How To Spot and Avoid Tech Support Scams
Tech support scammers want you to believe you have a serious problem with your computer, like a virus. They want you to pay for tech support services you don't need, to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. They often ask you to pay by wiring money, putting money on a gift card, prepaid card, or cash reload card, or using cryptocurrency or a money transfer app because they know those types of payments can be hard to reverse. Spotting these tactics will help you avoid falling for the scam.
Tech support scammers often call and pretend to be a computer technician from a well-known company. They say they’ve found a problem with your computer. They typically ask you to give them remote access to your computer and then pretend to run a diagnostic test. Then they try to make you pay to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. If you get a phone call you didn’t expect from someone who says there’s a problem with your computer, hang up.
Tech support scammers may try to trick you with a pop-up window that appears on your computer screen. It might look like an error message from your operating system or antivirus software, and it might use logos from trusted companies or websites. The message in the window warns you about a security issue on your computer and tells you to call a phone number to get help. If you get a pop-up window on your computer, don’t call the number. Real security warnings and messages will never ask you to call a phone number.
Online ads and listings in search results pages
Tech support scammers try to get their websites to show up in online search results for tech support. Or they might run their own ads online. The scammers are hoping you’ll call the phone number to get help. If you’re looking for tech support, go to a company you know and trust.
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