That call from tech support – is NOT tech support. Americans lost an estimated $1.5 billion to scammers posing as tech company employees. You need to know what to watch out for.
In 2013, we first warned our readers about the Microsoft Technical Support scam, and here we are in 2017, and the AARP is ringing the same warning bell, about the same threat, because so many of us are falling victim to this clever scam.
How does it work?
The telephone rings, and you answer. The voice on the other end says, “Hello, this is Microsoft Global Technical support and we see your computer has a problem” or a variant. Hang up, no need to have further conversation.
What does Microsoft have to say?
Microsoft has a website dedicated to educating you about the cyber criminals and the fraud they are committing. Microsoft’s “Avoiding Technical Support Scams” calling out the four action elements which the criminals are attempting to get you, their target, to engage.
Once they have access to your computer, they can do the following:
- Trick you into installing malicious software that could capture sensitive data, such as online banking user names and passwords. They might also then charge you to remove this software.
- Convince you to visit legitimate websites (like www.ammyy.com) to download software that will allow them to take control of your computer remotely and adjust settings to leave your computer vulnerable.
- Request credit card information so they can bill you for phony services.
- Direct you to fraudulent websites and ask you to enter credit card and other personal or financial information there.