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How to Identify and Protect Yourself from Tech Support Scams
"Welcome to ruin a Bank guys day radio podcast with fraud expert skip buyers. This is your guide to fighting fraud and chargebacks. Learn the best front provincial solutions and strategies how to enhance your fraud prevention team and held on prosecute criminals. Now, here's your host skip buyers. One in Bank you for joining Rooney bad guys day radio. Hey, I'm skit Myers of their host today. Thanks for tuning in. Hey, we got a great show lined up today. And as always some great stories about stupid criminals, and today, I wanna talk about tech support scams and those bogus tech support phone calls that all of your probably getting an tell you. I'm sick and tired or getting those calls. I mean, all the time. These people are calling me in telling me, there's something wrong with my computer. I mean, how is that happening? But I'm sure all of you have had some form of another a call just like that or even a phony baloney phishing Email, stating the same thing. So we're talking about some of these tech support scams that are out the right now what's being done about it. And talk about a great case actually that was just recently planned out and the state of North Carolina by the United States Department of Justice. Great case, they're they're really highlights what the government and other large corporations like Microsoft for the fight. These tech support scammers that are internationally base. And targeting us here in the United States. So great information there. But I as always we like to talk about this stupid criminals on guys day here from the New York Post reports credit card fraud suspects nab over at careless. Typo? This is really about minding your Ps the articles states and eagle clerk at a new Neiman. Marcus store in Hudson yard help bus a credit card fraud. Ring by noticing a lower case letter on a bogus car that just didn't look, right. According to law enforcement workers at the west side development sleek new shopping mall were told to be on the lookout for phoney baloney cards. So when the unidentified clerk notice the word, please wasn't capitalized at the beginning of a sentence on the back of Neiman, Marcus card. He raised the alarm sources said, please call toll free one eight eight or six two four seven to five for program assistance was on the back of a card. However, the word please was not capitalized, especially the. Capital of key capitalizing pizza, the bad guys need to go back to school looks like so to other people apparently were recipe, this is after that same clerk notice the same typo on to other phony cards onto other occasions over a week, and then told their manager who then notified the police leading to the arrest of the Colo three people. So to other people arrested at this luxury store chain with fake cars bearing the same exact error while I guess, we're not editing their own counterfeit worker. This Anna sad for them. They should probably learn about grammar and go back to school you bad guys. Shame on you. So anyway, it looks like the suspects were all linked to credit card fraud ring base in flushing Queens, New York or forty two sources the allegedly used the cars to try to by thousands of dollars worth of Chanel and Louis Vuitton handbags in total. The five suspects allegedly tried to swipe more than fifty one thousand dollars in designer. Handbags that is amazing in Cording to the police. These crimes are listed as grand larcenies forty to them. So that's no big surprise there. Fifty one thousand dollars and designer handbags and the bad guys are caught because of very very alert cashier who noticed a typo on the bogus cars away to go Neiman, Marcus and the local forties there in New York way to go. That's awesome. Big job. They're bad. Guys, busted, again, not too smart and time to go probably school. I'm sure jail though. Bill to find some books on spelling in basic grammar. But anyway, glad you guys come back today. And and listen to this podcast. I wanna thank Matt Chris n with fraud, not frog dot com last week interview. Great interview with Matt with the audit. Locked consultancy group where he heads up all kinds of information to help you. Learn more about internal audit controls and cyber security. So that's a great group. They're mad. Thank you so much great interview. And I hope you got out of that. So fill free to hit the podcast knows from last week and hit Matt site for more information. So today, let's get to what the topic is what we wanna talk about today, and that's tech support scans. And I'm just really sick and tired of getting these phone calls from these bad guys trying to lure me in the make me believe there's something wrong with my computer, and these never ending emails, basically, stating the same. Same thing. So was interesting about this is every every podcast that I do we really research a lot of the information. That's actually happening at us and happening to you in the public is see what we can do to raise that awareness to make us better at fighting the bad guys and ruining their day and taking them off their game. So take support scam. So really what the crux of this is really Microsoft is doing a great job cracking down on tech support scammers in lot of these ticks for scammers Ashley running their own. Call centers international call centers on in different places of the world. And so Microsoft, really doing a great job in of course, at all stars with reports that you provide to them about the same thing, we're talking about this phony baloney emails telling you something wrong with your PC or a phone call telling you the same thing. So was interesting is that, you know, not people do not understand how tech support scam work and solicit. Let's go over this real quick scammers will call you directly on your phone in pretend to be a Representative of a of a software company like Microsoft. In a lot of times, they might even spoof the caller ID. So a displays legitimate support centers phone number. So that's pretty tricky. Right. And and that's that's what that they can gain your trust. So then they might ask you to install applications that give them the remote access to your device, and that's very tricky to so using that remote access these scammers what they do. They misrepresent normal system output as signs of problems. And that's how they lure you in here, so scammers may also initiate contact by displaying fake era messages on websites that you visit. So that may be a pop up and that Papa will display support numbers enticing you to call them. They can also put on your browser of full screen in display. Other Papa messes that just won't go away, his aggravating. So I've had that happen to my PC as well. Some you guys may have experienced that very aggravating. And eventually what it does is it locks