How To Spot, Avoid, and Report Tech Support Scams
In today's digital world, computers and other electronic devices have become a part of our daily lives. With the advancement of technology, people have become more reliant on their devices, and this has also led to an increase in the number of tech support scams. Tech support scams are a type of fraud where scammers pose as computer technicians to gain access to people's personal information or to make money. In this blog post, we'll discuss how to spot, avoid, and report tech support scams.
Tech support scammers use many tactics to trick people. They pretend to be a computer technician from a well-known company and say they’ve found a problem with your computer. They may try to trick you with a pop-up window that appears on your computer screen with a message that warns you about a security issue on your computer and tells you to call a phone number to get help. They try to get their websites to show up in online search results for tech support and hope you’ll call the phone number to get help.
Two Things to Know to Avoid a Tech Support Scam
- Legitimate tech companies won’t contact you by phone, email, or text message to tell you there’s a problem with your computer.
- Security pop-up warnings from real tech companies will never ask you to call a phone number or click on a link.
Tips to Help You Avoid Tech Support Scams
- Keep your computer up to date with the latest security patches and antivirus software.
- Don't trust pop-up warnings that appear on your computer screen.
- Don't give remote access to your computer to anyone you don't know and trust.
- If you need help, go to someone you know and trust.
- Never provide personal or financial information to someone you don't know and trust.
What to Do If You Think There’s a Problem With Your Computer
If you think there’s a problem with your computer, don't panic. First, update your computer’s security software and run a scan. If you need help, go to someone you know and trust. Don't call any phone numbers or click on any links that appear in pop-up warnings.
What to Do If You Are Scammed
- If you paid a tech support scammer with a credit or debit card, contact your credit card company or bank right away. Tell them what happened, and ask if they can reverse the charges.
- If you paid a tech support scammer with a gift card, contact the company that issued the card right away. Tell them you paid a scammer with the gift card, and ask if they can refund your money.
- If you gave a scammer remote access to your computer, update your computer’s security software. Then, run a scan and delete anything it identifies as a problem.
- If you gave your username and password to a tech support scammer, change your password right away. If you use the same password for other accounts or sites, change it there, too. Create a new password that is strong.
Avoid Tech Support Refund Scams
If someone calls to offer you a refund for tech support services you paid for, it’s likely a fake refund scam. No matter their story, they’re not giving refunds. Don’t give them your bank account, credit card, or other payment information – but do report the call to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
Tech support scams are a growing problem, and it's important to be aware of the tactics scammers use to trick people. By following the tips in this blog post, you can avoid falling victim.