The world is not exactly a safe place and internet is no better. We hear about malware, ransomware and other viruses on daily basis. However, Tech Support Scams are an online attack that many of the internet users are probably unaware of. We have been educating readers on the perils of Tech Support Scam. As per a recent statistics, the instances of Tech Support scam has spiked up relatively and Better Business Bureau has apparently received more than 7000 reports to the BBB Scam Tracker.
Tech Support scams are on the rise
BBB is a business ethics and compliance consultancy that has conducted an intensive research over the Tech Support Scams that have taken place in the recent past. The scope of the study includes the definition of the problem, how it works and more importantly how consumers can safeguard against such attacks.
Researchers found that the top five countries with the most victims were: U.S. — 33.6%; Australia — 25.36%; Singapore — 22.4%; Canada — 7%; and New Zealand — 4.8%.
We have already heard a handful of stories how scammers dupe Microsoft Windows users. Microsoft has revealed that it receives 12,000 complaints globally every month. For the uninitiated, the Tech Support Scam is when your PC is deliberately made to freeze and a message asks you your contact details. To make things easier (for hackers) they also publish a toll-free number, only to scam you further.
Surprisingly, the study says that it is mostly the millennial who will not react to being scammed while the older consumers will most likely file complaints. That being said unlike malware and ransomware it is not that hard to avoid being scammed by Tech Support Scams. Below we have listed some of the common ways these scammers try to employ-
- Warning screens-Like we said earlier they will bombard your machine with warning screen which is usually harmless and a reboot should fix it
- Calls- Well the scammers improvise and as a result, they may even call you pretending to be from cable or internet streaming services like Netflix. They then coerce you to share other details and make sure you cough out all the information.
- Social Engineering/Sponsored Links.
What to do in case of Tech Support Scam?
If you suspect you have been scammed by Tech Support follow the steps below on a priority-
- Contact your bank and change all your credentials
- Search your system for any suspicious programs and uninstall the same.
- File a report with the BBM Scam Tracker.
You can read the full report on bbb.org.
In order to help you deal with such scams, we have detailed how to avoid Tech Support Scams.