Most of our businesses are dependent on computers to operate. Whether you’re a solopreneur with a laptop or you have a dozen networked devices, you and your business most likely depend on a computer.
As Bill Gates famously said, “Information technology and business are becoming inextricably interwoven. I don’t think anybody can talk meaningfully about one without the talking about the other.”
As companies grow in size and the number of companies in the US and in the world increase the usage of data, our demand for computers will only increase This will increase the demand for IT jobs which are expected to grow 13% through 2030, adding close to 1 million new jobs.
This boom will not only create more jobs but will also create more opportunity for Tech Support Scams; and that is why you must learn to defend yourself.
HOW THIS POPULAR SCAM WORKS
You get a pop-up on your computer from a well-known software company…or so you think. The message says there’s a problem with your system. The message gives you a number to call, or a link to click to connect you with a tech support individual (scammer) who can “fix” the problem.
This is where the trouble starts.
The “tech” is more than happy to help you solve your problem. All he needs is remote access to your computer.
But when you give the tech scammer access to your computer, they have access to your entire network. Once the tech scammer gets in, they can search your system for sensitive data. This includes your banking info, passwords, customer records, or credit card information.
Additionally, they can install malware to ensure your info keeps flowing…to them.
They may even try to enroll your business in a useless computer maintenance agreement to ensure your data continues to flow to them. The agreement will be both expensive and a nightmare to quit.
Also, these scammers also work through email.
In your inbox, you’ll find an email claiming one or more of your accounts has been suspended. The scammer may send you an email saying that your email has been compromised and to click on the link in the email to rectify the problem. Again, by clicking the link from a fraudulent source you open your system to the scammers and fraudulent activities.
HOW TO DEFEND YOURSELF
If you get a pop-up message on your computer, or an unsolicited email, don’t click on any links. Instead, Google the company that sent you the pop-up or email and verify if the company is real. Security warnings and emails from real tech companies never ask you to call a phone number.
Never give control of your computer to someone who contacts you. Never give a caller access to your computer or credit card numbers.
Maintain your trusted anti-virus software and keep it up to date.
Report the incident to your IT department immediately.
If you provide your credit card number to a scammer; contact your credit card company or your bank and let them know what happened so they can stop any payment.
Report all scams to the Federal Trade Commission at reportfraud.ftc.gov .
Knowing what to look for is the best way to avoid any scam. Learn the signs of TECH SUPPORT SCAMS.