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Tag: Tech Support Scams

Tech Support Scams: Everything You Need To Know

Tech Support Scams is a million-dollar industry that is known to be existing since 2008 and is at its all-time peak. It targets innocent people into spending hundreds of dollars by tricking them with non-existent computer problems. In order to secure yourself from ever-rising Tech Support Scams, it is important to understand what these scams are and how do they operate.

What Are Tech Support Scams?

Tech support scams trick people by making them believe that their computers have encountered a technical problem. The scammers motivate the victims to make a payment in order to get rid of the problem.

How Do Tech Support Scams Operate?

The tech scammers implement a variety of tricks to target the victim. Following are some of the common ways used by the scammers:

  • Cold Calls From Fake Agents: The scammers operate from discrete locations and call random numbers from a phone directory. The scammers use VoIP technology to hide their actual number and location. They pose as technical agents from software companies such as Microsoft, Windows, etc. They take control of the victim’s computer and send fake error reports. Once the victim is convinced, they collect money for mending the error. The best way to secure yourself against these scams is to ignore such fake calls.
  • Toll-Free Numbers From Fraudulent Tech Support Companies: These companies advertize heavily on popular search engines or heavy traffic websites to build trust and attract customers. Once a customer calls these technicians for a minor service such as software activation, these technicians introduce fake pop-ups on the customer’s computer stating that the system is infected. Thus, the customer ends up paying hundreds of dollars for ‘Windows Support’. In order to protect yourself from such scammers, it is imperative to be careful while choosing a technician or tech support company.
  • Screenlockers: This method has gained popularity recently. The scammers spread malware with the purpose of locking the user out of his own system. The malware poses as an installer for legitimate software. Once installed it may either result in a ‘Blue Screen Of Death’ or show a message that you are using an expired software. In the case of BSOD, the screen will show a few numbers for seeking help. If the message indicates an expired software, it will ask for a license key. The message may include a number and some links for popular remote assistance sites/software such as TeamViewer. The scammers ask the user to install the software and share the access id in lieu of gaining access to rectify your computer’s problem. The underlying motive is to sell you overpriced solutions and ‘service contracts’.

What To Do If You Have Given Access To The Scammers?

In case you have already granted remote access to the scammers, follow these steps to reduce the impact of the scam:

  • Revoke the access or restart your system to expire the session and remove the scammers from your system.
  • Run a malware scan as the scammers may have installed malicious software like password stealers in your system.
  • Change all your passwords and update your security protocol.
  • Run a ‘System Restore’ to restore any missing files or software from your system.

For more information on new Tech Support Scams, call Centex Technologies at (254) 213 – 4740.

Beware Of Fraudulent Companies Claiming To Clean Up Your Virus Infected PC

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.

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