What to look out for
Tech support scams are attempts by scammers to use scare tactics to trick you into fake technical support services to supposedly fix device or software problems that don’t exist. At best, the scammers are trying to get you to pay them to “fix” a nonexistent problem with your device or software. At worst (and much more likely), they’re trying to steal your personal or financial information. If you allow them to remote into your computer to perform this “fix,” they will often install malware, ransomware, or other unwanted programs that can steal your information or damage your data or device.
Who is your tech support company?
If you are employed, then you should know which company provides you with technical support. If you are subscribed to this InfoLine newsletter, then chances are high that your tech support company is HDF & Associates. But if you are not sure, then you should check with your supervisor or office manager. If a tech support person reaches out to you unsolicited, and you do not recognize them, then you should verify them through your supervisor… even if the person claims to be from HDF.
If anyone contacts you from ANY OTHER organization claiming to provide you with tech support services, hang up and contact HDF immediately.
Have you ever been browsing the internet when a popup appeared with an alarming message? The popups are typically designed to block you from closing them, and display a message that your computer is infected and that you must act quickly to resolve it. If you have experienced such an event, then you know how disturbing it can be. Hackers who have infected the website you were browsing have purposely configured it to have the most impact and to impel you to act according to their demands, which are to click a link or call a displayed phone number.
HOW TECH SUPPORT SCAMS WORK
Browser Attacks: Scammers display fake error messages on websites you visit, displaying support numbers and enticing you to call. These attacks are designed to be alarming, with bold text and often with noises or even spoken messages. They may also put your browser in full screen mode and display pop-up messages that won’t go away, apparently locking your browser. These fake error messages aim to scare you into calling their “technical support hotline”.
Phone Calls: Scammers may call you directly on the phone and pretend to be representatives of a tech company. They might even spoof the caller ID so that it displays a legitimate support phone number from a trusted company.How the attack works: They’ll probably ask you to install applications that give them remote access to your device. Using remote access, these experienced scammers can misrepresent normal system messages as signs of problems. If you engage with the scammers, they may offer fake solutions for your “problems” and ask for payment in the form of a one-time fee or subscription to a purported support service.
WORKING WITH HDF & ASSOCIATES
If we (HDF) are your tech support company, then we are ready to help you. We may reach out to you unsolicited, if, for instance, we need to perform updates on your computer. If you are at all unsure about the contact, please reach out to your supervisor and then call us back after verifying who we are.
HOW TO PROTECT AGAINST TECH SUPPORT SCAMS
- If you get an unsolicited contact (email or phone), and do not recognize the tech, reach out to your supervisor or office manager to confirm before engaging with the tech.
- If a pop-up or error message appears with a phone number, don’t call the number. Error and warning messages from HDF never include a phone number.
- Reputable vendors and HDF will never ask that you pay for support.
- Do not download software to allow someone to remote into your computer. Your company computer will already have remote software installed by HDF.
- Do not perform *any* action to allow anyone to remote into your computer. The remote control software installed by HDF allows HDF techs to remote in without requiring any action on your part (other than turn it on and connect it to the internet). Requests that you do anything to allow remote control indicates a scam.
- Note: it is not rude to verify your tech support person. It is much better to be safe than sorry.
ITS ALMOST AS OF THE SCAMMERS ARE TRYING TO TRICK ME
WHAT TO DO IF A TECH SUPPORT SCAMMER ALREADY HAS YOUR INFO
If they have already accessed your computer: shut it down immediately and contact HDF.
If you have wired money, given credit card info or given them access to your banking account: contact your bank immediately.
If you purchased gift cards and provided the codes to the scammer: contact the vendor of the gift cards.
Time is of the essence!
If you have questions about this, please let us know and we will be happy to assist you.