Tech Support Scams

How Do Tech Support Scams Work?

Tech support scams are prevalent in the digital age and must be stopped before more consumers fall victim to this unlawful practice. This scam can occur in minutes and may lead to lasting financial damage and identity theft for victims. 

Here's how the scam unfolds. 

1. Scammers will call their victims and pretend to be part of a big-name technical company. 
2. Scammers then tell their victims that their computer may be infected or is in danger of being infected with a dangerous malware virus. Scammers explain that this virus can corrupt their operating system or lead to identity theft.
3. The scammers then urge the victims to allow them remote access to their computer to treat the malware virus. In reality, this operation can cause further damage to their computer and may lead to identity theft. 

How Does The Tech Support Scam Affect My Identity?

1. Scammers use remote access to infect the victim's computer with actual malware to obtain access to their identity. This includes important passwords, bank account information, and social security numbers.
2. Scammers may cause additional problems to the computer, such as directing users to third party websites with viruses. While the victim's computer access is being monitored, scammers can control their machine at any time.
3. The scammers will charge the victims for the first "repairs" and any additional services required to fix future errors after infecting the computer with viruses. 
4. Scammers can access the victim's machine at any time after obtaining remote access to their machine. They can record every keystroke that the user types into their machine and use this information for identity theft purposes.

Watch Out For These Red Flags To Avoid Technical Support Scams!

Tech support scams are easy to fall victim to but also easy to detect. Here are a few things to watch out for:
1. Actual tech support services rarely cold-call clients and non-clients to inform them of viruses on their computer. Generally, malware is found by the user themselves. 
2. Scammers generally operate out of India and Pakistan but may use United States VOIP phone numbers. They may have a strong accent while speaking the English language. 
3. Scammers will instruct their victims to pay with a credit card number. Generally, your computer service repair department already has your card on file if you've had errors in the past. 
4. Scammers will ask for remote access to your computer. A legitimate computer repair company will operate on your machine at your home or in their workplace, rather than remotely.

How Do I Prevent a Tech Support Scam From Happening?

There are a few simple steps to keep yourself from becoming a victim of a tech repair scam. These helpful hints can protect you from identity theft and financial damage. 
1. If you've been informed of malware on your computer, you may need to consult a legitimate local computer repair service to assess the damages. Research reputable companies in your area and bring your machine in for an evaluation or schedule a home visit. 
2. Inform the caller that you know it is a scam immediately. Save their number and any additional information that you've received from the scammer to report at LINK HERE.
3. Block their number to prohibit the scammer from calling you again. Customer support may be able to block a number for you if you do not know how. 
4. Never grant anyone remote access to your computer. This will allow them to monitor and augment your computer activity for unlawful purposes. A professional repair company will operate on your machine at your home or their place of business. 
5. Additionally, never give your credit card number to a service that you are not familiar with. Victims have reported having their identity stolen after providing scammers with their banking information.

What If Scammers Have My Information?

1. If you've fallen victim to a tech support scam, immediately consult a repair company to rid your computer of any viruses. 
2. Inform your credit card company of potential fraud to protect your account.
3. Report the scammer's information #REPORTSCAM to warn other consumers of this scam. 
4. Consumers who have been contacted by tech support scammers could have had their personal information breached. #REPORTSCAM highly recommends that consumers whose information has been breached obtain identity theft protection service immediately. There are several companies that offer identity theft protection in the US. One of the most inexpensive options we were able to find is the protection offered by LifeLock. You can start your protection here.
Disclaimer: The information and opinions contained on this site are not endorsed by LifeLock. #REPORTSCAM receives compensation from LifeLock. This helps support our scam prevention efforts.