Navigating Tech Support Scam Popups: A non-technical person’s Guide
In our fast-paced digital world, reliable and trustworthy tech support is more critical than ever. However, the online landscape is teeming with deceptive practices, including the notorious “tech support scam popup.” This post delves into this menace, shedding light on its origins, the culprits behind it, and strategies to deal with and prevent these deceptive popups.
- What is a Tech Support Scam Popup?
A tech support scam popup is a deceptive message that mimics legitimate alerts from tech companies, claiming your device is compromised and urging immediate action. They often provide a phone number, instructing you to call for assistance. However, these numbers typically connect you to fraudsters.
These popups can appear when reading an article on almost any site, regardless of their reputation, as these popups can be injected into ads that can be found on even the most reputable websites.
- Who Uses These Tech Support Popups?Tech support scam popups are the work of cybercriminals and unethical entities. These include:- Scammers who set up the infrastructure and engage with victims directly.
- Call centers with trained operators convincing victims to pay for unnecessary services.
- Malware developers creating malicious software generating deceptive popups.
- Should You Call the Number on the Tech Support Scam Popup?
No, it’s strongly advised not to. Legitimate companies don’t use popups for support. Calling these numbers can result in financial losses and jeopardize your privacy and security. Some of these scammers will take credit cards for fictitious “support”, while others will attempt to convince you that you need to pay them in gift cards, or even crypto currency, which is next to impossible to charge back. Regardless of the scammer’s sophistication, be assured that any phone number that appears on a popup will connect you with someone who does NOT have your best interests at heart.
- How Do You Remove the Tech Support Scam Popup?
Dealing with a tech support scam popup can be unsettling. To eliminate it:
- Close the popup using the “X” or keyboard shortcuts (Alt-F4) to close the window.
- Use the Task Manager if needed. Shift + Ctrl + Esc or Ctrl + Alt + Delete and select Task Manager.
- Once Task Manager is open, follow these steps:
- In the Task Manager window, locate your web browser (e.g., Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Microsoft Edge) under the “Processes” tab.
- Select your browser and click the “End Task” button in the bottom right corner.
- Confirm your action in the prompt that appears.
- Clear your browser’s cache and history.
- Keep your software updated and run a system scan.
5. How Do You Prevent More Tech Support Scam Popups?
Prevention is key:
- Install reliable antimalware software. These are more sophisticated than a simple antivirus these days.
- Keep your software updated.
- Both operating system and other software should be kept up to date.
- Enable popup blockers in your browser.
- Choose a reputable ad-blocking plugin or extension compatible with your web browser. Some popular options include AdBlock Plus, uBlock Origin, and AdGuard.
- Be cautious with downloads from trusted sources.
Malicious software often masquerades as a program to accomplish a task that might cost you money, such as editing PDF documents, or photo retouching.
- Stay educated; both yourself and others about recognizing and responding to these threats.
Tech support scam popups pose an ever present and seemingly more and more commonthreat in the digital world. To safeguard your computer, your bank account and your sanity, understand these popups, stay vigilant, and take a few proactive cybersecurity measures to minimize your exposure to these threats.
Legitimate tech companies won’t demand unsolicited calls or payments through popups. Keep the phone number of your technology or security software vendor handy and printed out, as you might be able to access a document saved on your computer or phone if a tech support popup or other malicious program hijacks your device.
Together, we can keep our digital spaces safe from malicious act