Tech Scams – What They Are and How to Avoid Them
There are many ways cybercriminals can get your personal information, in tech scams, they use your help. These scammers will call you with a ruse involving your computer and its performance. They will gain your trust by claiming to be from familiar companies like Microsoft and state they are calling to let you know they’ve detected a virus or malware on your computer.
A victim will then allow the caller access to private information. This can be gained by the criminal in 2 ways.
- Victim answers a series of questions regarding passwords and/or other private information.
- Victim will allow caller to gain remote access to their computer.
Cybercriminals know a victim’s fears of viruses and they prey on their need for security on their computers. This ruse allows them to present themselves as trusted experts looking to lend a hand, they are not.
Cybercriminals can benefit from these scams in a variety of ways. They may simply use the call as a means to sell unneeded security programs and bill the victim for the cost of the program and installation. However, the damage could be much worse. These calls can be used to gain the private personal information necessary for fraudulent purchases and identity theft.
Opening the door to these cybercriminals can have long-lasting damages. Once your private information is gained, it will take time and money to regain control of your personal information and identity.
If you feel you are being called and solicited by someone you do not know or trust, trust your judgement and proceed with caution.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent becoming a victim of a tech scam:
- Never trust an unsolicited call. If you have a concern with the company that is calling, hang up and call that company directly.
- Never give out your personal information, including passwords and credit card info. Use strong passwords containing upper & lower cases, numbers and symbols.
- Never give remote access to your computer.
- Do not trust Caller ID, cybercriminals can use phone numbers that appear legitimate.
- Add your phone number to the National Do Not Call Registry.
Keep in mind that phone calls are not the platform these criminals can use. Victims can also be contacted via scam emails. Use your judgement with these as well.
If you are unsure, contact a company directly with contact information found in an online directory like Google, not the information in the email you received.
If you have fallen victim to a tech scam there are a few things you’ll want to do right away and websites to report and help monitor and prevent future crimes.
- Change your passwords immediately. This includes passwords to your computer and online accounts as well as banking information.
- Run your computers security check and remove any issues it detects.
- Report the offender to the Federal Trade Commission.
- Report the offender to Microsoft.
Remember that with scams of any kind, your judgement is your strongest defense. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Use the tools provided here to defend yourself against tech scams and if you feel you have fallen victim to a tech scam, act quickly before more of your information is compromised.
Call Cosmotronics today and let us know how we can assist you with your security neeeds.