Online Extortion: Protect Yourself From Tech Support Scams
Tech support scams are an industry-wide problem where crooks trick you into accepting unnecessary support services to fix device or software issues that don’t exist. At best, crooks try to charge you to “fix” a nonexistent problem with your device or software. At worst, they are trying to steal your personal or financial information.
Microsoft’s 2021 Global Tech Support Scam Research report indicates that consumers in India experienced a relatively high scam encounter rate of 69% between January 2020 and May 2021. Almost half of consumers surveyed were tricked into suing scam and 31% of those who continued with the interactions scam lost money in 2021, an increase of 17 points from 2018. Here are five ways to avoid becoming a victim of a scam. technical support :
Beware of unsolicited technical support
Service providers never make unsolicited phone calls for technical assistance. If you haven’t contacted tech support, they won’t call you to offer tech support. Be careful, crooks often falsify the caller ID.
Ignore pop-ups with urgent calls to action
Error messages received from legitimate tech companies never include phone numbers. Browsers such as Microsoft Edge block known support scam sites using Microsoft Defender SmartScreen.
Don’t pay in cryptocurrency or gift cards
If you’ve requested tech support, they’ll tell you ahead of time if there will be any fees, and those fees will never be in the form of cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or gift cards.
Make sure all apps on your device are legitimate
Never download software from a third party website or a link in an email. Download software only from official websites, authorized partners, or digital distribution platforms like the Microsoft Store. On your mobile devices, download only from the official App Store.
Protect private information
Legitimate tech support will never ask for your password, Aadhaar number, or other personal data.
If you’ve been the victim of a tech support scam in the past, uninstall any apps that the crooks made you install, run a security scan, reset your device, and change your passwords. If you made a payment, call your credit card provider as soon as possible.