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Watch For Scams Newsletter. Tech Support Scams
May 26, 2023
Tech Support Scams
Watch For Scams is dedicated to helping you avoid becoming a victim of fraud.
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Tech Support ScamsMost people associate tech support scams with technicians sitting in a crowded and buzzing boiler room somewhere offshore, and they are not wrong. The scams primarily emanate from call centers in South Asia, mainly India.
Courts are not tech-savvy enough to understand the latest scam tactics, making it very easy for scammers to get away with certain technical intricacies.
There are some methods that tech support scammers use to get access to your system. Here are a few of the basics to get you up to speed:
Beware the lock up. If your browser or mobile device “locks up”, meaning you’re no longer able to navigate away from a virus warning, you’re likely part of a tech support scam.
If something claims to show the files and folders from inside of your browser, this is another signal that you’re on a fake page. Close the browser if possible, or restart your device if this doesn’t work.
Screenlocker issues. These are typically fake Windows Blue Screen of Death error pages, except they come with the tech support scammer’s phone number included.
Beware of someone wanting to connect to your computer remotely. One of the tech support scammer’s biggest weapons is their ability to connect remotely to their victims. If they do this, they essentially have total access to all of your files and folders.
Unfortunately for some people these warnings may have come too late. So what should you do if you have fallen victim to a tech support scam? Here are a few pointers:
1. Did you already pay? Contact your credit card company or bank and let them know what’s happened. You may also need to file a complaint with the FTC, or contact your local law enforcement agency depending on your region.
2. If you shared your password with a scammer, change it on every account that uses this password. Consider using a password manager and enable 2FA for important accounts.
3. Scan your system. If scammers have had access to your system, they may have planted a backdoor so they can revisit whenever they feel like it.
4. Keep an eye out for unexpected payments. Be on the lookout for suspicious charges/payments on your credit cards and bank account(s) so you can revert and stop them.
5. Be wary of suspicious emails. You have been marked as a target. By falling for one scam, scammers my try other methods to defraud you.
If you believe you have been a victim of this type of scam you should promptly report it to the IC3's website at www.IC3.gov. The IC3's complaint database links complaints together to refer them to the appropriate law enforcement agency for case consideration.
Remember - always watch for scams!
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