Scammers can be really ingenious when it comes to getting your details and money these days, and though they need to evolve quickly in order to catch people out in general, there are a few scams which seem to be perennially successful.
Computer Support Advice Scams
The “tech support scam” or “commuter support advice scam” is, in layman’s terms, an “oldie, but a goodie” which many a fraudster might employ at some point in their career. It’s a double jeopardy of sorts which sees the deployment of malware to damage a computer. Once the malware is installed, the scammers start contacting of the computer’s owner to set up a fake “tech support” transaction by telephone, message service, or email.
Fake computer support staff
Once you call that number, or message that email, you’ll find yourself in contact with a person who claims to be able to fix your problem (for a fee, of course!) at which point they’ll ask for payment, and perhaps even remote access to your computer. This is a real warning sign; unless you’re absolutely certain you’re speaking with someone legitimate (and maybe not even then) do not give remote access to your computer as you will be leaving all your secure information up for grabs!
It is very common for such scams to be hosted on websites; you might be browsing sites, looking for some information, when a pop-up comes up with a message to call Microsoft or Apple on a specific number etc. In all likelihood this number will be a high-fee number which racks up a huge bill whilst the scammers stall… of course they may also ask for access to your computer at the same time.
If this sounds familiar, and you think you might have been targeted by such a computer support advice scam, here is some simple advice as to what you should do to protect yourself;
- Turn off, or better yet uninstall, any remote access applications you have
- Clean your system with AntiVirus software
- Change all of your passwords
- Make sure you’re up to date and have all security updates.
- Restore your computer to a previous state.
Have you ever fallen afoul of a computer support scam? If so share your experiences in the comments box below.