Fake computer support scams are nothing new; however, they are getting much more sophisticated. In years past, it could be a cold call where a scammer calls your home to tell you they are from Microsoft.
Often the scammers would ask if your Windows computer was running slowly. Well, who's Windows PC is not?
Then, they tell you that your computer is infected and needs to be cleaned. The price? Several hundred dollars. But it was fake!
Today, it's usually a malicious site or ad that starts the scam.
Fake Support Scam
You could be clicking around a website or even social media, and you accidentally click on an ad or link. It's a lot easier than you think, especially when using a trackpad on a laptop.
That single click takes you to a malicious site that infects your computer. You might get a pop up that says you need a security update, or you have been infected with some sort of spyware. Some even play a sound telling you what to do.
Of course, it's a total fake and there was nothing wrong with your computer, but they are now demanding money to fix your issue.
What to look for
Look for odd grammar and spelling mistakes.
Also, if you get an audio version the pronunciations might be off.
Phone numbers to different countries should also tip you off that it's a scam.
Look at the image below; this is an example of a recent scam.
(Image: Fake Support Scam - Credit: Naked Security)
The password prompt is an attempt to snag your info and possibly take over other accounts of yours.
Microsoft wouldn't contact you like this and does not need you to type in your info. Another good reason to make sure you use different passwords on your accounts.
Also, if they offer to connect to your computer to fix it over the internet, don't do it. They could be installing other malicious software on your device.
When in doubt, be cautious and err on the safe side until you can verify whether or not it's a scam.
Do not give them anything.
Now, if you have any family members who may fall for this scam, share this so they don't get taken.
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