Seven Ways to Avoid a Tech Scammer

There are seven ways to avoid being scammed by a tech support scammer. By following these simple tips, you can protect yourself from becoming a victim of these scams.

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Research the company

When you are looking for a new technology provider, do some research on the company. Find out how long they have been in business and what their reputation is. Also, check to see if they are a member of the Better Business Bureau. You can also look for online reviews of the company. If you find that there are a lot of complaints about the company, you may want to avoid doing business with them.

Look for online reviews

When you are looking for a new product or service, one of the first places you turn is online. This is also true when you are looking for a new company to do business with. Fortunately, there are many tools available to help you research a company before doing business with them.

One of the best ways to research a company is to look for online reviews. This can be done by searching for the company name on a search engine such as Google, Yahoo, or Bing. You can also try searching for specific terms such as “company name + reviews” or “company name + scam”.

If you cannot find any online reviews for a company, that may be a red flag. It could mean that the company is new and has not yet established a reputation, or it could be a sign that the company is trying to hide something. In either case, it is important to proceed with caution.

If you do find reviews, be sure to read them carefully. Pay attention to both positive and negative reviews, and look for patterns in the feedback. For example, if many people say that they had difficulty getting in touch with customer service, that could be a sign that the company is not very responsive to customer needs.

In general, it is always best to deal with companies that have a good reputation and that have been in business for many years. However, even well-established companies can make mistakes from time to time. The key is to stay informed and to watch out for signs that something might not be quite right.

Check with the Better Business Bureau

When in doubt about a company, check its rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). “You can look up any business that has an BBB accreditation and see if there are any complaints,” says Matt Asay, COO of CloudOne. “This is especially useful for tech support scammers since they’re typically fly-by-night operations.”

Be aware of the warning signs

It’s important to be able to identify a tech scammer before they have a chance to take advantage of you. There are a few common warning signs that you should be aware of. If you’re contacted out of the blue by someone who seems to know a lot about you, be suspicious. If they’re offering you a deal that sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And if they’re asking for personal information or money, definitely beware. Keep these warning signs in mind, and you’ll be much less likely to fall victim to a tech scam.

They want remote access to your computer

One way scammers try to gain your trust is by offering to help you with a computer problem—for example, a fake Microsoft technician might call and say there’s an issue with your computer’s security. To “fix” it, they need remote access. Once they have access, they can do just about anything they want on your computer, like install software that gives them access to your personal information or even delete important files.

Of course, Microsoft (and other companies) will never call you out of the blue about a computer problem. And if someone does call and wants remote access to your machine, just say no—that’s always the best response. If you have any doubts about whether the caller is legitimate, hang up and call the company yourself using a number you know to be real.

They promise to speed up your computer for a fee

They may say they’re from Microsoft and that your computer has a virus or issue that needs to be fixed. They’ll direct you to a site where you’re asked to give remote access to your computer. Once they have control of your machine, they’ll show you a fake error message and ask you to pay for their “services” to fix it. In reality, they just want your money and they may even install malware on your device to get it.

They say you have a virus

They say you have a virus
You may be surprised to know that some scammers will actually call you and tell you that your computer has a virus. They’ll say they’re from a well-known company or from Microsoft and that they need to remotely access your machine to fix the problem. Once they have access, they can do all sorts of damage, including installing malware, stealing your personal information, and even holding your computer hostage until you pay them a ransom.

If you get a call like this, hang up immediately. If you’re not sure whether the call is legitimate or not, you can always call the company’s customer service line directly to inquire. And never give anyone remote access to your machine unless you are absolutely certain they are who they say they are.

Don’t give out personal information

When someone you don’t know asks for your personal information, it’s best not to give it out. This includes your address, phone number, email address, and especially your credit card or banking information. Tech scammers will often pose as someone you trust, like a bank or credit card company, and then ask for this information. They may even say they need it to verify your account or to process a refund. If you give them this information, they can use it to steal your money or identity.

Your name, address, and phone number

Your name, address, and phone number are some of the most personal pieces of information about you. And, if a tech scammer gets ahold of them, they can use them to impersonate you and commit all sorts of crimes—like opening new accounts in your name or filing for unemployment benefits using your Social Security number.

Besides being on the lookout for tech support scams, you can also protect yourself by not giving out this information to anyone who contacts you unsolicited. That includes tech support scammers posing as representatives of legitimate companies and even friends or family members who may have had their own accounts hacked.

If someone you don’t know contacts you and asks for any of this information, hang up the phone ordelete the email immediately. Don’t even entertain the conversation. The same goes for anyone who pressure you for personal information or tries to rush you into a decision. These are all major warning signs that you’re dealing with a scammer.

Your Social Security number

Your Social Security number is the most important piece of your personal information. It’s used to track your income and taxes, which is why it’s so valuable to thieves. They can use it to open new lines of credit, file for taxes or benefits, or get medical services.

Tech support scammers will often pretend they need your Social Security number for “verification” purposes. They may say they need it to fix a problem with your computer or to process a refund. Don’t fall for it!

If a tech support scammer has already tricked you into giving out your Social Security number, take action immediately. Check your credit reports for any unusual activity and alert the credit bureaus if you spot something suspicious. You should also consider signing up for a credit monitoring service so you can be alerted to any future activity on your accounts.

Your bank account or credit card number

Most scammers will ask you to give them your bank account or credit card number. They often say they need it to verify your identity or to process a refund. But giving out this information could give the scammer access to your accounts and let them clean them out.

If a company you do business with asks for this information, call them back at a number you know is real to make sure they’re the ones who asked. Don’t call the number the person gave you—scammers can spoof caller ID numbers to make it look like they’re calling from a legitimate company.

