CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - When cyber criminals find a scam that works, they don't want to retire it. That's why the fake technical support scams pop up time and again.
That's when they call or email pretending to be your device manufacturers "tech support" and claim your device needs a repair. It is their sneaky way into getting you to let them into your computer so they can mine for personal information.
We asked WBTV Cyber Expert, and CEO of Fortalice Solutions, Theresa Payton to tell us how it works and what you can do about it. Her advice follows:
How it works:
1. someone calls your house or emails you or sends you a pop up warning - "there's a virus on your PC and we are here to help you...."
2. if on the phone, they often pressure you to let them fix the issue for you for free; on email it's usually a "click here for free and easy virus removal"; if a pop up they offer you a 1800 number to call. This all sounds legit, right? Wrong!
Then what happens?
1. they install a real virus, or steal data, or worse
2. if this has happened to you or a loved one, seek a local, reputable person to take your computer into to repair the damages
How can you avoid this?
1. Ignore the email, the popup, the phone call; software and hardware companies have committed they WILL NOT do this
2. Bing Ads has announced they will not allow the promotion of third party online technical support services to consumers so consider using Bing search which may help avoid pop up ads
Your word of the week is Global Virus Map. You can see an example, here.