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In recent months, there has been an increase in the number of fake technical support scams. These scammers can coldly call innocent victims or by visiting a random website, you will receive a message saying “Your system is infected” and will ask you to call a number. None of them are legitimate methods of technical support, and in this article, we will cover every method, the consequences of falling into these scams, what you can do to protect yourself.
The most common tech support scam is the cold phone call. This is a phone call not made by an unknown person who identifies as a representative of a large company (Apple, Dell, HP, Microsoft, etc.) or a generic department (Windows service, Apple Support, etc.). ). The scammer will inform you that your system is sending you reports of errors, an infection or has been hacked to convince potential victims to grant remote access to the computer system. If they reach this stage, they typically extract the Event Viewer, an integrated Windows tool that records errors, warnings, and information events caused by the normal operation, and shows how the system is “infected” or “hacked”. based on legitimate software events. Usually, at this stage, the victim is offered a prize for “resolving” these problems and is confident that they will provide their banking information, credit card numbers, or purchase a money order or gift cards to pay the service fees.
Some users have noticed a pop-up window when they visit websites that inform them that the system has been infected or that they have viewed inappropriate material and need to call a number to resolve the problem. When calling this number, the scammer will follow a process similar to that of the cold call scammer, however, since the victim calls the number, he has a greater chance of success. The end result is the same, an attempt to extract payment from a victim.
The emerging scam option is possible due to several different circumstances. Legitimate websites may redirect you to an external site providing pop-ups. Legitimate websites that use an exploited ad server may also result in a similar experience. The obsolete or outdated software can make the situation worse by allowing the installation of malware or other malware into the system after the ad is activated. You can also install a seemingly legitimate extension in the internet browser that can also cause this situation.
The consequences of falling for these scams depend entirely on how quickly the victim detects the scam. If a cold call hangs up, they have no choice but to harass the phone calls to continue the scam. Depending on the state of the software in the system affected by the emerging crook, it may be possible to reboot the system or run an antivirus scan to remove the pop-up window. If you can delete the website with which you have had problems, then you can use the system normally (generally, we recommend the service through a legitimate support company to eliminate the possibility of infections).
Once the scammer has access to the system, he has several options. In the event that the victim refuses a “repair”, they often reduce their price or use a tool to create an unknown password that disables the system. There have also been cases of ransomware-infected systems (software that encrypts your photos, documents, and other information and will not unlock files without payment) after a repair is denied. If they can get a payment, they are likely to store payment information for fraudulent purchases in the future, and any “repair” made or software installed by them could be malicious.
The best way to protect yourself from these characters would be to suspend them as soon as you receive a call matching that description and block the number. No big company will call you coldly to offer a service involving the computer system. It is also extremely important to use valid virus protection or malware and keep all software up-to-date on your system to avoid emerging scams. You can also use an ad blocker to avoid the emerging scam, however, many sites strongly discourage this to protect your ad revenue.
Be sure to contact your local support company if you have questions or problems. Most local IT companies offer legitimate protection plans and are equipped to deal with any problem, so be sure to check their opinions.