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Tech Support Scams and Your Devices: What Every Business Should Know

Tech Support Scams and Your Devices: What Every Business Should Know

by Stephanie Faris on Monday, April 04 6:00



Scam artists often prey on consumers, luring them into providing personal information like passwords or account numbers. Once they have the information, fraudsters can then commit identity fraud or log into sensitive accounts, stealing a victim s money or signing up for accounts on their behalf. As more professionals use the same devices for both business and personal purposes, company networks face increasing risk. In just a matter of minutes, an employee can let a criminal in, resulting in serious problems that can paralyze your network or put your customer data at risk.

In recent years, technical support scams have become a growing problem. Criminals trick victims into believing a PC has an issue that needs to be addressed, tricking them into either giving them entry into their devices or handing over payment information. Here are a few things businesses should know to educate their own users.

Websites Disguised as Malware

One of the most popular type of tech support scam involves setting up a website that tricks visitors into believing their PCs have been infected. The message that pops up instructs the users to purchase software to fix the problem. They may even set up a fake page that looks like popular malware removal tools, but halfway through the installation, users are prompted to call a 1-800 number for tech support.

Fake Landing Pages

Phishing attempts seem to be growing more sophisticated as consumers get savvier at spotting them. A new scam displays a landing page that looks like a legitimate email message from the user s Internet service provider. It may even show the correct IP address for the device the person is using. Instead of asking for a username and password, as these phishing attempts traditionally have done, users may be asked to call a toll-free number, at which point a representative claiming to be from Virus Eraser takes over.

Phone Calls

In recent years, one of the biggest fraud types to emerge is one where consumers receive a phone call from someone claiming to be from a trusted company. The call seems so legitimate, consumers can easily be tricked into giving the person access to their computers, where the criminal may adjust settings to open the PC up to criminal activity. They ve also been known to ask for payment information, either to perform support services or sign the consumer up for some sort of maintenance program that doesn t exist.

It s important to note that this type of criminal activity impacts your business whether your employees fall prey to it on their work or personal devices, since they may access work email on their home computers, smartphones, and tablets. If your employee hands over passwords or grants access, any information in those email accounts could be compromised, as well as information the employee may have downloaded onto the device itself.

The best course of action for any business is to regularly educate employees on phishing scams, instructing them never to give out payment information or grant access to anyone who isn t located within the company. It is possible to block employees from accessing work email on unapproved devices, but this can become an inconvenience for companies that sometimes need employees to login from home. Education remains the best way to prevent infection and keep your business s networks safe.

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