What Is a Tech Support Scam?
Companies posing as software support providers - often based in the U.S. and leveraging foreign call centers – claim to offer software support services on behalf of major technology companies in order to gain access to and exploit consumers’ personal information. These fraudulent companies have grown savvier and adopted more aggressive tactics to lure vulnerable consumers. They often gain the consumers’ trust by misrepresenting their relationship with reputable companies, and prey on consumers’ fear of their computer becoming infected with viruses and malware. When these scams succeed, consumers lose out. Many spend hundreds of dollars on useless software and bogus support services, which often results in unknowingly downloading dangerous software that opens their computers to scammers.
Common Types of Tech Support Scams
- Advertising/Paid Search/Confusing Search Results
Fraudulent companies frequently use Paid Search to advertise their support services. If they receive a call from a Norton Customer they claim to be a legitimate Norton Support Partner, but they aren’t. They charge money for their services and may steal your personal information or install malicious software on your computer.
- Cold Calling
Some fraudulent companies proactively cold call Norton customers offering assistance with virus removal, fixing problems with Apps or renewing a product subscription. Once they gain your trust, they may conduct a remote session on your computer in order to remove your Norton product and install their own products. Some may steal your personal information while accessing your device
- Pop-up warning/ads
Some fraudulent companies use fake pop-up warnings that claim your computer is infected with a virus. These Pop-ups are made to look like a Norton Virus Scan alert or other type of legitimate security warning. Such scare tactics also extend to phishing emails, which contain warning messages about a vulnerability on your computer or offers to renew your expiring Norton subscription in order to remain protected.