Hang Up On Phony Tech Support Calls
Cybercriminals have taken to the phones in a creative and devious new method of spreading malware and stealing personal information.
Researchers are the security firm Sophos have recently noticed the emergence of fake technical support centers. The setup, explained Sophos, works like this: The hacker calls your home, offering free support for Windows or Microsoft or your Internet service provider.
Believing the phone call to be from a legitimate source, users are directed to open folders on their computers they have never seen before, folders that contain a never-ending list of dangerous-sounding errors of all sorts.
In duping the unsuspecting customers into believing they are in actual danger, the hacker gains remote access to the system, which can then be exploited in any number of ways of the criminal's choosing.
Another example of a scareware tactic, this phony phone support goes above and beyond the typical scam by scaring the customers into essentially granting full access to the hacker under the guise that they need help.
Sophos urges people to be extremely wary of unsolicited calls offering any computer assistance. Your best defense is to end the call as soon as you can. You have nothing to lose. You didn't ask for help, and you don't have to accept it.
People should treat IT support calls as if the person just knocked uninvited on your door and invited himself into your house 'for your safety.'"