And never give out this information in response to an email, text message, or pop-up window. Legitimate companies don’t reach out to customers this way.

Be cautious of unsolicited calls, emails, or texts

It’s getting harder and harder to tell if the person on the other end of the phone is a tech support scammer. They’re getting more convincingly good at faking caller ID information and they have all sorts of slide decks and stories to try to trick you into giving them remote access to your computer. Here are seven ways to avoid getting scammed.

They may say they’re from a familiar company

Scammers are increasingly masquerading as representatives of companies like Microsoft or Apple in order to gain access to your computer or personal information. They may contact you out of the blue by email, phone call, or text message. Or they may place pop-up ads on your computer that warn you about a problem with your device and offer to fix it if you click on a link.

These scammers often say they’re from a familiar company and use scare tactics to try to trick you into giving them remote access to your computer or paying them for unnecessary technical support services. They may also install malicious software that collects your personal information, like user names, passwords, and credit card numbers on your device without your permission.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself from tech support scams:

-Never give control of your computer to someone who calls you unsolicited.

-Never provide personal information or payment information to someone who contact you unsolicited.

-Hang up the phone immediately if someone claiming to be from tech support asks for remote access to your computer.

-Don’t click on any links in an unsolicited email or text message purporting to be from tech support. These may infect your device with malware.

-If you get an unsolicited call from tech support, tell the person you will call them back directly using a number you trust, like the one on your company’s website or on the back of your product packaging. Then end the call and immediately report it to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

They may threaten you

One of the most common ways that tech support scammers try to trick people is by pretending to be from a well-known company, like Microsoft or Apple. They may call you out of the blue and claim there’s a problem with your computer. Or they might send you an email or pop-up message that looks like it’s from Microsoft or another company, warning you about a virus on your computer.

These scammers hope that you’re not familiar with how Microsoft or other companies work, and that you’ll believe them when they say there’s a problem. They might even pretend to be from your ISP, saying there’s been suspicious activity on your account.

Tech support scammers often try to rush you, so that you don’t have time to think about what’s going on. They might say that your computer is at risk and ask if you can go through some steps to fix it now. Once they have access to your computer, they can do all sorts of things, like install malicious software, steal your personal information, or even delete important files.

Don’t pay upfront for services

It can be difficult to know if you’re dealing with a tech scammer or not, but there are some telltale signs. One of the biggest is if the person asks for payment upfront for services. This is a major red flag because reputable businesses will never ask for payment before services are rendered. If you’re ever in doubt, do some research on the company or individual before doing business with them. In this article, we’ll explore seven ways to avoid tech scammers.

They may ask for payment by wire transfer or gift card

There are a few different types of scammers, but one of the most common is the person who offers to fix your computer or do some other type of work for you, but then asks for payment by wire transfer or gift card. This is a huge red flag, as legitimate businesses will almost never ask for payment by wire transfer or gift card. If someone asks you to pay in this way, it’s almost certainly a scam.

Other red flags to watch out for include:
-Someone who contacts you out of the blue, without you having contacted them first
-Someone who offers to do work for you for free or at a very low price
-Someone who pressure you into paying for something before they do any work
-Someone who asks for sensitive personal or financial information

If you’re ever in doubt about whether someone is trying to scam you, err on the side of caution and don’t give them any money or personal information. You can also contact the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints about the person or company.

They may say you can get a refund later

If someone pressure you to pay for a service or product before they provide it, that’s a huge red flag. Scammers will often say that you can get a refund later if you’re not happy with the product, but they will almost never follow through on that promise. Even if they do issue a refund, it will probably be for less than you paid or after a lengthy and frustrating process. The best course of action is to simply walk away from any offer that requires you to pay upfront.

Hang up the phone

It has happened to nearly everyone. You get a call out of the blue from someone claiming to be from Microsoft or Apple tech support, saying there’s something wrong with your computer. They might even have some of your personal information to make their story more convincing. They want remote access to your computer to “fix” the problem. But this is just a scam. The caller is not from Microsoft or Apple, and they will not help you. They just want to steal your money. Here are seven ways to avoid these tech scammers.

If you don’t know the caller, don’t engage in conversation

If you have caller ID, check to see if you recognize the number. If you don’t, let the call go to voicemail. According to the FTC, scammers often use technology that displays a fake number on your caller ID. They do this in an attempt to trick you into thinking they are calling from a legitimate organization or business.

There are a few other red flags that may indicate a scam call:
-The caller asks for personal information such as your Social Security number, bank account information, or credit card number.
-The caller pressures you to give them money or buy something.
-The caller threatens you with something if you don’t do what they say.

If you think the call might be legitimate, hang up and call the organization or business back using a number you know is real. This way, you can be sure you’re speaking with a legitimate representative.

Report the scam

You receive a call from somebody claiming to be from Microsoft or Apple. They say your computer has a virus and they can help you fix it. They might even have some of your personal information. They might say your computer is part of a botnet and they can help you stop it. The caller might say they’re from the IRS and you owe them money. These are all tech support scams. They’re designed to trick you into giving scammers remote access to your computer or handing over your money.

To the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is the primary federal agency responsible for investigating and prosecuting consumer protection cases, including tech support scams. You can report a tech support scam to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

When you report a tech support scam, the FTC will collect the information you provide and may use it to take action against the company or individual behind the scam. For example, if enough people report a tech support scam, the FTC may file a lawsuit against the scammers. The FTC also uses the information it collects to warn other consumers about scams and help law enforcement agencies investigate and prosecute scammers.

To your state’s consumer protection office

If you’ve been the victim of a tech scam, report it to your state’s consumer protection office. You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

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