Tech Support Scams
#102 One More Reminder
Part of aging well is keeping yourself safe. That includes being safe from scammers - folks who do everything in their power to steal from others, usually through trickery, deceit, and force. With the accessibility and anonymity the internet provides, scammers have become increasingly prevalent and devious.
I don’t know about you, but posts from scammers under the guise of my bank, PayPal, Amazon, the post office, Home Depot, Best Buy bombard my email regularly. I am very suspicious of an even slightly questionable email on my phone or computer and you should be as well.
I’ve written articles about dating scams, scams in general, and ones that caught me off guard. However, Good Morning America recently had a piece on tech support scams, and interestingly, I received this email message from a trusted source.
With billions of emails sent each day, it’s no wonder that email compromise has become one of the most financially damaging online crimes. In an email-based scam, fraudsters send an email that appears to come from a known or reputable source with a legitimate request, such as updating a mailing address or payment instructions.
So, I wanted to share this information with you - once more. Tech scammers may pretend to be from a well-known company such as Microsoft. They use technical terms to convince readers that problems with their computers are real. Take a look at this short video.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation issued an alert about the rise in technical support scams spreading across the country.
The FTC Consumer Advice Website says
These scammers want you to believe you have a problem with your computer, like a virus. They want you to pay for tech support services you don't need to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. They often ask you to pay by wiring money, putting money on a gift card, prepaid card, or cash reload card, or using cryptocurrency or a money transfer app because they know those types of payments can be hard to reverse.
Ask to open files, or run a scan on your computer. Then say those files or the scan results show a problem - but there isn’t one.
Ask for remote access to your computer — which lets them access all the information stored on it and the networks connected.
Try to enroll yourself in a worthless computer maintenance or warranty program.
Install malware that gives them access to your computers and sensitive data, like user names and passwords.
Ask for credit card information so they can bill you for phony services or services available elsewhere for free.
Try to sell software or repair services that are worthless or free elsewhere.
Direct readers to websites and ask them to enter their credit card, bank account, and other personal information.
Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you are positive it’s a legitimate computer support team representative.
Remember, tech support companies don't make unsolicited phone calls.
Watch for warning screens.
Be wary of sponsored links - ads often conceal visited website content, thus significantly diminishing the browsing experience. If the ad network is not legitimate, users might be redirected to websites that contain malicious content. These redirects can result in high-risk computer infections.
Avoid clicking on links in unfamiliar emails.
Steps You Can Take:
Set up two-factor (or multi-factor) authentication on accounts that allows it.
Be careful with the information you share and the details others share about you online. Scammers use personal or familiar information to send phishing emails, guess your password, or answer security questions.
Don’t click on anything in an unsolicited email, text, social media, or messaging application message asking you to update or verify account information. Never open an email attachment from someone you don't know, and be wary of email attachments forwarded to you.
Carefully examine the email address, URL address, and spelling used in emails or text messages. Scammers use slight differences to trick your eye and gain your trust.
What To Do If
If you shared your password with a scammer, change it on every account that uses it. Use unique passwords for each account and service. Consider using a password manager.
Get rid of the malware. Update or download legitimate security software. Scan your computer, and delete anything the software says is a problem. If you need help, consult a trusted security professional.
If the affected computer connects to your network, you or a security professional should check the entire network for intrusions.
If you bought bogus services, ask your credit card company to reverse the cost and check your statement for unapproved charges. Check your credit card statements to ensure the scammer doesn’t try to re-charge you monthly. Immediately report the attack right away to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint.
Computers, pads, and smartphones are here to stay - scammers are getting trickier and more forward, don’t let them catch you.
Just for fun! Kitboga has a Youtube Channel. I have no connection with the channel, but I have learned from watching his videos which primarily focus on scam baiting. Take a look!
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