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Ask The Expert - March 2019

by Stacy Wise | Mar 29, 2019

Tech Support Scams

How can I avoid tech support scams?


Tech support scammers use scare tactics to trick you into paying for unnecessary technical support services you don't need or to fix a problem that doesn't exist. You can avoid these scams with a few tips and a little common sense.

Learn to spot phishing emails
Watch out for emails that are marked “Urgent” or say that your account may be closed if you do not respond – those are typical strategies to try to get information. Watch out for emails that provide only a general greeting and do not identify you by name. Be careful of emails that have spelling or typing errors.

Hang up the phone
Microsoft will never make unsolicited phone calls to request personal or financial information, or to provide technical support to fix your computer. Any communication must be initiated by you.

Ignore the pop-ups
Tech support scammers may try to lure you with a pop-up window that appears on your computer screen. It might look like an error message from your operating system or antivirus software, and it might use logos from trusted companies or websites. The message in the window warns of a security issue on your computer and tells you to call a phone number to get help. Don't do it. If you want to call a company for help, find that company's support number elsewhere.


When all else fails, don't panic. Scammers use fear and a sense of urgency to trick you into making mistakes. If something weird or scary happens, either on the phone or your computer, just hang up (or shut down). Then you can regroup and decide how to proceed.


For more information

How to Spot, Avoid, and Report Tech Support Scams
Protect Yourself From Tech Support Scams

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