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The Tech Support Scam

January 12, 2024
min read
Two hands and a laptop. One hand pointing at the screen.

The Tech Support Scam That Could Cost You More Than Just Computer Repairs

A simple but highly effective scam is currently circulating, targeting unsuspecting computer users. It’s a tech support scam that's not just threatening your digital security but also your financial well-being.

Here's How it Works:

  1. The Unsolicited Tech Support Call: I might start with a popup, and email, or even a phone call from someone claiming to be from a well-known tech support service. Your caller ID might even display a legitimate company name, making the call seem credible.
  2. The Fabricated Computer Issue: The caller, posing as a tech expert, alarmingly informs you of a serious issue with your computer. They might mention viruses, malware, or other technical problems that sound intimidating and urgent.
  3. Gaining Your Trust: To add to their authenticity, they might accurately describe common issues many computers face, playing on your fears of data loss or identity theft. They assure you that they're here to help and can fix the problem immediately.
  4. Remote Access Request: The scammer then requests remote access to your computer to 'diagnose' the problem. This is a critical red flag. Granting access means giving them control over your computer and everything on it.
  5. The Discovery of a 'Problem': Once they have access, they 'discover' a serious issue that needs immediate fixing. It could be a virus they claim to have detected or some other technical fault.
  6. The Financial Hit: Here's where it gets costly. They offer to fix the issue for a hefty fee, often pressuring you to act quickly. The fee might seem small for the promised service, but it’s completely unwarranted.
  7. The Risk of Data Theft and Financial Loss: Once you've granted them control, scammers can use your computer to access private information, bank details, or other sensitive data. They can potentially steal money directly from your accounts or engage in identity theft.

The Impact:

This tech support scam is not just about stealing money. If you allow remote access, scammers can install malware, steal personal information, or gain access to your online accounts. Even if you don't pay the fee, the risk to your digital security and personal data is significant.

Staying Safe:

Always be wary of unsolicited tech support calls, popups and emails. Remember, legitimate tech support companies don't proactively reach out to offer unsolicited help. Never grant remote access to your computer to an unverified person, and always verify the legitimacy of tech support claims through official channels.

By understanding the mechanics of this tech support scam, you can better protect yourself and your digital life. Stay informed, stay skeptical, and keep your computer and your finances secure.

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