14 September

How to Recognize and Prevent IT Technical Support Scams 

Between 2014 and 2016, Microsoft had over 175,000 customers contact them about IT technical support scams.

Having a problem with your computer can be frightening. Especially if this problem occurs on a work computer. You don't want to have vital information compromised and you'll want the situation fixed right away.

This kind of mentality is what technical support scammers keep in mind when they are trying to trick you.

The Federal Trade Commission is doing its best to stop these scams. However, it is still important for businesses to take matters into their own hands and learn how to recognize these scams for what they are before it is too late.

Continue reading to learn more on how to be more aware so that you can prevent this from happening to your own company.

Common Indicators of IT Technical Support Scams

A good thing to know, is most of them seem to follow a general sort of set-up. Knowing the script they follow will make it a lot easier for you to recognize when someone is being disingenuous.

Pop-Ups

These types of pop-ups scams are particularly focused on scaring you. The first thing that happens is a warning pop-up will show up on your screen. Normally they are not too different than any other kind of unwanted pop-up, except for one thing, they are threatening.

These pop-ups target the fear of something being wrong with your computer. They'll say dangerous malware exists on your hard drive is causing a lot of problems. The messages can be very convincing and they will offer help in the way of a phone number to an IT technical support specialist.

However, keep in mind that if there are viruses on your computer, a pop-up will not be the real way to find out. Instead, keep an eye on your computer's performance and keep your virus protections up-to-date.  Your IT support services can help with this type of issue, if they are alerted early enough.

Business Internet can either be amazing or a total pain. If you're frustrated by your internet, we can help!

Giving Away Control

Once the IT scam worker has a person in a phone call, they will ask you to visit a website and install a program that will help the worker investigate the issue further.  These "sales" people are very sly and can easily trick and unknowing individual or business.  

They will search through your computer and look for "reasons" as to why your computer is malfunctioning. These reasons will often be features of your operating system that not many people know about or are no longer in use.  They make the problem so foreign, that many people believe this scammer is much more technically proficient than you are.

They will be careful to share their admiration with your computer's hardware so that you will be more inclined in wanting to save it in the next step of the scam.

Giving away control of your computer is a bad idea, no matter how reputable a person may be. Be very careful if you allow someone to take control of any of your company's devices especially! With access to your device from the outside, much of your entire company's infrastructure could be at risk.

Price Tag

The next part of the IT technical support scam is to give you the ultimatum. Either pay for the cleanup service they provide or be stuck with all of the viruses and malfunctions ruining your computer. 

More often than not you won't have any malware on your computer in the first place.

However, if you are worried about the safety of your company computers or if you are having troubles with your computer's performance, it is best to get a hold of a professional support company, such as NPI.  We deal with all of these issues and consistently monitor your systems to keep them up to date and virus free!

Scammers Can Attack at Any Time

So keep all of these things in mind before you call a number given to you by a pop-up. Remain calm when a message comes up telling you that your computer is infected and investigate further until you know exactly what the problem is.

With such important information hosted on computers, always be cautious before giving away control and be careful what you click on.

Now that you know the general layout of how these scams go, it will be a lot easier to know what's going on.

If you have any questions or concerns, get in contact with us.

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