It’s a fact: tech support scams impact 3.3 million people and cost $1.5 billion each year. What should you do if you are a victim? Not sure? Well, if someone called you claiming to be from tech support or says they detected a virus on your computer and need access, it was likely a scam.
Legitimate tech companies don’t work that way. They would have remote access to your computer and wouldn’t need any information from you. When you give such a caller access, you expose your PC security. It’s important to be proactive.
The steps you should take with tech scammers are similar to those taken when you’ve been the victim of identity theft.
- Shut down and disconnect your computer from the Internet: This will put a stop to any external meddling, and it will automatically revoke remote access once you restart.
- In a perfect world, you would have full system backup that would allow you to restore your computer to its previous state. If you haven’t backed it up, you should.
- Don’t have a backup? Run the Windows “System Restore” feature at com.
- Make sure your Internet security software is up to date. Then run a complete virus scan to remove any malware that may still be on there.
- Check your web browser’s settings for newly-installed extensions or add-ons that you didn’t put on there or that you just don’t recognize. Delete them.
- Not sure your computer is clean? Have it checked by a professional. They can run full diagnostics on it and make any necessary fixes.
- Next, change all of your passwords – on every account you access on your computer. Yes, it’s a pain, but it’s absolutely necessary to avoid a future problem.
- Tell your bank and credit card companies about the breach. Monitor all statements online every single day going forward, and be on the lookout for suspicious items.
- Place a freeze on credit applications through the three main credit monitoring agencies — Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. It will cost you a few bucks but it’s well worth it. Each bureau will have its own “credit lock” service.
- File a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Whether you believe you have been a victim of a tech support scam or not, you should always educate yourself about tech support scams and how you can avoid them.
Contact Monmouth Computer Associates
For more tips on how to avoid tech scams, or for help getting you out of one, contact us Monday through Friday at 732-759-9375.