It’s in the best interests of every company to provide top-notch customer care to everyone they serve. Many companies advertise this service, but if one is calling you out of the blue to tell you something is wrong with your computer — don’t fall for it. This could be a sign that you’re a victim of tech support scams.
A tech support scam is one where a scammer offers support services to unsuspecting individuals, often with the intention of wrongly obtaining their money or personal information.
Tech support scammers come in all shapes and sizes, but the one thing they’re all trying to get is access to your personal information. Be it your computer, phone, or even your bank and payment details. Sometimes they’ll only want you to pay them a certain amount in return for services you don’t want, and sometimes they have more malicious intentions for your data.
Whatever the case, we think it’s only wise to educate oneself on the dangers of these kinds of scams.
Types of Tech Support Scams
The last thing these crafty scammers are is predictable, which is why they keep getting away with running all kinds of scams day in and day out. In this section, we’ll tell you about some of the most common ways they try to trick unsuspecting civilians.
The Cold Call
The most common way these scammers target victims is by simply calling them out of the blue. They’ll sound authoritative, professional, and will most likely drop the name of a big and well-known tech company.
These scammers want you to believe that their tech scam is actually legit, and try to offer you help with your computer over the phone that you never asked for. As a general rule, if you’re not expecting a call of this kind or if you didn’t contact the tech company yourself, don’t believe them.
You most definitely shouldn’t take them up on their offer and hand over remote access to your computer, or send them any money. If you receive any calls like this, your best bet is to simply ignore them. The FTC did an undercover call with a scammer, and you can listen to it on their website.
The Pop-Up Notification
Sometimes you’ll get a notification on your computer prompting you to call a specific phone number because it has a problem, and they can fix it. These notifications aren’t coming from your computer, and they’re not to be believed.
No computer would ever ask you to call a specific number, and you’ll most likely be scammed if you follow through.
Tech Scam Advertisements
Many tech scammers go as far as to advertise their seemingly legitimate services. They even make an effort to make their websites pop up in web searches. We suggest that if you need help with your computer, you should investigate the company or individual you’re looking to pay for thoroughly.
You can do this by running their name, company phone number, email address, and anything else they’ve provided through Social Catfish’s AI-driven search engine. Social Catfish will then run a search across all of the internet, giving back any possible matches and connections.
How To Spot a Tech Scam
Some of the telltale signs of a tech scam are:
- The supposed technician sought you out and convinced you that you needed their help.
- They ask for remote access to your computer.
- They ask you to pay via methods such as mobile payment apps, gift cards, and prepaid or cash reload cards.
How To Avoid Tech Support Scams
As mentioned above, scammers are getting more and more creative, but there are always signs. Be very careful about who you share personal information with, and it should never be with someone even a little shady.
If your computer needs fixing, try opting for a company you know you can trust. Alternatively, if you want to go to an individual or a lesser-known agency you can run their details through Social Catfish to check if they’re legitimate. You can also try looking for reviews on different websites, and ask your friends and family if any of them have worked with them before.
What To Do If You Were a Victim of Tech Support Scams
If you suspect you’ve been scammed, report it to the relevant authorities and the FTC immediately. If you paid via your credit or debit card, you can call your credit provider or bank and ask if they can stop or reverse the transaction.
You need to change your passwords and update your security systems as soon as possible in the case that you gave them any of that information. Run a security scan over your computer and delete everything that it identifies as a problem.
Keep in mind that the tech scammers were after your money and information, and do everything you can to make sure they can’t get to it.
Social Catfish is Here to Help You!
Avoiding scammers is tricky business, which is why it’s important to stay vigilant while we surf the web. If you’re careful with who you give your information to, and who you trust with your computer devices, you can avoid falling victim to scammers and criminals. To do this, verify the identity of whoever you’re working with, and make sure they are who they say they are.
At Social Catfish, we want to help you verify the identities of those who might seem suspicious to you. If you have their name, email address, phone number, social media username, or image, you can reverse search and see who the suspected person was that you’ve been in contact with after reading about tech support scams. If you were involved in a scam, make sure to report it to the FTC as well.