Technology support scams, which involve hackers impersonating tech specialists who trick people into thinking their device is infected, prey on users’ fears of losing important information or damaging their equipment.
In 2015 alone, scammers posing as well-known software tech support companies conned consumers out of $1.5 billion, according to research by Microsoft Corp.
To avoid tech support scams, the CyberSafe at USPS team offers the following reminders:
• Avoid unsolicited contact. Software companies don’t make unsolicited phone calls or send email warnings.
• Don’t pay for tech support services. Such services are often free. Requesting payment is a tactic used by scammers to obtain your credit card and other personal information.
• Never share passwords or give control of your computer to anyone you don’t know. Always verify who is contacting you before providing any information.
• Ensure anti-virus software is up-to-date. If a real cyberthreat is detected, this software typically deploys a warning, not to be confused with malicious pop-ups that ask you to “remedy” the problem.