How To Avoid Tech Support Scams

Posted by Ed Lasher on 24th Jul 2015

We've recently seen a new scam floating around.

The pop-up in the window above reads:

The page at alert [dot] atdpcsupport [dot] com says:
WARNING: Comcast+Cable Customer - your Chrome browser and Your PC may have critical security vulnerabilities. Call [scam phone number] (Toll-FREE) now for IMMEDIATE assistance.

This particular one seems to be targeting Comcast users, but this type of scam can happen to anyone. Let's use this as a teaching moment.

First piece of advice: be cautious of unsolicited tech support! I cannot emphasize this enough. Phone calls from people claiming to be from Microsoft and browser pop-ups claiming to be from anti-virus services are almost always scams. The pop-up in the example above contained a phone number, which can make it look more legitimate, but you need to approach these things with skepticism and question everything. Google that phone number, friend. (Use your smartphone or a different computer.) In this case, it took mere seconds to confirm we had a scammer on our hands.

If you get a pop-up like this, there's a good chance you already have some malware on your system. I asked our technician Matt what he would do if he ran into this scam. Here's what he said:

1. Before anything else, shut down your computer. Do not try to click out of the popup.

2. Start your computer up in safe mode (hold F8 as it restarts).

3. Uninstall any unfamiliar programs, run a virus scan, and remove any browser extensions you don't use or don't recognize. Matt would run MalwarebytesAVG and CCleaner

If you don't have an antivirus program on your PC, there are several good options available for free.

comments powered by Disqus