Tech Support is quite common everywhere these days and so is Tech Support scamming. However, such scamming with the help of fraud Social Media profiles is a new way of conning people.
In case you aren’t aware how tech support scammers operate, they basically convince their victims to download and install software that are malicious. The end-goal is to get users to share their information and/or earn money through their fraudulent services.
Before using Social Media to trick people, these scammers used other convincing techniques like prompting users to take action against severe system threats, giving out fake warnings and making audacious claims.
"In the last few months of 2018 and continuing into 2019, there has been a large uptick in fake warning pop-ups that have been attempting to fool users into thinking that their machines are riddled with malware, and that they’d need to click on the fake pop-up for a complete computer scan.", explained Trend Micro team in a blog post. Adding further, "We noticed this scam using official logos and branding of legitimate security companies to trick victims."But why do people fall for such scams? The answer to this question is that these scammers are “The Best” at what they do. They leverage combination of human psychology and sense of urgency and then write tricky descriptions (keywords that will certainly catch the attention of users). They also pretend to be affiliated with renowned companies like Apple, Dell, Facebook, and Microsoft etc. Then with the help of their fake (but legitimate looking) websites, they con people with various phishing techniques and have most recently started doing their operations through SOCIAL MEDIA!
Operating through Social Media has helped these scammers in a great way, as the users were slowly becoming suspicious of their other techniques.
The new trend is that these scammers create social media profiles/pages. Everything is done in a professional manner that makes the end product look like a real deal. In most cased they use official logos of the company which they are affiliating themselves with.
Once these profiles are properly set up (with traffic attracting keywords and other legitimate looking features), users start reaching out to them for tech support, who are in turn given a link to visit or a toll-free number to call. Following this step, the users will be asked to download virus-infected software and even pay for the support in advance.
Even well-established antivirus companies aren’t safe from this scam. It is believed that a single scammer (or a group) is responsible for managing multiple such profiles. Trend Micro researchers reported that one toll-free number (example, “1-888-267-6495”) is found across multiple such fraud websites/social media profiles. Thus, users are advised to search and read more about it to save themselves from being scammed.
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