A technical support scam refers to telephone fraud that claims to be a legitimate technical support service. It can either begin with a cold call, usually claiming to be associated with a legitimate-sounding third-party, with a name like "Microsoft" or "Windows Technical Support" or it could begin with an unsuspecting user searching for commercial technical support via a popular search engine such as Bing or Google. Recently, such a scam can be initiated by pop-up windows on websites instructing the potential victim to call a number to fix fictitious 'infections'. Remote desktop software is used to connect to the victim's computer, and the scammer then uses a variety of confidence tricks that employ various Windows components and utilities (such as the Event Viewer), third-party utilities (such as rogue security software), and reference sites like Wikipedia or summaries written by security companies to make the victim believe that the computer has issues that need to be fixed, before proceeding for the victim to pay for "support". These scams usually target users, such as senior citizens, who are unfamiliar with the tools used in the process, especially when initiated by cold calls.
In English-speaking countries such as the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, such cold call scams have occurred as early as 2008 and primarily originate from call centres in India.
Help desk scams are on the rise and this type of scam is becoming increasingly common and a few weeks back another one of our clients was tricked into giving up control of his computer for an hour then billed for a service he didn't need ... ripped off for about $750 AU by being talked into signing a year long support contract for a fault the company had tricked him into installing on his machine this was a web-based scam and started with a piece of malware being installed without his permission.
His machine is currently supported and maintained by our company and had nothing wrong with it a few weeks ago, that is had, until he visited a site that placed a piece of malware on it so the support guy following up had something to remove.
Not all these scams are on the web sometimes its an unexpected call. The way this scam works, the caller identifies as belonging to a company who has detected some hacking attempt by some means that the user finds plausible and then proceeds to offer assistance.
These guys are good at what they do so it all sounds correct and above board. However, it preys on the users inexperience and willingness to receive help to resolve the fictitious problem.
Treat all unsolicited calls or emails as scams until proven otherwise take the time to do a check or two, and the investigation may just be to call or message me here...
Anyone who calls you, first get their company name and offer to call them back if they offer a number tell them no thanks you will look it up, this ends most scams but a few will say they cannot be called as soon as you hear this say thank you and goodbye then hang-up.
All real help desks take calls that is what we do all day long and any person on a tech support help desk can assist with the types of issues these guys "say you have" and you don't need some specialist and he is not the only guy who can fix it ...
Things that NEVER EVER happen in our business:
Microsoft: NEVER call YOU, ever ever ever I cannot stress this enough. They do not know who you are despite you buying stuff from them and would never call you even if they did they have resellers like us to deal with customers.
Telstra: 99.9% of all calls claiming to be from Telstra are not in 15 years of business managing multiple Telstra accounts for many customers Telstra are way too busy to call you to help you out unless you are paying them $2500/month and then you get an account rep.
Never give any personal information to anyone who called you do not even identify yourself.
When I take a call from an unidentified or hidden number I ALWAY answer the phone HELLO nothing more and I am always 2 seconds from hanging up until the other party identifies themselves.
If in doubt call the help desk