Tech support scams are an issue where scammers use scare tactics to trick you into unnecessary tech support services to problems that don’t exist. No matter what these scammers tell you, it’s a lie to potentially steal your information and money!!
At best the scammers are trying to get you to pay them to “fix” a nonexistent problem with your device or software. At worst they’re trying to steal your personal or financial information; and if you allow them to remote into your computer to perform this “fix” they will often install malware, ransomware, or other unwanted programs that can steal your information or damage your data or device.
Below is a video from Microsoft with information and tips on how to stay safe and avoid these fake tech scams
How to protect against tech support scams
First, be sure to follow these tips on how to keep your computer secure.
It is also important to keep the following in mind:
- Microsoft does not send unsolicited email messages or make unsolicited phone calls to request personal or financial information, or to provide technical support to fix your computer. If you didn’t ask us to, we won’t call you to offer support.
- If a pop-up or error message appears with a phone number, don’t call the number. Error and warning messages from Microsoft never include a phone number.
- Microsoft will never ask that you pay for support in the form of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, or gift cards.
- Be careful searching online for phone numbers, it is very hard to find a legitemate phone number for most companies including Microsoft. Search engines are full of fake phone numbers for most of the popular things you are searching for online. It is important to visit the actual website of the company you are trying to get help from, and follow their contact policies.
- Make sure your computer software is up-to-date!! All too often people refuse to update or upgrade software, because they are not sure how or they just don’t want things to be different. Keep in mind that every software program has the potential for security risks and the older the software the less likely the manufacturer will put our patches for that software. For example, Microsoft Office, you should be using MS Office 2016 or newer because anything older has multiple security risks Microsoft has stopped patching at the request you upgrade to a newer version.
- Make sure you have an up-to-date anti-virus software or anti-malware program on your computer. We recommend Malwarebytes Premium as a good choice to help you protect your computers. Please call us today if you are interested in purchasing a Malwarebytes Premium license at 570-283-8215
What to do if you were scammed
- Call your credit card provider(s) to contest the charges if you’ve already paid. Let them know what happened; they’ll probably want to cancel and replace your affected cards to prevent the scammers from using them again.
- Call your bank(s) and let them know what has happened
- Change your passwords. Best practice is to not save passwords in your browser. This data is easily stolen and not secure.
- Bring your computer in for us to evaluate, we want to make sure the fake tech support person didn’t leave remote access software on your computer so they can get back into your computer and potentially steal more information from you.
Reporting Microsoft tech support scams
You can help Microsoft stop scammers, whether they claim to be from Microsoft or not, by reporting tech support scams at: