Everyday, people of all ages are connected via smartphones, tablets, and computers. While technology is a great resource, it can be frustrating when problems arise. Tech support is often required to resolve digital issues. Yet, for seniors, getting tech support can often turn perilous.
Scammers know that families rely on tech support. They have embraced this platform in order to access personal information. It can be confusing, especially for seniors, to recognize the scam on its face. Perhaps they receive an email, phone call, or a pop-up message indicating a problem with their computer. Scammers are frequently behind these ruses.
Tech Support Scams: How They Work
Each scam is unique, but they share common themes. First, the scammer introduces himself as a representative from a respected tech company, such as Microsoft. Then, they inform you about problems on your computer. They might even ask you to run a scan or open specific files. Or, the scam might focus on selling unnecessary computer software.
Here are common tech support scams to avoid:
- Remote Access: The scammer will ask you to give them remote access to the computer. As soon as this permission is granted, it allows them to access all information on the computer and the connected network.
- Software Purchase: The person might try to get you to enroll in a maintenance program or unnecessary software service. They are trying to sell you worthless services and/or gain access to your financial information.
- Credit Card Information: They want to know your credit card information to bill you for services that you don’t need. Or, you might see fraudulent charges come through for services you didn’t receive.
- Malware: When a scammer is able to access your device, they often try to install malware that allows them to collect sensitive information, such as usernames and passwords.
- Website Link: Malware or stealing personal information often happens by directing you to visit a specific website where you are asked to enter personal details.
Protect Your Family Members
Educate loved ones about tech support scams. If someone calls telling you that there is a computer issue, always hang up. Ignore pop-up messages or emails about tech support. If you think there is a security issue, contact the security software company directly.
At Senior Safe and Sound, we’re committed to keeping your family and older adults safe from common scams. If you have questions or need information, contact us at info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or call 858-480-7551.
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.