How to Avoid Tech Scams

 

With cyber attacks escalating at a growing rate, scammers unfortunately have not given up on the classic tech support scams. From receiving phone calls from “Windows Support”, to clicking on a random text message that you receive with a URL link because you have a “virus” on your computer; these scams are still very relevant and are actively looking for ways to make you their next victim.

 

According to a recent article with The Mercury News, Microsoft reported 153,000 customers who “encountered or fell victim to tech support scams” from scamming tech support companies (2 August 2018, Tech support scams are on the rise — here’s how to avoid them, The Mercury News).

 

The good news is that you can help dramatically decrease your risk of falling for these scams, simply by following a few best practice guidelines.

 

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR WITH THESE SCAMS
 

What we generally refer to as “scareware”, tech support scams generally try and scare you into thinking that your system is infected. If you are working on a desktop or laptop, these scams often will generate warning messages to alert you of a virus on your machine. You may notice the following when this occurs:

  • Red or blue screen with warning information

  • Loud beeping noises

  • Voice alert telling you that your machine is infected

  • 1-800 number listed for you to have your “virus” removed

However, these scammers are no longer limited to just a desktop or laptop computer. Scammers are also now targeting tablets and sending scamming text messages to users. If you have any piece of technology like this that is not protected by an Advanced Security option, you may be at risk.

 

BEST PRACTICE TIPS TO AVOID THESE SCAMS
 

In addition to having a reliable and secure IT plan in place for your business and considering Advanced Security options; there a few quick things you can do to avoid being a victim of these types of scams. If you find yourself in a position where scareware occurs:

  1. Avoid going to websites that you shouldn't be on. These are prime real estate for these scammers.

  2. Avoid clicking on the X in the upper right-hand corner to close out the box. This can often trigger the download of a virus.

  3. Avoid selecting “OK” if prompted to scan your computer for anything.

  4. Avoid calling the 800-number and DO NOT pay to have anything removed.

In these situations, the best piece of advice is to shut down your computer and call your IT department or IT company to help you resolve the issue.

 

Questions? If you have any questions or would like to know more about Mode5 Advanced Security, please contact us at 757-628-8324.

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