Technical Support Scam

Technical Support Scam

What is a technical support scam?

A tech support scam is where a scammer pretends to be support for a variety of companies & services, such as Microsoft, Coinbase, Adobe, etc.
Being one of the most common types of scams, they employ various methods in an attempt to scam you out of your money.
Most of the time they will want remote access to your computer, from there they will try to convince you that your computer has issues and that you need to purchase a support plan from them, and the price will vary based on how rich the scammer thinks you are.

Scam Methods

Scammers may use fake popups which look like the system is showing warnings to the user, they may lock the browser and force it into fullscreen to prevent the user from navigating away from the fake popup page. Some popups will come with sound effects, such as buzzing, beeping, or a voice telling you that your machine is infected and that you must call a number for support.
If you ever stumble on a page like this, it is 100% a scam. No legitimate service would lock your browser and force you to call a number for support.

Scammers may also cold call you, and if you pickup they could tell you that your network is sending errors and warnings to their secure server, in an attempt to make you panic and think you've been hacked. No legitimate organisation operates this way, and it is easy to check if there are really any issues with your computer.
My recommendation is to use Malwarebytes, along with a good antivirus program to supplement it.

Scammers also love to spam forums and blogs with their fake support numbers, if you go to Google and type "company/product support" and use the last 24 hours option,
it will most likely show you spam posts from scammers. Quora and other major forum sites are a prime source of scam profiles.

Often, a scammer will tell you your network or IP address is infected, and they might show you the event viewer logs, where it's perfectly normal to see warnings and errors.
They may also do a fake "scan" with command prompt, which is the black box on your screen in Windows.

How can I keep myself safe against this scam?

Never allow remote access to your computer if the person has cold called you or you got the number from a message on your computer. Always do your research, Google the number or site used and see if there are any complaints online, and if not, feel free to make a post on sharing your experience.
Scammers like to create fake companies and websites to fool you, but they are very simple, ugly, and easy to spot. If in doubt, ask the scambait community for their opinions.