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Tech Support Scams

Beware: THE TECH SUPPORT SCAM

Recently, with people staying home and using more and more Computers or Tablets the cybersecurity world was shocked by the exposure of a tech support scam that allegedly conned folks (mostly elderly) out of over $11.3 million dollars.

The few hackers, who were charged with running the scam, targeted older populations by using threatening pop-ups and pretending to be the technical support staff at large computer companies.

Not all customer tech support is genuine!!

Signs You May Be Speaking to A Tech Support Scam:

1.Receiving an outbound call.

If you receive a call from someone saying that you have an issue with your computer, take caution! How could they possibly know you have a malware issue, or even a computer? Hang up and block/reject the number.

2. Getting warning pop-ups with a number to call.

Do not call the number. We know these messages can be scary but remember to instantly close out of the pop-up without clicking on any links displayed. Learn the difference between real and fake popups.

3.Clicking on an ad by mistake.

Always double check the website.

4. Someone claiming to be a reputable company like Microsoft or Apple.

These are multi-billion-dollar companies – they will not be contacting you directly.

You can contact Microsoft support by phone through these numbers: (1-877-5682495 /1-905-5680434 / 1-800-8925234 in Canada) , or use their lengthy knowledge base to address specific issues.

And here is Apple’s (USA 1-800-2752273 or Canada 1-800-2633394).

5. Asking for access to your computer or requiring you to download “software”.

Usually, they are making you install malware. Only allow remote access to your computer if:

You have contacted the company directly

The individuals connecting to your device have given you detailed account information that verifies they are actual representatives from the company

The company’s support and contact information was from their legitimate website

6. Offering “free” security services out of the blue.

These “free” services are usually malware themselves or programs to make it look like you have malware. After getting access to your computer through these ‘free’ services, or getting your account information, they will then charge you without authorization or hold your computer hostage until you pay a large ransom.

What should you do if you think you were a victim of a tech support scam?

If you believe you may have given remote access to an unknown entity, make sure to instantly shut down your computer.

Install and/or update your antivirus protection. Antivirus programs, like McAfee Total Protection, Total Kaspersky Security, ESET Internet Security, etc. play a key role as a 24/7 barrier against incoming malware threats. Keeping these programs up-to-date means that they have a better chance blocking viruses!

If you have given any payment for services or credits card numbers:

· Call your local Bank and ask the fraud department to look into your account activity.

· Change your Credits Cards.

· Change Logins and Passwords on Computers.

· Ask your trusted local IT for solutions.

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