Recently, the cybersecurity world was shocked by the exposure of a tech support scam that allegedly conned elderly folks out of over $1.3 million dollars.
The 3 hackers, who were charged with running the scam, targeted older populations by using threatening pop-ups and pretending to be the technical support staff at large computer companies. Believe it or not, these types of scams have cheated senior citizens out of approximately $2.9 billion annually!
Keep reading to learn how to tell if you’re speaking with FixMeStick or a tech support scam.
Here at FixMeStick headquarters, we run FixMeStick scans regularly, keep our McAfee antivirus programs updated, and follow the advice in this article to stay safe from cyber threats like these. When you call us, we do our best to treat every customer like our own family. However, not all customer support is this genuine.
First off, what does FixMeStick support look like?
- We don’t make you pay. As long as you’re a FixMeStick customer, we’re here to help you for free.
- We don’t outsource our tech support. When you call us, you’re calling our head office. We have no authorized third party support services.
- We don’t hide our refund policy or knowledge base. We try to be as honest and transparent as possible.
- We do offer customer support from 10 am to 6 pm ET, 6 days a week!
6 Signs You May Be Speaking To A Tech Support Scam:
1. Receiving an outbound call. If you receive a call from someone saying that you have an issue with your computer, take caution! How could they possibly know you have a malware issue, or even a computer? Hang up and block/reject the number.
2. Getting warning pop-ups with a number to call. Do not call the number. We know these messages can be scary, but remember to instantly close out of the pop-up without clicking on any links displayed. Learn the difference between real and fake pop-ups here.
3. Clicking on an ad by mistake. If you contact us through an ad chances are you’re not speaking with genuine FixMeStick support. Remember – we do not outsource our support. Always double check the website – it should only ever be www.FixMeStick.com.
4. Someone claiming to be a reputable company like Microsoft or Apple. These are multi-billion dollar companies – they will not be contacting you directly. You can contact Microsoft support by phone through these numbers only, or use their lengthy knowledge base to address specific issues. And here is Apple’s official support page.
5. Asking for access to your computer or requiring you to download “software”. Usually, they’re making you install malware. Only allow remote access to your computer if:
- You have contacted the company directly
- The individuals connecting to your device have given you detailed account information that verifies they are actual representatives from the company
- The company’s support and contact information was from their legitimate website
6. Offering “free” security services out of the blue. These “free” services are usually malware themselves or programs to make it look like you have malware. After getting access to your computer through these ‘free’ services, or getting your account information, they will then charge you without authorization or hold your computer hostage until you pay a large ransom.
What should you do if you think you were a victim of a tech support scam?
- If you believe you may have given remote access to an unknown entity, make sure to instantly shut down your computer.
- Run a FixMeStick scan. This is the first step to getting your computer clean and free of any malware installed by a scammer.
- Install and/or update your antivirus protection. Antivirus programs, like McAfee Total Protection, play a key role as a 24/7 barrier against incoming malware threats. Keeping these programs up-to-date means that they have a better chance blocking viruses! Save on McAfee Total Protection here.
And don’t forget, always contact FixMeStick support through our “Contact Us“ page on our website. If you’re ever unsure, ask us – we’re happy to help! Have any questions about tech support scams or any other scams? Leave them in the comments below.