As of September 18th, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York announced the arrests of two criminals who had scammed individuals out of more than $10 million using tech-support scams and fraud! Keep reading to learn more about these scams.
Police arrested Romana Levyna and Ariful Haque, charging both with one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Along with the scammer bust in India back in October 2018, it seems like authorities are being more vigilant about apprehending tech scammers, but even then, you can never be too careful.
Scammers use fake pop-ups and phone calls to get access to your funds
The scammers were able to reach individuals through computer pop-ups and fake phone calls, leading individuals to believe that their computers were loaded with malware – through these tactics, they were able to cheat people out of thousands of dollars under the guise of phony computer repair.
The pop-ups involved urgent messages which required immediate attention – warnings of “complete data loss” and “serious system damage” were quite common, with the only solution being to call the tech support number provided in the pop-up.
An Official Logo May Not Be As Legitimate As You’d Think
Often times, these pop-ups were disguised under official corporate logos: Microsoft, Apple, Google, Dell, and HP, are all examples of the types of companies the scammers pretend to be! Be wary, these companies will never give you a call out of the blue.
How To Protect Yourself Against Potential Scams
In the end, the duo scammed nearly 7500 victims, most of whom were elderly. Essentially, the scammers took advantage of people who lacked the technological know-how and were inevitably able to exploit the trust of people who were simply trying to protect their computer!
Though the two responsible for these scams have since been apprehended, it’s always in your best interest to be up-to-date regarding the different tactics that scammers have been using recently – here are some tips to keep yourself protected!
Don’t Trust Random Calls
Official companies will never call you regarding an issue with your computer. Even if the caller ID seems legitimate, there are always ways to fabricate your caller ID. If you receive a call like this, simply hang up.
Ignore The Pop-Up Messages
Even if the pop-up seems pretty menacing, the best option is to simply ignore it. Sometimes your own security software may give you a pop-up, but legitimate software will never ask you to call them to solve the problem.
If you are concerned with your computer, you can always contact your security company by looking up their number online!
If you get one of these pop ups you can end it via the “Task Manager” or simply restart your computer.
Don’t Provide Any Personal Information Or Allow Access To Your Computer
Passwords, usernames, credit card numbers and access to your computer- keep all of this to yourself. Scammers can use this to get access to your accounts and can pose a threat to your safety!
Scammers will also try to gain remote access to your computer, which will ultimately open the door for malware and more scams.
Contact Your Credit Card Company
If you’ve already provided a scammer with your credit card information, you should immediately contact your provider and ask to reverse any charges. Keep track of your bank statements for any suspicious charges, the scams take many unassuming disguises.
Keep Up-To-Date With Your Security
By downloading a legitimate security software for your computer, you can add an extra layer of protection to you and your computer. That way, in the case that a threat is downloaded on your computer, your security software will recognize it and notify you. McAfee is a great virus protection program – you’ll be able to get a pretty sweet deal because you’re a FixMeStick customer!
FixMeTip: run FixMeStick once a month to deep clean your computer and check for any hidden viruses and malware.