This is how tech support scams can be identified and avoided

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Fraudulent technical support offers are a form of fraud that is becoming increasingly prevalent on the Internet. The scammers use social engineering tactics and scare tactics to scare the target person into „biting”.

This scam is mainly carried out in three ways: through unreported calls, pop-up messages on the computer, and false search engine results.

Unannounced and fraudulent calls

In the case of unannounced calls from tech support scammers, someone calls the target person, poses as an employee of a reputable company and claims that malware was found on the computer .

The scammer then tries to persuade the user to install software for remote desktop control under the pretext of eliminating the infection. The attacker wants to gain access to the computer in order to install real malware. Once they’re given remote access, security software is unlikely to stop scammers.

In addition to trying to install malware on the victim’s machine, these scammers often demand payment of a fee in the form of cryptocurrency or credit card to fix the problem. This way they can also steal financial data.

Popup warnings

Technical support pop-up warnings appear when a user is browsing the Internet.

Typically, the target person is on a website with links to related content, and when they click one of those links, they are redirected to a website that hosts the popups. These popups can be terribly intrusive and make it difficult for the user to close the window.

A message appears in the pop-ups stating that the computer is infected with malware, as well as a phone number supposedly to help users remove the malware. Often times, these popups look like they came from a legitimate source. Tech support scammers can be very sophisticated.

Advertising, paid search results, confusing search results

Fraudulent companies often use paid search advertising to advertise their support services. Here is an example of how such a scam could work.

Tech support scam

Fraudsters like to pose as employees of well-known software companies in order to use their reputation to their advantage.

In a tech support scam, an alleged company employee calls you and even forges the number so that the call appears to come from a reputable software provider.

The scammer guides you through installing applications that allow remote access to the computer. The fraudster can also initiate a contact using fake pop-up messages on your screen that trick you into calling a fraudulent „support line”.

Both scams aim to get you to pay a one-time fee or buy a subscription to fix the problem.

Hang up when an alleged company employee calls you. Most software companies would not contact you by phone or email to troubleshoot computer problems.

Instead, you will have to contact most of the major software companies yourself. Visit the company’s official website for help with device problems and to report fraud.

When downloading software, make sure that you only get it from official websites or online stores of the providers. Software that you find on third party websites may have been compromised by scammers and contain malware and other threats .

The Motives Behind Tech Support Scams

The main motives behind these tech support scams are to extract money from victims and to install malware such as: B. Programs to record keystrokes or backdoor Trojans to gain access to personal data.

This will help you identify and avoid pop-up messages and calls related to tech support scams

Below are some helpful tips.

Popups

Examine the message carefully, looking for any obvious signs of fraud such as: B. poor spelling and grammar, unprofessional photos and signal words that should convey a sense of urgency.

You can also do an internet search for the phone number or company name given in the pop-up to check legitimacy.

There are many websites reporting scammers . If it is a scam, there is a high degree of certainty that you will get a wealth of search results, often on the first page of the search, clearly pointing out the scammers.