Pop-up messaging scams are not new to the users. It might be a fake virus alert message, browser pop-up windows, malware pop-ups, and pop-up source identification. These messages appear on your device screen as a fair warning from a well-trusted source that informs you about the potential threat that’s around your device. Every year millions of the internet users become a victim to these messaging scams. The mind behind these scams is hackers who come with a new tactic to trick the users and get money and valuable, sensitive data from them.
Recently, a new pop-up messaging scam has been revealed, and since then, it is the talk of the town. Like any other pop-up messages, technical support scams is a relatively new form of pop-up messaging fraud. It uses phone calls and pop-up authentication techniques to freeze the user’s browser and ask them to pay some fee to again use their browsers like before.
In this article, we’ll be sharing some exciting insights about tech support scams. So, let’s jump into this article.
Jim Browning Shocking Revelation
Jim Browning is a YouTuber and cybersecurity expert who gets fame and recognition for exposing the scammers. You can check his YouTube channel has videos of getting into the CCTV cameras of different scam call centers worldwide.
In 2020, he revealed how a travel company named Faremart in Delhi uses a portion of their building as a call center to scam people in the UK, US, and Australia through technical support scams. In a series of videos, “Spying on the Scammers,” on his YouTube channel, Jim Browning posted CCTV footage of how the call center scams the users. These videos are in four different parts and have more than seven four million views.
Jim Browning revealed that in May 2019, he hacked into the CCTV camera of the Delhi call center. He recorded every moment for months. He even downloaded about 70,000 phone calls that were recorded to get a much clearer picture. One reason for downloading these phone calls was that he wants to get back to the scammers.
How Does Technical Support Scam Work?
Tech support scams are when the scammer scares or tricks the victims by saying that their device has been infected by malware or virus. There are two ways in which a technical support scam works. The first method is the pop-up message, and the other one is the cold calling method.
The scam begins with the targeted victim’s device suddenly getting replaced with a red screen. The screen displays three things, a Windows logo, a warning message, and a phone number. The victim at once got confused because they were working, and the other moment their browser screen freezes. When they call on the stated number, they’re connected with a scammer. These scammers pretend to be a technical representative from Microsoft. They further threatened the victim that their device is infected with malware and it needs to get a fix soon so they can get back with their data.
The other tactic which the scammer uses is cold calling. In this method, the scammer will randomly call you and represent someone from Microsoft or Apple. They scare you by saying that a dangerous virus or malware has been detected on your device and immediate steps are needed to fix it right away. In both methods, the scammers ask the victim to pay thousands of dollars or otherwise lose all their valuable data. A. person with less technical knowledge will become easy prey in the scammers’ hands and ask the asked amount.
It is also possible that the scammer might get into your device through a team viewer to resolve the issue. But, in reality, they get hold of your device to compromise your account and steal money and other financial data from it.
The FTC reports, in 2018, people lose 55 million dollars to various technical support scams. It further stated that people aged more than 60 years are more likely to become targets of these scams. These scams are increasing with each day and have become one of the fastest-growing internet-based frauds. Immediate steps are needed to get control of these frauds.
How to Detect a Tech Support Scam?
The scammers use such sophisticated tactics that it becomes tough to detect them. If you are not a tech-savvy person, things become more difficult for you, but there are always warning signs that can alert you. Below are some clear warning signs by which you can easily detect a tech support scam:
- You might get a phone call from an unknown source who claims to a representative from a well-known brand like Apple or Microsoft. However, these top-brand companies mention that they never themself contact the customers unless they kick off communication.
- A pop-up message appears on your computer screen, and it becomes blue or red. The screen gives you a warning message that a malicious virus or malware is present on your device.
- The message is full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
- The displayed message encourages you to call on a given phone number. It is also possible that there’s a click that you’re asked to click to get some technical assistance.
- The scammers ask you to pay for technical support via wire transfer, PayPal, or gift card. Always remember that no legitimate company asks for the payment in that way.
How to Protect Yourself from Becoming a Victim to These Scams?
Once you know how to detect tech support scams, the next step is to safeguard yourself. Since these frauds are increasing rapidly, every individual needs to follow some practices to protect themselves from becoming a target.
The following are four different ways to ensure that you’re not the next victim of a technical support scam. These tips include:
Don’t Give Anyone Remote Access to Your Computer.
Never allow anyone to access your device remotely unless you are sure that you can trust them. If someone asks for remote access, do verify their identity before you approve. If you are suspicious, hang up the call and try to reach the caller’s company, and inquire about the call. Remember the legitimate tech support companies don’t call their consumers directly.
Don’t Call on a Troll-Free Number on a Pop-Up Warning Message.
If you receive a virus pop-up alert message that urges you to call on any displayed number, don’t do that. These are scammers who pretend to offer any tech support. If you make a call, you’ll lose your money for no reason, hence be aware.
Use Reliable Antivirus Software
Using the best antivirus software is one of the best ways to prevent tech support scams. When you use robust protection solutions like anti-malware, antivirus, and antispyware programs so you can get rid of all such things. These security solutions run a scan on your system to detect any potential threats and block the malicious pop-up messages that harm your device. They act as a protective shield at the entrance of your device and repel any malicious program or message to enter your device.
You can even use the best ad-blockers to block the pop-up tech support messages. There are several ad-blockers available in the market. You can choose the one that can detect and block such scamming pop-up messages.
Tech support scams are on the rise these days. Jim Browning’s shocking revelations have opened the eyes of the individual that how scammers can trick them. Don’t know how many more companies are working like the Delhi call center and targeting hundreds and thousands of users.
If ever you see a pop-up warning message while browsing the internet, your system might be infected with a virus, so treat it with caution. Anything that encourages you to make a phone call on the displayed numbers is a scam. Such messages are fake, and they don’t scan your device if you call them. It is just a way to make you contact them and ask you for money. Be cautious and follow the tips mentioned above to stay protected from falling victim to tech support scams.