Ever receive a popup warning on your computer that warns you that your computer has a virus or malicious software?
If you get a call from someone who claims to be a tech support person, hang up. A caller who creates a sense of urgency or uses high-pressure tactics indicating that your computer has a serious virus is probably a scam artist. Once they have you on the phone, they often try to gain your trust by pretending to be associated with well-known companies (Microsoft, etc.). They may ask you to go to your computer and perform a series of complex tasks. Their tactics are designed to scare you into believing they can help fix your “problem” for a fee.
Once they’ve gained your trust, they may:
- Ask you to give them remote access to your computer and then make changes to your settings that could allow them access to your files or wipe out all the files
- Try to enroll you in a worthless computer maintenance or warranty program
- Ask for credit card information so they can bill you for phony services and use your credit cards for their own use
- Trick you into installing malware that could steal sensitive data, like user names and passwords to access your bank records and other online services
Keep these other tips in mind:
- Never give remote control to anyone you do not know
- Do not rely on caller ID alone to authenticate a caller. They may appear to be calling from a legitimate company or a local number
- Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone who calls and claims to be from tech support, a bank, or the government.
- Never give your password on the phone. No banks, financial institutions. or other online services will ever ask for any personal information
- Register your phone number with the NATIONAL DO NOT CALL REGISTRY, and report illegal sales calls.