Digital security company ESET has listed nine things that users should pay attention to in order not to be deceived. How to spot and prevent tech support scams?
According to the FBI, approximately 2021 people in the United States alone reported losing $24 million in 348 due to tech support scams. This means an increase of 137 percent compared to the previous year. Also, since many victims do not want to disclose that they were defrauded, the true extent of the incident is much higher than the known figures.
Another study conducted by Microsoft in 2021 reveals that three-fifths of global consumers have encountered such fraud in the last 12 months, and one in six consumers continue to be defrauded, often losing money in the process.
The victim receives an email from a legitimate-looking domain with a warning that a technical service (for example, a warranty) for several hundred dollars will be renewed soon and automatically. The buyer is asked to contact a listed phone number or email address if they do not wish to pay. Victim calls scammers to request clarification/refund. The scammer convinces the victim to download remote desktop protocol (RDP) software so they can access the user's device, get technical assistance, and process the refund. The scammer claims to have refunded and asks the user to log in to the banking app to check if the transaction was successful. Thus, the threat actor gains access to this account. The scammer freezes the victim's screen after entering the online banking account or shows a blank screen to the user while secretly transferring funds from the account.
In another method shared by the FBI, it is stated that the scammers do not call their victims for marketing purposes to establish initial contact, but send them text messages or emails. They can act as representatives of financial and banking institutions, utility companies, and even virtual currency exchanges, as well as tech firms. The "problem" they're looking to fix might not be a license or warranty renewal, but a compromised email or bank account, or even a computer virus.
Scammers can convince the victim that their financial account has been compromised and that they need to transfer their savings elsewhere. They can take control of their devices remotely using the same RDP tools. They can open virtual currency accounts to transfer funds from the victim's bank account.
How to spot and prevent tech support scams?
- Do not respond to spam directly or call the numbers sent – if in doubt, call the relevant company directly and check.
- If a pop-up or error message appears on your computer screen with a phone number, resist the urge to call the number.
- If someone calls you and says there's a problem with your computer, hang up.
- Do not give remote computer access to anyone you do not know personally, including telephone callers.
- Do not share your passwords with anyone.
- Do not log into bank or financial accounts while accessing your computer remotely.
- Remember that scammers always push their victims to panic, forcing them to make hasty decisions. Be wary of this and try to stay calm.
- If you are concerned about fraudulent activity, keep a close eye on your bank account transactions.
- Use security software from a well-known service provider on all your devices.
Günceleme: 03/02/2023 11:10
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