2 min read

Tech Support Scams Inflicted Nearly $150 Million in Losses in 2020, IC3 Reveals

Alina BÎZGĂ

March 23, 2021

Ad One product to protect all your devices, without slowing them down.
Free 90-day trial
Tech Support Scams Inflicted Nearly $150 Million in Losses in 2020, IC3 Reveals

Despite newly created opportunities for fraudsters to rip-off unsuspecting citizens during the ongoing pandemic, tech support scams inflicted nearly $150 million in reported losses in 2020.

According to the 2020 Internet Crime Report, the FBI”s Internet Crime Center received 15,421 fraudulent tech support complaints from victims in 60 countries – a 171% increase from 2019.

“Criminals may pose as support or service representatives offering to resolve such issues as a compromised email or bank account, a virus on a computer, or a software license renewal,” the bureau explained. “Recent complaints involve criminals posing as customer support for financial institutions, utility companies, or virtual currency exchanges.”

These scammers use various tactics to trick people. They may call, use pop-up warnings, or set up fake websites and ads, hoping that you”ll give them a call or enter a phony chatroom. 

No matter what tech support services they pitch you, their main goal is to steal your money. While individuals in any age category may fall for these scams, 66 percent of victims are over 60 years of age, the report shows.

How to spot and defend against technical support scams

Scammers may contact potential victims via phone calls, emails and instant messages on social media platforms. Here”s what you need to do if you or a family member are contacted by individuals claiming to be tech support agents: 

  • If you receive an unsolicited call from tech support providers offering assistance for your computer or software, hang up immediately
  • Never give remote access to your device to individuals who call you and claim that your computer is infected with malware
  • Don”t click on pop-up virus alerts that appear in your window, and never call the numbers advertised
  • Don”t provide financial or personally identifiable information, and never access links that ask you to enter your credit card number to pay for the “support” agent”s assistance
  • Install a security solution on your device that offers real-time protection and web-filtering to make sure you don”t land on fraudulent webpages
  • Research the company before paying for any services
  • If you suspect you”ve fallen victim to a tech support scam, contact your local authorities and credit card company immediately

tags


Author



Right now

Top posts

Abode IoT Security Camera Vulnerabilities Would Let Attackers Insert Images, Bitdefender Finds

Abode IoT Security Camera Vulnerabilities Would Let Attackers Insert Images, Bitdefender Finds

December 21, 2021

2 min read
Online Shoppers Beware, Mobile Scams Are on the Rise

Online Shoppers Beware, Mobile Scams Are on the Rise

December 17, 2021

2 min read
The Holiday Guide to Tech Support: Fixing the Family Computer

The Holiday Guide to Tech Support: Fixing the Family Computer

November 24, 2021

2 min read
Bitdefender Celebrates 20 Years of Cybersecurity Leadership

Bitdefender Celebrates 20 Years of Cybersecurity Leadership

November 04, 2021

3 min read
Bitdefender Study Reveals How Consumers Like (and Dislike) Managing Passwords

Bitdefender Study Reveals How Consumers Like (and Dislike) Managing Passwords

October 26, 2021

3 min read
What are drive-by download attacks and how do you prevent them?

What are drive-by download attacks and how do you prevent them?

October 25, 2021

2 min read

FOLLOW US ON

SOCIAL MEDIA


You might also like

Malware Posing as Ransomware Responsible for Ukraine Cyberattack Malware Posing as Ransomware Responsible for Ukraine Cyberattack
Silviu STAHIE

January 17, 2022

2 min read
Russian Authorities Cuff Last Remaining REvil Suspects Russian Authorities Cuff Last Remaining REvil Suspects
Filip TRUȚĂ

January 17, 2022

2 min read
Android 12 protects phones from Stingray attacks, lets users disable 2G Android 12 protects phones from Stingray attacks, lets users disable 2G
Radu CRAHMALIUC

January 14, 2022

1 min read