Many scams involve the guise of tech support.
Technology is a significant part of our lives. <understatement?>
Unfortunately, technology is not always reliable and can easily malfunction. <understatement!>
As a result, many Americans rely on the services of tech support to fix this issues.
According to a recent Kiplinger article titled “Tech Support Fraud Targets Seniors,” scammers can use this reality for their own selfish ends.
Scammers send messages through phone calls, texts, emails, and computer screen pop-ups pretending to be “tech support” for Apple or Microsoft.
The Internet Crime Complaint Center for the FBI reported receiving 12,900 complained from seniors who were victimized and lost a total of $238 million in 2021.
Seniors account for 68 percent of losses and 58 percent of calls reported to the FBI for tech fraud.
According to the FBI Elder Fraud Report, the number of losses increased by 74 percent from 2020 to 2021.
The most reported fraud for senior victims was tech support related.
Unfortunately, scammers believe the majority of seniors have substantial funds for retirement and find them to be less than savvy with technology.
While younger individuals often receive training and information on how to prevent theft and fraud, seniors who are retired are not as likely to have exposure or access to this information.
Seniors should be aware of how scammers will pose as people calling from known tech companies or customer support for cryptocurrency exchanges, financial institutions, banks, or utility companies.
Not having updated security software can also get seniors in trouble with scammers who take advantage of these vulnerabilities.
Thieves utilized scare tactics to trick elderly adults into sending them money to solve non-existent problems.
You should not provide scammers with login information or access to your device.
Scammers may also place ransomware on your computer and demand payment before releasing your technology.
What can people do to protect themselves from tech support scams?
Know what legitimate companies will and will not do.
Legitimate companies will not call to tell you there is a problem with your computer, will not send a pop up to you device requesting a phone call, will not ask for wire transfers, and will not demand a quick decision.
You should keep security, browsers, and operating systems up-to-date.
It is also important to not click on links in emails.
If something looks fishy, it likely is phishy.
Following these steps will help you to avoid becoming the victim of tech support scammers.
Reference: Kiplinger (Aug. 5, 2022) “Tech Support Fraud Targets Seniors”