Technical Support Scams

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Technical Support Scams are a multi-million-dollar industry and show no signs of going away. Every day innocent people are tricked into losing hundreds / thousands of dollars trying to resolve non-existent computer problems by these scammers. 

Read more: Technical Support Scams

The Hook

Scammers usually initiate Technical Support ​scams:

  • by phone call, where scammers masquerade as legitimate organisations like Telstra or Microsoft.
  • by website popups or adverts which inform you of a problem with your computer. You may also hear an audible alert. In most cases the scammers will encourage you to call a number for immediate assistance.
technical support scams

Anatomy of a Technical Support Scam

The scammers aim is for you to give them remote access to your computer. They then try to convince you that you have a major problem. that requires immediate attention. And they will offer to fix the non-existent problem for a fee (usually in the hundreds of dollars), which may include giving you 12 months of “FREE” support.

The reality is, once they have access to your computer you don’t know what they’re doing in the background. They can deploy malware, install a backdoor into your system enabling them to monitor and steal confidential information, or lock down your computer completely.

Support Scams are big business

These Scams operate globally, with most based overseas, making them difficult to trace. According to statistics from the ACCC SCAMWATCH – in 2017, in Australia alone, there were some 8,650 reports of Remote Access Scams with more than $2m AUD lost to these scammers; and the real number will be far greater as many of these crimes go unreported.

Stay Safe: Watch Out For Scammers

It is important to note that no legitimate business will call you out-of-the-blue to offer support. If you didn’t initiate the call (unprompted by your computer) it is a Scam.

Likewise, if the phone number popped up unexpectedly on your computer whilst you’re browsing the web, then it will most definitely be a scam. If it is a one-off incident it could just be a dodgy site, however if you’re seeing this type of thing regularly, chances are you have picked up a Malware infection – in which case you can call Excalibur IT and we can clean your system.

After a Scam

If you are the victim of a scam, you need to act quickly:

  • ​Contact your financial institution and notify them of the incident and have them lock your account. Banks will unlock your accounts once the infected device is cleaned / certified by an IT Professional.
  • If you have suffered a financial loss as a result of a scam, register the loss with the Australian Cyber Security Centre
  • From another Secure device, change your important passwords. This should include any accounts that may contain personal data such as banking / social media / email accounts.
  • For businesses, the compromised computer may contain confidential customer/supplier data so, read the Notifiable Data Breaches Scheme for important information on required notifications

Being the victim of a scam often leaves people feeling embarrassed. And scammers rely on this. Reporting these crimes quickly is really important and can help law-enforcement to track down, and potentially prosecute, the individuals.

If you have fallen victim to a remote support scam, and are in our service area, we can help pickup the pieces with our scam remediation service

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