Tech support scams are pretty rampant around the world. If you haven’t experienced one yet, you probably know someone else who’s been through the ordeal. It used to be that tech scammers would ring senior citizens on the telephone to tell them they were legit tech support for their computer. They’d ask them for a fee to fix their infected computer. However, today those scammers aren’t calling many people.
But they’re still busy at work misleading and deceiving people. It’s just that today, they’re more apt to hide HTML code on various websites, so when you open that site, fraudulent tech support popups appear, stating that the computer is infected, and they must call the number on the screen for help.
What Is A Tech Support Scam?
These days, the majority of tech support scams occur when someone clicks on a website or email where a scammer has input a code that causes a “popup” to occur. The popup, (usually accompanied by an alarming sound) tells the user that their computer has been infected by a virus or malware. The scammers pretend to be a legit tech support person, instructing the person to call a phone number for support.
Once the scammers get you on the phone, they pressure you to give information to access your computer remotely, telling you they’ll work hard at seeing what’s going on. Then, they’ll tell you they can fix your infected computer for a fee. They’ll use scare tactics to make you believe that all of your valuable information is at risk. It’s actually quite unnerving.
Now that you know a bit more about tech support scams, here are some tips to avoid getting scammed yourself. Be sure you tell your family and friends, too, so they don’t fall for these scams.
Don’t Call the Number on The Screen
If you arrive at a webpage and a popup comes up telling you that your computer is infected, don’t fall for it. It’s not infected. It’s the scammers who slyly hid some HTML code somewhere on that website. And, you should know that it’s not just the shady sites that carry such code; those slimy tech scammers are sly, and they find ways to get into legit websites too.
So, your first tip for avoiding tech support scams is don’t call that phone number! Even if it says it’s Microsoft or Apple or some other major company, don’t call it.
Don’t Believe the Person on The Phone
You may get a phone call from a tech support scammer too, posing as Microsoft or some other company. Don’t fall for it. Don’t give them any information. In fact, get as much information as you can from them, hang up, and report them to the Federal Trade Commission.
Only Take Your Computer to A Reputable Technical Support Company
If you do think you have a virus on your computer, or you’re having tech issues, choose a trusted, reputable computer repair company to take it to. There are some fly-by-night companies or those that just aren’t trustable. So, do your research for your local area. If you’re in Canada, for example, do a local search for computer repair in your city and then go through and see who’s been in business for years and years. Who has great reviews? You don’t want to fall for some remote company telling you they can fix your computer remotely. Go with the names you can trust, such as TickTockTech who has been in business for 28 years.
Look Out for Tech Support Refund Scams
If you have gotten tech support recently, some scammers are able to get that information. They’ll give you a call and ask if you were satisfied with the services and offer a refund if you weren’t. However, don’t fall for it. They’re not really looking to give you a refund. They’re trying to get your debit or credit card information for their own pleasures. Don’t give out any personal or banking information to anyone claiming they are with a tech support company on the phone.
Put A Reputable Antivirus Program on Your Computer
A great way to avoid tech scams is to have a trusted, high-quality antivirus program on your computer. Programs from trusted companies like Norton or Kaspersky will help protect you from having to deal with tech support scammers. While they may not be 100 percent able to protect you against viruses, they can prevent most.
If you’re not sure how to put antivirus programs on your computer, consider taking it to a professional computer repair company and have them do it. Trusted names like TickTockTech or your local computer repair companies that are well-known will be perfect. Do your research and ask around. Often, your family or friends have tech support professionals they’ve used over and over again without any problems.
Don’t just do a Google search and take it to the first company that pops up, or click on some random ad. You want your personal information safe, safe, safe, so choose a company that’s been around for years and has a stellar reputation.
Don’t Download Things from Third-Party Sites
Be careful what you’re downloading and from whom. Not all third-party sites are clean and may have a virus or malware lurking in their code. A good antivirus program may stop the threat but realize that these scammers are tricky and are constantly trying new ways to scam people. Sometimes they find a loophole and do major damage before anyone realizes what’s going on.
Find A Reputable Technical Support Company
You can increase your chances of avoiding tech support scams by following these tips. If you have Microsoft Windows, you can also turn on Windows Security real-time antivirus protection for added support. And, if you have concerns, find yourself a reliable, honest company that can answer your questions and help you protect your computer against those tech support scammers.
Tips and information brought to you by TickTockTech – Computer Repair Ottawa, Ontario. Expert information sourced from Royal Canadian Mounted Police, United States Federal Trade Commission, Microsoft, and Norton.