Posted by: Heather Shy on September 21, 2016 at 2:11 pm
One of our fellow managed service providers had a case recently where a client received a call from “IT support” – except it was a scammer trying to get access to their confidential data. We’ve heard this story many times. This IT scam affects thousands of people every year.
Here’s generally how it works:
- Scammer initiates the call.
- Scammer identifies self as from “IT support” or “tech support.” We’ve also heard of scammers saying they are from Microsoft or “Windows,” but they rarely use a company name otherwise.
- Scammer claims that your computer is infected with a virus.
- Scammer will ask you to download or run a remote access program to give them access to your computer.
- Scammer will appear to check on your system. (One MSP describes this process as “benign but scary-looking”.)
- Surprise! Scammer has “found” several/dozens/hundreds of viruses!
- Scammer asks for your credit card info to “clean up the machine.”
If you fall for this IT scam, you have given a scammer your credit card info and – worse – remote access to your computer. They can now install whatever they want, including location and keystroke trackers. They basically have access to any site or any network that you use.
So, how do you know if a call is an IT scam or really from TAZ Networks?
- We will always identify ourselves as from TAZ Networks when we initiate a case.
- If in doubt, ask what company the person is calling from. Again, we will always say “TAZ” or “TAZ Networks.”
- Still not sure? Hang up and call our office directly.
- Techs who come to your office will be dressed neatly in a collared shirt with logo and “business casual” pants. (An exception might be when visiting an industrial site that’s a bit “gritty” – but again, you can verify by calling our office staff.)
- TAZ Networks techs will never ask for a credit card over the phone. We accept credit cards, but payment is set up ahead of time by our bookkeeper.
A good general rule is to never give out sensitive information on a call that you did not initiate. If someone calls your office claiming to be from “tech support,” make sure you’re dealing with a genuine TAZ Networks technician before giving them access to your computer.