Tech support scams are a growing concern – And seems to be getting worse every year. Apparently the scammers are getting much bolder, targeting not just individuals, but now going after businesses too.
How Tech Support Scams Work
Most of us are familiar with those annoying telemarketers that interrupt our daily lives, right…
So now imagine receiving a phone call in the middle of your delicious evening meal, and the person on the phone claims that your PC is in fact infected with dangerous viruses and all of your personal data and/or banking details are at serious risk, and that they can clean it and protect it all for you remotely, of course for a very large fee (sometimes starting at several hundred dollars – then working down in cost until you give in and say yes).
These callers are almost always tech support scams — Basically some guy pretending to be someone he isn’t in order to trick you out of your hard earned money. And most likely will NOT improve your PC, but may actually make it worse on purpose, so they can call back and scam you again!
Any of this sound familiar?
How To Spot Tech Support Scams
Learn to recognize these well-known signs (and not so well-known):
- The phone call is from a blocked and/or international number
- The person on the phone claims to be a Microsoft-certified technical support agent
- They have detected viruses, malware or other problems on your Windows PC
- They use some kind of scare tactic, like telling you to check your Event Viewer revealing many “errors”
- They ask to take over your PC remotely (in an attempt to reveal more so-called problems)
- They demand you pay them with a credit card or via some online payment system
- They try to charge you several hundred dollars, to clean-up your PC
- They get angry and/or threaten you in some way (like destroying data on your computer)
These type of fake tech support scams show no signs of slowing down – They’re simply taking advantage of your trust in the Microsoft brand name, while attempting to extract money from you.
And let’s be 100% clear – Their intention is NOT to help you fix your computer or earn your business, but simply to rip you off!
Protection From Fake Tech Support Scams
So how can you protect yourself from these type of fake tech support scams? The bottom line is this… It’s up to you to learn the tell, tell signs of a scam, then run from it as fast as you can.
First thing, which may seem obvious, but many people don’t do it… Is to simply hang up the phone! Never, ever talk to anyone that calls your house telling you that your PC has problems and needs to be fixed right away – It will ALWAYS be one of the fake tech support scams.
Second, get familiar with the list above (how to spot tech support scams) and as soon as you recognize anything from that list, hang-up the phone and/or report them via one of the resources listed below.
Third, you can also report them (this may help prevent others from getting the same fake tech support scams). Tell the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or the anti-fraud organization for your country. Here’s some helpful links to get you started:
- Microsoft Safety & Security Center is a hub of information and resources dedicated to helping keep your PC safe from threats, including viruses, malware and phishing attempts.
- Help Microsoft stop cybercriminals by reporting information about your phone scam.
- The FTC Phone Scam webpage has a phone scam reporting hotline and useful advice on what to look out for when receiving unsolicited phone calls.
- In Canada, the Anti-Fraud Centre can provide support.
- In the U.K., you can report fraud as well as cold calls.
Fourth, Join Free here for your lifetime Ultimate PC Tune Up membership – Learn how to easily and effectively take care of your own PC’s using only the best tried and tested tools, tips, tweaks, software and resources… Never get scammed, overpay or waste time and money on useless software that doesn’t work, ever again (or hopefully at all).