You're sitting in your office, when suddenly you get a call from a friendly-sounding person. They inform you that they've detected some errors on your computer. In an even friendlier voice, they tell you not to worry, as they can easily help you fix the errors!
If this narrative sounds familiar, then you've unfortunately fallen victim to a computer tech support scam. Yes, it can feel embarrassing. But guess what? Millions of people fall victim to these scams every year. In fact, tech support scams are the most prevalent type of scam in Australia.
So how do you protect yourself from such a scam? You've got to be able to spot the warning signs. Here are the top 5 ways to spot a computer tech support scam:
1. Cold Calls
If you receive a call out of the blue from a "tech support team member", you're more than likely being scammed.
They'll often tell you that they've found malware on your computer and that the only way to remedy it is to install some type of remote desktop software. Installing this "software" just gives the attacker access to the computer to install actual malware.
The truth is that major tech support companies don't waste time calling you. They figure if you have a problem, you'll reach out to them.
2. Pop-Up Warning
You're viewing a website that contains links and you decide to click on one of those links. You then get redirected to a website that hosts pop-ups.
As you struggle to close out the window, one pop-up catches your eye. It states that malware has been detected on your computer. It offers a phone number to call to remove the malware.
Yes, you guessed it- this is another big scam to watch out for.
3. Creating Fear
People hate getting spam in their inbox. People especially hate finding out someone hacked their email to send a spam message to all of their contacts.
Scammers use this information to their advantage. They'll try to create fear in you by stating, "Your computer is sending out spam." Most people don't want to be a nuisance to others, so they'll ask the scammer to take care of the problem immediately.
4. They Offer to "Show You the Problem"
The scammers want to prove that they are knowledgeable in order to gain your trust.
Often times, they'll try to convince you that there is a problem by "showing you the errors." They will tell you to open your Windows Event Viewer in an attempt to prove their case.
Pro Tip: There's almost always going to be some sort of error or warning listed in the event view logger. However, this doesn't indicate an infection or any sort of pressing problem.
5. Paid Ads
Some fraudulent companies will go as far as buying paid ads, just so they show up in the search results.
A paid ad alone is not indicative of a scam- most legitimate companies take out paid ads as well. However, a paid ad doesn't automatically make a company legitimate, so just be aware.
Computer Tech Support: Wrap Up
Watching out for these five signs can help protect your computer against tech support scams.
Of course, avoiding scams is just one of the many technological challenges businesses face. In today's world, you need a company that offers full tech support and managed IT solutions to help your business grow.
Contact us today if you are in need of support.