Being one of the oldest types of internet scams, tech support scams rely on scare tactics to gather personal information about internet users. We're going to run through how these scams look and sound, and how you can successfully avoid getting caught by one yourself.
Tech Support Scam can originate from various sources:
- By phone, scammers can claim to be contacting you as a representative of a trusted company, going as far as to spoof their caller ID to match their story.
- By web, scammers may display advertisements meant to mimic system errors, enticing you to click them to solve the problem.
- If the scammers have managed to get malware installed on the computer through prior means, this can be used to display fake error messages, as well as steal data.
Once they have gained the user's trust, they will extract as much personal information as they can (most often usernames and passwords, but can include other personal information such as credit card info).
In order to protect yourself against this scam, follow these tips:
- Companies would very rarely initiate contact with a user, and would never ask a user to call a number.
- Only download software from official sources. Third-party sites may have malware bundled with legitimate software that could compromise your data.
- Use antivirus protection software and common sense when on the web. Make sure you carefully examine error messages and identify which are ads meant to pressure you into pressing them.
Stay Safe. Stay Secure.