Tech support scams are becoming the new trend as of late, and the FBI has voiced their concerns over this new threat. By duping victims into handing over remote access over devices, they end up losing money when the system is held hostage. Taking the proper security measures will need to happen at the user level, as the FBI can’t do much in this regard.
Most people will have had these phone conversations with so-called representatives from Microsoft, who claims there is something wrong with one’s computer. No one should ever fall for these obvious game attempts, yet it is not the only type of tech support scam making the rounds these days.
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center is voicing its concern over this type of activity. With scammers using an increasing variety of methods to deceive victims, the amount of money lost due to these attacks is trending up as well. To put this into perspective, over US$2m has been lost or stolen with these types of attack in the past four months alone.
It is becoming more popular for scammers to label themselves as tech support engineers. Most consumers would pay close attention when they receive a call from someone who claims to work for Google or Microsoft. More tech-savvy users will see through this scam immediately, but less informed users will see no harm in giving up remote control to their devices.
Not all of these tech support calls are aimed at installing malware on a computer, mind you. Some people will call up computer owners and offer to remove viruses for a small fee. Regardless of whether there were any virii to begin with or not, consumers will gladly give up device access to get rid of the malicious software. In doing so, they also allow criminals to install the malicious software consumers try to avoid.
The only advice is to educate consumers about these fake threats. No major company will call up individual users out of the blue, as they usually do not have a phone number on file for all Windows or Google users. Never give up remote control of one’s computer to someone over the phone, not even if its family or friends calling.
Source: Dark Reading
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