Have you ever received a phone call from someone claiming to be a computer technician associated with a well-known company like Microsoft claiming they have detected viruses or other malware on your computer and can help you to remove it?
Before responding, ask yourself, “is this really a company representative?” The caller could be somebody trying to take advantage of your reasonable concerns about computer viruses and other threats, to break into your computer.
Once scammers have you on the phone, they will try to gain your trust by confusing you with technical terms. They may have you perform a series of complex tasks on your computer that targets legitimate computer files and claim that they are viruses. Their tactics are designed to scare you into believing you have a problem and they can help you fix it.
The “technician” may ask you to give them remote access to your computer (taking control of it) and will generate false error messages. Once logged into your computer, they may change settings that leave your computer vulnerable, or actually install malware designed to steal sensitive data like usernames and passwords. They may also try to sell you worthless software or services to protect you.
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be from tech support (non-RJT), hang up the phone immediately and call RJT. A caller who uses high-pressure tactics to create a sense of urgency is probably a scam artist.
Follow these tips to help protect yourself from a tech support scam:
- Never give control of your computer to someone who calls you out of the blue.
- Never rely on caller ID alone to authenticate a caller. Scam artists can spoof caller ID numbers.
- Never provide your credit card information to someone who calls out of the blue and claims to be from tech support.
- Never give out your password. Legitimate organizations do not call you and ask for your password.
- Never call a number that pops up on your screen in a warning about a computer problem. If you receive a pop-up message that tells you to call tech support, call RJT.
- Also tell others within your organization so it doesn’t happen to them.
If you think you were a victim of a tech support scam:
- Shut down your computer, unplug it and have it checked by us.
- We use legitimate security software to scan your computer for malware and viruses.