Hello… this is Microsoft Tech Support calling! Do you know your computer is running slow?
Here is the latest twist in scams to break into your computer and suck you in. Scammers are calling individuals and companies, trying to bait you with a suspected problem with your computer. They are using well-known company names like Microsoft in the hope that you’ll trust their “expertise” and give them the access they need in order to take advantage of you.
These scammers try to trick you into thinking that there is a virus on your computer or that you are generating spam messages. These are reasonable concerns for any business or individuals. These cybercriminals know that the average computer user is aware they need security software on their computer, so why not try to trick a not-so-tech-savvy person into believing their computer is a risk? Just another way to separate you and your money.
How do these scams work?
Everyone is aware that scammers peddle their bogus software online every day. They setup fake websites, offer “free” security scans, and send alarming email messages all in the attempt to suck you in. Many of these free websites and software applications are loaded with malware and software designed to give cybercriminals complete access to your computer and your personal information.
The latest trend starts with a phone call. The scammer gets your name and other basic information from public directories, and they may even guess what software you are using. Microsoft Windows? That’s a pretty easy guess for lots of people. They might get the confirmation they need with a simple question like, “Can you confirm which version of Windows you are running?”
Many computer users are often overwhelmed by these scammers who use complex technical jargon and barrage the caller with technical terms until they eventually caved under the onslaught of technobabble. Confused, they surrender thinking the other person must be for real. THEY ARE NOT! These scammers will point you at real files that are meant to be on your computer but claim they’re viruses or worms, all in the hopes of tricking you into thinking your system is compromised.
Once the scammer gains your trust they will probably take these steps:
- Ask you to give them remote access to your computer, allowing them to make changes to your settings that leave your computer vulnerable.
- Attempt to enroll you in some worthless computer maintenance program or even a warranty service.
- Ask you to provide your credit card details so they can bill you for these phony services.
- Convince you to install a “protective program” that’s actually their custom-designed malware, allowing them to steal information on your computer such as usernames and passwords.
- Have you go to a fake website set up to look like Microsoft or some other well-known company, getting you to put in your credit card and personal information.
Take even one of these steps, and Presto! They got you.
What do you do if you get a phone call?
If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be a tech support person for a company you do business with, hang up immediately and then call the company directly on a phone number you know to be genuine. If the caller really was from that company, you’ll be able to find out right away by getting through to their tech support or customer service yourself.
Any caller who tries creates a sense of urgency or uses high-pressure sales tactics is probably a scammer.
And remember: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Never install anything on your computer without making sure it’s the real deal. Your local computer support experts at ECW Network & IT Solutions can help make sure you can always trust your systems. We never use high-pressure tactics, nor will we ask you to install anything on your computer over the phone. Our computer support professionals can help your business stay protected and help educate your staff on sound computing practices.