Fake tech support
Fake tech support is a computer crime and scam that deceives users into thinking they're dealing with a legitimate computer company. The representative pretending to work for the company may ask to remotely connect to a person's computer and pretend to run scans on their computer. While remotely connected, a person could steal that person's information or install backdoors, spyware, ransomware, or other malware on that computer.
These services often ask for money or try to trick the victim into signing up for additional services or products. For example, an agent may tell the victim that they offer a support plan to help protect their computer for a small monthly fee. This plan could also include a fake product such as a fake antivirus that pretends it is protecting the user's computer from viruses or other threats.
How do people find fake support numbers?
The most common way someone finds a fake support phone number is doing a Google search for a company's phone number. For example, someone may Google "Norton phone number" and not realize the first few results are ads that could advertise a fake support company. When searching on the Internet, ensure the results you're using are not advertisements.
Many sites on the Internet (including Computer Hope) rely on advertising to help pay the bills. Advertisements on a web page are not a sign of endorsement and are not affiliated with the website. When you click an ad, you're visiting a company that paid to be shown on the web page.
Computer Hope has close to a thousand computer-related phone numbers and other contact information that we've researched to help make sure you avoid fake support.
Who is affected by fake support?
Because fake support is a form of social engineering, anyone could be tricked by fake support. In other words, a Mac computer might seem safe, but you could still be tricked into thinking your computer is infected or that you need to pay to help keep your computer safe. Remember this scam is tricking you and not the computer.
How can I make sure I'm dealing with real support?
When trying to find any company's phone number, look for that number in documentation or on the company's website.
Companies can go out of business or may change their phone numbers. Make sure you're using information that is kept up-to-date, or rely on a company like Computer Hope that maintains an up-to-date list of contact information.