, contact your software company directly, but don’t simply redial the number the potential scammer called from. Today, lots of scammers manipulate caller ID to make it seem like they’re calling from reputable companies,
Instead, go to your software provider’s website and call them using the number there. Inform them of the call and ask if they initiated it. If not, you can be it was a scam. To prevent others from being affected, report the call to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
What Happens if You Get Scammed?
If you do fall for a tech support scam, don’t worry – you’re not alone. According to the FTC, consumers have lost approximately $24.6 million to tech support scams in the last two years. On average, each person affected by a scam loses about $280.
If you wind up getting scammed, the most important step is to take your computer to a virus and malware removal expert in Fort Worth. These pros will be able to remove malware from your computer, help you change your passwords, and install legitimate security programs to protect you from future scams.
While nobody likes IT scams, recognizing the signs of tech support scams can help you stay safe in the future.