Beware of Tech Support Scammers!
Tech support scams are an industry-wide issue where scammers use scare tactics to trick users into paying for unnecessary technical support services that supposedly fix contrived device, platform, or software problems.
Anyone who feels they were the victim of this or any other online scam should report the incident immediately using the IC3 website at www.ic3.gov. More information about government impersonation schemes and other online fraud schemes can be found at https://www.fbi.gov/scams-and-safety/common-fraud-schemes.
How tech support scams work
- Scammers may call you directly on your phone and pretend to be representatives of Computer Solutions East. They might even spoof the caller ID so that it displays a legitimate support phone number from a trusted company. NOTE: Our ONLY official office number is 914-355-5800. If you are suspicious of the caller, tell him\her that you will hang up and call the office main number to be transferred to them.
- They can then ask you to install applications that give them remote access to your device. Using remote access, these experienced scammers can misrepresent normal system output as signs of problems.
- Scammers might also initiate contact by displaying fake error messages on websites you visit, displaying support numbers, and enticing you to call. NOTE: our company domain is www.ComputerSolutionsEast.com. They can also put your browser on full screen and display pop-up messages that won’t go away, essentially locking your browser. These fake error messages aim to trick you into calling an indicated technical support hotline. Note that Microsoft error and warning messages never include phone numbers.
- When you engage with the scammers, they can offer fake solutions for your “problems” and ask for payment in the form of a one-time fee or subscription to a purported support service.
How to protect against tech support scams
Share and implement the general tips on how to prevent malware infection.
It is also important to keep the following in mind:
- Computer Solutions East does not send unsolicited email messages or make unsolicited phone calls to request personal or financial information, or to fix your computer.
- Computer Solutions East does not work with consumers. Only Business to Business.
- Any communication with Computer Solutions East’s Support team has to be initiated by you.
- Don’t call the number in the pop-ups. Computer Solutions East’s error and warning messages never include a phone number. We do not have a 1-800 number. Our ONLY office number is 914-355-5800. If you are suspicious of the caller, tell him\her that you will hang up and call the office main number to be transferred to them.
- Our domain email address is NAME@computersolutionseast.com. Do not interact or reply to any person with a different domain email address.
- Download software only from official vendor websites or the Microsoft Store. Be wary of downloading software from third-party sites, as some of them might have been modified without the author’s knowledge to bundle support scam malware and other threats.
- Use Microsoft Edge when browsing the internet. It blocks known support scam sites using Windows Defender SmartScreen (which is also used by Internet Explorer). Furthermore, Microsoft Edge can stop pop-up dialogue loops used by these sites.
- Enable Microsoft Defender Antivirus in Windows 10. It detects and removes known support scam malware.
What to do if the information has been given to a scammer tech support person
- Uninstall applications that scammers asked to be installed. If access has been granted, consider resetting the device.
- Run a full scan with Microsoft Defender Antivirus to remove any malware. Apply all security updates as soon as they are available.
- Change passwords.
- Call your credit card provider to reverse the charges, if you have already paid.
- Monitor anomalous logon activity. Use Windows Defender Firewall to block traffic to services that you would not normally access.
Reporting tech support scams
- Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as you can. Computer Solutions East will open up a complain with the FBI so they can further investigate the issue.
- You are also required to open up a Complain directly with the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) on your behalf. Please open the complain at https://www.ic3.gov/Home/FileComplain
Although the preventions mentioned above will reduce the chances of your IT and technology being hacked, more protective measures and tools are worth mentioning. You can visit our intelligent security services page to know more in detail.