One of the most devastating scams on the Internet is called a Tech Support Scam. It's actually a million-dollar industry that's been terrorizing the Web for years now. This type of scam is essentially a phishing attack that tricks you into giving a phony tech support "expert" control of your computer. But that's just the beginning.
Here's how they work:
You'll get a cold call, an unsolicited email, or you'll click on an ad for help speeding up your computer or getting rid of a virus. The goal of these scammers is to convince you to trust them enough to download their malware onto your computer. It could be under the guise of remote login technology or an antivirus suite.
From there, they can take over your computer. You may think they're running remote diagnostics like your company's I.T. department would do. It's all just a trick. They're actually installing malware. It's possible they're stealing your personal info, but it's more likely that they'll "discover" those viruses and charge you hundreds or even thousands to remove them.
It's an epidemic. That's why Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Twitter and AOL have joined forces to stop it. More and more of these fake tech support companies are serving fraudulent ads on Google and Facebook. Naked Security reports:
One of these phony support websites, shown below, offers "Gmail Technical Support," with supposed technicians available 24/7.
By purchasing keyword ads on ad networks, the scammers can rank under search terms like Gmail tech support, Facebook tech support, AOL tech support, and similar.
As you can see, the ad claims to be official Google-authorized tech support, but when you read closely, there are several grammatical errors that should tip you off immediately.
Google, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and AOL's coalition site is called TrustInAds.org. It has tons of information about fake ads for tech support scams, as well as real-time updates on new scams to watch out for. Additionally, you'll be able to report any fraudulent ads you come across.
For the very best in free, trusted security, visit my Security Center. Every link is safe - I've checked them all for scams.