July 9, 2015

Every day, a lot of web users receive fake calls/ emails from scammers posing to be IT support technicians offering help to clean up their computer issues. They claim themselves to be from some reputed software companies and persuade people to perform certain tasks to remove virus from their PC. According to a recently released report by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), these types of phone/ email scams have become the most common way for hackers to access all the personal information stored on the target computer.

How The Scam Works?

A user typically gets a call from people asserting to be from a tech support firm. The callers already gather the target user’s name, address, operating system and version of Windows to convince them about the legitimacy of the call. They may tell the user that they have detected certain virus on the computer that needs to be fixed and for which they need to pay a certain fee. When this occurs, the hackers are able to gain access to the credit card details of the user. They may also install certain malware and malicious software on the system which may require additional expenses to be removed. These phone scams may include the following:

  • The cybercriminals may ask the user to download a remote access service to grant them the right to use the computer. This allows them to take complete charge of the target PC.
  • The user is made to install certain anti-virus software, sold as the genuine version. In contrast, it is simply a trail or forged version, leaving the user’s computer vulnerable to major security threats.
  • Once they have unrestrained access to the system, it can be easily infected with malware. As the targeted system has a non-functioning anti-virus and vulnerable OS, it would not be able to detect or remove the Trojan.

Tips To Avoid Phone Scams

  • Never grant access to your computer to unknown people.
  • Do not depend on caller ID to validate any phone call. Identities on these types of software can be easily hoaxed.
  • Do not provide details about your credit card, bank account or other personal information to any unknown caller.
  • Note down the caller’s information and report it to your local cyber-crime branch.
  • Change any passwords that you have shared with anybody.
  • Always install and regularly update authentic anti-virus software as well as Windows version.

In case you receive any such phone calls, make sure you do not provide them any information and contact the helpline number of your service provider for assistance.