Tech Support Scams
We’ve all seen the tech support scams. You click a link from your email, your favorite download site, or a “related article”. When the page loads, you are met with a large red screen, reading: “Call Tech Support Now, your computer may be infected.” The page directs you to an 888 number, and when you call you are met with “Microsoft Tech Support” in a thick Indian accent. This is one of the oldest scams on the Internet, and yet it hits many people each year. What can you do to stop this scam?
How this scam works
When you click on a link, it will take you to a web resource. This can range from a PDF and an image to a new website. When you click a link in this case, the web page is a page the scammers have set up to make it seem like your computer is actually locked out of your control. This is due to the way the page is programmed to behave. Some pages immediately go to full screen, and when you try to escape full screen it goes right back. This is so you cannot close the tab that the page is on.
What to do
DO NOT CALL THE NUMBER THAT IS ON THE SCREEN. The number will connect you to a “Support specialist” who will then try to get you to give them remote access to your computer. This is very dangerous, and the scammer may even damage your operating system in the process, making you lose your files and programs. The best thing to do when encountering these scams is to press Ctrl-Alt-Delete, and select the task manager option after. You then should close your browser from there. If you for some reason cannot access the task manager, then you should power off your computer. This make sure that the next time you open up your Internet Browser that the page won’t be there. You also may want to call your regular tech support service to have them check to make sure your computer is not infected with a virus. Our Managed Services can help monitor your computer against any attack.
For more details on how the scam works, this article by Ars Technica explains in very good detail.