The "Tech Support" Phone Scam: 4 Ways to Spot It and Protect Yourself
A nuisance for decades, the Tech Support scam has evolved and is affecting more people in 2023, especially in the US.
This phone scam, often called the customer care spam, was mentioned in a report released last year by the FBI. In the report they warned Americans that ‘as tech support fraud evolves, the number of people falling victim to the crime is on the rise, and so are financial losses’. This blog sheds light on this scheme, exposes its methods, and provides essential tips to protect yourself.
The "Tech Support" Phone Scam:
The "Tech Support" phone scam operates by impersonating technology companies or service providers. Scammers contact people, claiming to be from a tech support department, and trick them into believing their device has a critical issue or security threat. They then exploit the victim's trust and fear to gain access to their device, steal sensitive information, or ask for money to be used for "repairs." Many reports have come in about this scam, especially from the US.
The "Tech Support" phone scam typically unfolds in a series of steps designed to deceive victims:
- Scammers may make contact through phone calls, emails, or even pop-up ads on websites. They often claim to be from well-known technology companies like Microsoft, Apple, or internet service providers.
- Scammers create a sense of urgency and panic by telling victims that their device has been ‘compromised’, infected with malware, or has technical problems. They provide false error messages or direct victims to fake websites to further support their claims.
- To "resolve" the supposed issue, scammers convince victims to give them remote access to their device. This allows scammers to steal personal information, install malware, or manipulate the device to show phony problems.
- After gaining access, scammers may demand payment for fake services or use the opportunity to get sensitive data, such as financial information, login details, or personally identifiable information.
Shielding yourself from the "Tech Support" phone scam requires being cautious, as well as knowledge of security practices. Here are some tips:
- Real tech support departments rarely make unsolicited calls. If you receive a call claiming to be from a tech company, hang up and contact the official support number of the company to verify the call's legitimacy.
- Never allow someone you don't trust to remotely access your device. Genuine tech support providers will not request remote access unless you have initiated contact with them.
- Be wary of unsolicited calls, emails, or pop-up ads claiming to provide tech support. Do not click on suspicious links or provide personal information unless you can verify the source's authenticity.
- Keep your devices and software up to date with the latest security patches and antivirus software. Regularly back up your data to prevent potential loss or ransomware attacks.
How can Truecaller help? Well, there’s our famous Caller ID and Spam Blocking. But there’s also much more. Visit the website and take a look at all our features, and also make sure to check this blog regularly for all the new updates and tips.