If tech support is calling you rather than the other way around, beware!
Scam artists have a new tool that they will use to break into your computer – a phone. Someone will call; claiming to be a computer technician associated with well-known tech companies such as Microsoft, and will prey on your concerns about viruses or malware on your computer to fool you into giving him or her remote access or paying for unnecessary software.
Such a “tech” will dazzle you with a barrage of technical terms, and may even ask you to perform a series of tasks on your computer. After the “problem” has been “located,” this scammer may:
- ask you to give remote access to your computer and then make changes to your settings that could leave your computer vulnerable;
- try to enroll you in a worthless computer maintenance or warranty program;
- ask for credit card information so you will be billed for phony services — or services you could get elsewhere for free;
- trick you into installing malware that could steal sensitive data, such as user names and passwords;
- direct you to websites and ask you to enter your credit card number and other personal information.
The upshot: the scammer is trying to make money, not fix your computer.
Your best defense: hang up!
- Don’t give control of your computer to an unsolicited third party.
- Do not rely on caller ID alone to authenticate a caller, as criminals spoof caller ID numbers.
- Online search results, which can be manipulated, isn’t the best way to find technical support or get a company’s contact information. Instead, if you want tech support, give HCP a call at 207-848-9888 or visit our website http://www.hcp4biz.com and submit a support request. To locate company information, look for a company’s contact information on their software package or on your receipt.
- Never provide your credit card, financial information or passwords to someone who calls claiming to be from tech support.
- Put your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry (https://www.donotcall.gov).
If you think you might have downloaded malware from a scam site or allowed a cybercriminal to access your computer, don’t panic. Instead:
- Update or download legitimate security software and scan your computer, and delete anything it identifies as a problem.
- Change any passwords that you gave out, especially if you use these passwords for other accounts.
- Give HCP a call at 207-848-9888 or visit our website http://www.hcp4biz.com and submit a support request.
- If you paid for bogus services with a credit card or see other charges on your statement that you didn’t make, call your credit card provider and ask to reverse the charges.
- If you think someone may have accessed your personal or financial information, visit the FTC’s identity theft website (http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0014-identity-theft). You can minimize your risk of further damage and repair any problems already in place.