Beware of Tech Support Scams!

techsupport

Along with technological advances comes many more ways in which scammers will try get the best of you…from identity theft, hijacking personal, social and financial accounts, to installing malicious malware onto your computer!  Scam artists are utilizing various methods to break into your desktops & laptops, iphones, tablets, and more.

Of course, scam artists take advantage of your reasonable concerns about computer viruses. (You’ve been told time and time again how important it is to have the proper protection for your computer.)  Unfortunately, the purpose behind their elaborate schemes isn’t to protect your computer but rather, to hijack your money.

Scammers have sold useless security software for many years especially now, through use of the interweb.  For example, you are in the middle of browsing a site and suddenly, BAM!  An alerting message pops up on your computer.  “They’ve” detected malware on your computer and offer you a “free security scan”.   Their solution for you is usually software to “fix” whatever issues they claim you have.  At best, the software is available elsewhere for free and you never needed it. You’ve also been taken for the money spent on the bogus software.  Worse case scenario-malware (software designed to give criminals access your computer) can be installed onto your computer when downloading software.  This can be detrimental!

Scammers have been making great use of the phone through cold calling their victims. Usually, they claim to be a computer tech associated with reputable companies like Microsoft or Apple.  Once they get you’re on the line, they run the same scam-selling you software or remotely accessing your computer.

Here are some things to be aware of regarding phone calls from scammers:

Do not provide any personal information if you receive an unsolicited phone call.

Note: Microsoft and Apple will not make unsolicited phone calls about your computer’s security.  Just hang up.  Many times, scammers make use of public directories to get information about you.  (They might even know what operating system you use.) Don’t fall for this. Scammers are good at what they do, otherwise they wouldn’t be in the business.  They contact you with the friendliest of voices-asking you how you are, how the weather is, etc.  A reality check…they are not your friends and are not looking out for your best interests.

Here is what to do if you’ve given access to your computer:

Change your computer password immediately.  If you are a Windows user, you can download the Microsoft Safety Scanner, and then make sure you have antivirus software installed.  For the Apple-there is a feature called XProtect (which is a rudimentary malware scanner) that will issue a warning when you try to open a file it suspects may be malware.  BEWARE of “Apple Security Center” or “MacDefender”; as they are targeting OSX users to install malware onto their computers. Read more on this here.

If you’ve given your credit card information to pay for services or purchase software you suspect is not legitimate, contact your credit card company immediately.

Along with one type of scam, brews another type of scam: There have been reports to The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that criminals are now calling to offer refunds for phony tech support.

Unfortunately, with the technological progressions we’ve made, comes many more things a consumer needs to look out for.  We hope this article will make you aware of some cyber scams that exist to help prevent you from falling into the trap.

At Bruen Deldin DiDio, we offer computer insurance coverage useful for business owners or individuals that have computers that need coverage.  Insurance is meant to protect your machine against malfunction, accidents, and (if you’re lucky), theft.  Depending on what kind of coverage you have on your renters or homeowner insurance, you may be able to insure your computer equipment under your personal property coverage.  Please contact your agent to verify.