People looking for support for their computer problems may well fall into the hands of scammers. In recent weeks, Fraud Help Desk has received multiple reports from people who had jumped from the frying pan into the fire after they were scammed by a fake customer service.
The victims had searched the web for service desks from several tech companies, including Dell computers, Apple, Yahoo, Canon or Gmail. They ended up being conned by desks posing as ‘Dutch customer services’ and using the same telephone number, starting with +31 233.
Whatever problem or questions these victims had, they were told they could all be solved or addressed by giving the tech support service access to their computer. The tactics applied by these criminals is identical to the ones used by crooks known as Microsoft phone scammers.
These fake tech support staff have defrauded unsuspecting computer users for many years by convincing them that something is wrong with their PCs. They promise to resolve the problem once they’re given remote access to the machine. In most cases, these scammers talk people into installing TeamViewer or other remote support software on their computer, so that they might then take control.
Once ‘inside’ your computer, these scammers give themselves access to your bank account. Or they let you make a small payment for ‘services rendered’. Meanwhile, in the background, the scammers quickly put a few zeros behind the amount they’ve told you to transfer. This way, you may end up paying €2000 euros, instead of the €20 you had bargained for.
In addition, you may have your device infected by malicious software and find that you’re files are locked. Only by paying a ransom will you be able to regain access to your photos and other files.
Never give access to your computer to someone you don’t know. Always make sure to back up your important files, just in case something goes wrong.
What to do if you have given someone access to your computer?
- Put your infected computer offline;
- Change all your passwords, preferably on another computer. Don’t forget the login information for your bank, email address or computer;
- Scan your computer with a reliable virus scanner;
- Report to Fraud Help Desk;
- Contact an ICT specialist.