Virtual world is full of opportunities, but it also features some limitations and illegitimate activities that might disturb a user. Some innocent users might not be able to understand the fake gimmicks of online technical support scams, resulting in data and information compromise. Follow this article to understand some basic tips that can help you in avoiding online PC support scams.
Tech support and online customer support scams are not new, but the cases have increased during the recent years because malware authors are becoming smarter day-by-day. Not only computer malware authors, but other hackers and fraudsters also are becoming cunning and making attempts to extort money from innocent consumers. In 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) came up with a massive investigation process to crack down online PC support companies running scams and fake services. In its reports, the organization presented that fake companies pose their PC service array as legitimate technical support and cheat thousands of computer users. The companies gain computer access by stating bogus computer repair services and ask to pay for removing viruses, installing updates and performing other repair services.
Follow these tips to learn how to protect yourself and your computer from such swindlers:
1. Reputable Services Don’t Call Out Users
Computer users should understand that reputed technical support specialist or online computer support companies dont call out users directly and ask for any possible repairs. Calling victims directly and claiming themselves as the best PC support technicians is a common tactic of technical support scammers. Sometimes, scammers also claim themselves as representatives of reputable companies like Microsoft or Google to gain remote access to the users device. They might create a situation, where a user will feel bound to avail PC help and thus provides the access or pay the PC service charge. Always remember that authentic and legitimate remote support companies will never contact you directly unless you’ve requested for PC help, so be suspicious of unsolicited calls.
2. Research on the Web
A lot of credible computer repair service companies are operating across the globe and finding the one to meet your requirements isnt a difficult task. Take advantage of the Internet, research on the prospective services, read online reviews and terms and conditions on its website, before availing online support from any vendor. Check for registrations, accreditations, certifications and scan state’s Department of Commerce or Secretary of State Department lists to ensure that the business is operating on legal terms.
3. Pay Attention While Granting Remote Access
It’s always recommended to check for authenticity and legal business policies before granting a complete unfettered access to your PC. Allow access to your devices only after confirming that the technical support specialist represents a legitimate tech support company and you should constantly monitor their activities to avoid any scam. It is recommended to communicate directly with the tech support technician either over the phone or on chat. Restrict yourself from providing sensitive information, social security number, credit card details, and other relevant information, if you find something suspicious or uncomfortable.
4. Believe Your Senses
All shining things arent gold so think patiently before handling your device to strangers if their promises seem too good to be true. If youve read the crime stories of technical support scams, then you must be aware that such companies often make fake promises, provide unrealistic discounts and even promise free services for years ahead. Beware of any technician making unrealistic claims or promises as it might be a tactic to gain remote access to your devices.
5. Take Immediate Action
If you think that someone has cheated you, and youre the victim of a technical support scam, take immediate action to reduce your losses and protect your privacy. File a complaint regarding such companies to the local authorities or lodge an official complaint on the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) website. You should also reach out to your bank or credit card company to stop the transfer if you gave any payment information to the fraudsters. PC gurus recommend changing all of the passwords on your computer, especially if the scammers were successful in taking remote access to your system.
All the tips mentioned above can help you identify potential scams and protect yourself from becoming a target of online customer support frauds. Undoubtedly, using your common sense and trusting your belief are the two prime lines of defense for safeguarding your identity and devices against tech support scammers. So simply follow these tips along with some detailed research practices to make a sound judgment before falling prey to fake and deceptive remote support companies.