Beware of Tech Support Scams for Gmail, Netflix, AOL, Facebook, Yahoo etc
By making use of online advertising platforms such as Google Adwords, Facebook Advertising and Yahoo Ads, fake technical support services have been scamming people out of their money for many years, until last year on 14 May 2014 when the advertising giants decided to ban tech support websites from advertising on their platform.
At least 2400 fake tech support sites were taken down after the concerned advertising platforms were inundated with customer complaints. Investigations revealed that the scammers posed as support staff for legitimate companies like Netflix, Facebook, Google and AOL. The scammer will put a paid advertisement on the internet where potential customers can find the advert by browsing the sponsored search engine results or alternatively the potential victim will come across a display ad like the one you see on Facebook. An example is shown below:
Users who are looking for support or seeking to solve issues with their online account will call the fake tech support company for help. As you can see above, the scammer gives a toll-free phone number for instant chat on the Ad offering “instant online solutions” by “certified technicians” who are there 24/7 all year long to “secure your data in a safe medium”.
The wording gives you the feeling that you are working with professionals who can solve your account issues instantly. When you call the number, the “representative” will offer you a solution to fix your problem. He or she may tell you to pay with your credit card or they can convince you to download a file or install some software immediately on your computer.
If you send money, they will pretend to solve the problem and you will not hear from them again. If you download the file onto your computer or install the software, then you have just been infected with some malware that will steal your data and send it to the scammer for criminal purposes.
The aim of the scammers is to get as much information as they can from the victim they are talking to. They will try to extract sensitive details like your password, try to charge your credit card online, sell you a product or make you install some software that will capture your computer keystrokes.
Scammers may also cold-call you instead of putting Ads on the internet .Read This >>> So Google Called You?
Besides using Ads and cold-calling, scammers may send you a fake Email that seeks to address your account issues. For example, there have been reports of Gmail users receiving fake emails purporting to be from Netflix Technical Support. The email, complete with a Netflix logo informs you that your account has been suspended and you are required to regain access by calling a specific number that is given in the message.
Even worse, the scammer may send a phishing email that will download a malicious file on your computer when you click the link.To get an insight into tech support scams, read the Malwarebytes blog