Remote computer access is a high-tech way to fix software problems from the convenience of your own home. This connection allows you to give permission for a tech provider to access your computer so they can do the necessary repairs and maintenance.
But scammers are using this method to collect personal information by posing as tech support providers. Here are a few things you need to know about how this scam works and what you can do to protect yourself and your family.
How a Remote Computer Access Scam Works
A scammer reaches out under the guise of being on staff at a computer company or telecommunications provider. They will lead the victim to believe that a computer has a virus or is sending error messages, affecting the computer’s performance. Another common approach is to tell the person that their broadband connection has been hacked.
Once this fictitious problem has been established, the scammer asks for remote access to the computer to find and fix the issue. Sometimes, the scammer is asking for payment for a “fix.” Other times, the scammer tries to collect your personal information, such as your credit card or bank account numbers.
Watch for These Warning Signs
How do you know if you are talking to a real tech support provider or a scammer trying to get money from you? Watch for these warning signs that indicate the risk of a scam:
- The person initiates contact unexpectedly (you did not reach out to any company for tech support)
- An unknown caller is requesting remote access to your computer
- You are asked to pay a service fee or buy software for the computer to be fixed
- The caller is requesting credit card information or bank account numbers
- If you don’t comply with the caller’s requests, they often become pushier and maybe abusive in their language
Always use extreme caution if someone asks to access your computer remotely – especially when it’s an unsolicited caller. Also, you should never share your personal details over the phone, including online accounts or banking information. Finally, if you are making a call for tech support, ensure that the phone number you call comes from a trusted source.
Senior Safe and Sound: Helping Families Avoid Common Scams
At Senior Safe and Sound, we offer ongoing support to help families and individuals avoid common scams and elder abuse issues. If you need help or are looking for more information, contact us by email at info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal or medical advice.