Tech Support Scams – What You Must Know

Avoiding Tech Support Scammers

As tech support scams continue to spread worldwide, it is important PC users know what to expect.  The more users know, the less likely they are to fall victim.

First, we recently published a post regarding the online pop-up scams that display an error message along with a tech support number.  DO NOT call the number.  Follow the instructions here to remove the pop-up screen.

Second, there are scams where scammers will call the PC user directly, claiming to be a support technician.  These individuals typically have a heavy accent.  What is most important to know is, if something is ever wrong with your PC — tech support doesn’t call you.  Ever.  If you receive any of these calls, hang up immediately.  Typically, if you stay on the phone with these scammers, they will report your PC has at least one of the following issues:

  1. Excessive malware that needs to be removed immediately
  2. Creating issues with the internet and needs fixed
  3. It is the target of a malicious attack

These all sound quite serious and time sensitive — which is why these scams are successful.  After explaining the “issues” with the PC, the scammers will ask the PC users to download software so they can take control of the PC.  After doing so, they obtain the user’s credit card information and/or banking information to receive payment for “fixing” the computer.  However, instead of “fixing” it, they will install more malware to continue to steal your data and personal information.  Also, remember — there is NOTHING to fix!  The issues they claim are present, are not there — it is all a SCAM.

Again, if you receive an unexpected call from anyone claiming to be technical support — it is best to hang up immediately.

 

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11 thoughts on “Tech Support Scams – What You Must Know

  1. Some scammers call and claim to be computer techs associated with well-known companies like Microsoft or Apple. Other scammers send pop-up messages that warn about computer problems. They say they’ve detected viruses or other malware on your computer. They claim to be “tech support” and will ask you to give them remote access to your computer. Eventually, they’ll diagnose a non-existent problem and ask you to pay for unnecessary – or even harmful – services.

  2. I like to think I’m a fairly savvy computer guy, but a couple of times in my haste to get to MS, I’ve called the numbers on one of those pay-for-advice websites. I know to leave them, but I wonder how many people are duped into paying them? Upkeeping a desktop was/is very hard between dodging viruses and malware while also avoiding computer-help scams. It’s no wonder the majority of people choose a phone with a small screen, slow processor, and limited applications compared the bargain power of a desktop.

  3. Recently I have seen a new wrinkle to this scam. When they say their name and company the sound is static instead of the company name. One time sounds like a connection problem, but 8 or 10 calls a week with the same problem is obviously part of the scam.

      • Tom – You need to do a security scan immediately to identify any malware that was placed on your PC by the fraudulent technicians.

        • @Kayla Thrailkill: Hi Kayla, I need your expertise and I want to let everyone know at PC Matic I’ve learned so much with you all.

          My question somehow is related to this post. Charter Communications is the internet service provider in our area was off for HOURS yesterday 6/5/17. Most of the time, it only takes a few minutes to come back. After being restored, my computer screen has shown SEVERAL times that it needs security protection because I don’t have any but I know I have it with you. The last notice of my supossed lack of protection a woman with headphones appeared on the screen and stated ‘she’ would give me step by step instructions to ‘protect’ my computer. Of course, I close it. DO I NEED TO WORRY ABOUT IT? Or, Do I only keep closing those screen pop ups?

          • Run a scan, complete the recommended enhancements and restart your computer. If the pop ups continue after doing such, please reach out to our support team at http://www.pcmatic.com/help. They are available 7 days a week. Thanks Maribel, and I hope this helps!

  4. Hi; I bought your program pcmatic, but i dont think is working aren’t you supposed to fix it, or download something in my Computer, So that it doesn’t have any more Virus or pop up?

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