your browser. So these fake error messages aimed to trick you to calling them and. Call in this particular support hotline says important, you don't do that that that's that's where they get you right there. So basically when you and gauge with those those scammers they don't offer fake solutions for your problem. The problem that they're telling you, you have this really not legit and asks for payment in the form of a one time fee or some sort of subscription service for that particular advice could be your laptop piece. No UPC at home you desktop something. Like that, you know. So what do you do? I mean, what do you guys do about? This anybody anybody out the hair? So I know what I do. I get I get very upset at first because I know what's going on. But luckily that doesn't happen so much I can identify much worker now in understanding what what I should do in a process, I should take some great information out there this available to all of us is really on the Microsoft website, and how to really bite these tech supports scams. And so put some of the Microsoft information in the podcast knows in including linked to their website describing poplar scam types in what you can. Do if the scammer would has your info, let's talk about a little bit further in more detail about the different kinds of scam type. So there's different kinds of tech support scams against Cisco back to the original statement about what those are they they're they're designed to trick you into believing that your computer needs to be fixed in order to do that you have to pay them for that technical support service. So again, we've talked about fishing emails before and this is a very similar scheme. The bag is intend tears is to create that sense of urgency and to be very persistent with their message because they know how important your computer is to you to work on every single day. So phone scams. What are tech support phone scams on this panel scam, scammers will call you claim to be from tech support team at Microsoft or some other software vendor? And then they offer to help solve all your computer problems than Gan. There's only a sense of urgency to this call is going to be very persistent. And if I don't take the off. Guard because you're not expecting this phone call. So a lot of times the scammers were use publicly available phone directories. I mean that it's that information's really available. Our phone numbers are out there to be well used and what happens after that? They might also even know your name and other personal information when they call you. So this way is is low more personalized is designed to make you believe this is legitimate call. So you know, they can even probably guess what operating system you're using by little social engineering stuff. So the majority of the public uses a PC, which is going to be Windows-based from with Microsoft, and and with a little social engineering, if you're an apple person, they're probably figure out your euro s on your MAC is. So that's what they do. They're very intelligent people. So once they've gained your trust in pretty much convinced you they know what they're talking about what kind of PC what operating system, and so on they might ask for your username and password and probably direct you to legitimate site to install soft. For that. Will let them access your computer remotely to fix it. That's this is this is where it gets really really tricky here. So if install that software and provide those credentials your computer in your personal information is now exposed to that Bagai. In other words, that remote software that you downloaded that you're convinced to download to help fix your computer. By this fraudster opens up the gateway into computer by this Bagai, probably sitting in some room in a foreign country. So, you know, even though law enforcement can trace phone numbers. I mean, the bag is often used disposable mobile phones. We call him burner phones, or even stolen mobile phones. And sometimes in foreign countries, there are still pay phones, and they may use those as well. So you should really really really treat. All unsolicited phone calls with a high level of skepticism because those things are designed to build trust within you and a sense of urgency that you need to do something right now to fix your PC. So slowdown when he get unsolicited phone call especially phone, call involved. A tech support person saying there's something wrong, your PC, you need a fix it. Right away slowdown and really understand what this is about. This is tech support scam happening right before your eyes. So that's a phone scam. Though. More personalized or calling you and creating that sense of urgency. That will be extremely persistence a west the other tech support scam with us the web scam and the web scams base. Another tech support scam with a website that makes you believe you have a problem with your PC same sort of thing. But you may be redirected to these websites automatically by militias ad or a pop up find found on other sites that you're you know, hitting on the internet and some of these involved download locations that offer free software downloads and things like that. So avoid those places that the offer free software and things like that. There's a lot of malicious content and we talked about this before. Now wear. What is our powers designed to really get inside your computer, instill your credential. So anyway, these websites can use for follow. Following different kinds of tactics to convince you that there's a problem with your PC that needs to be fixed right away. So who's had a blue screen error? Yep. You probably have. So there's this on create a fake blue screen error on your PC. There's probably a fake windows activation dialog box. There's various fake system error pop ups. Don't be shown up in his image that the the pop of this supposedly you have some sort of malware infection or shows some sort of bogus malicious activity all this fake. There's nothing wrong with your computer. They're making you believe that there is something wrong with your computer. So you can also use these other techniques make their claim more believable what they do is try to put an image on your browser or screen there and making the error appear as though it's coming from from windows instead of a webpage they're gonna try to remotely disable your task manager. Maybe even slide into play some audio messes all these things are designed to create worry within you increase urgency. So that you abide. By their directions in pay for a service to clean up your computer from this tech support issue. So what should you do? So first of what Microsoft says, and this is just some common sense stuff. So let's recap. How can you protect yourself? So be wary of unsolicited phone calls are pop up images on your on your device saying something like there's a there's an infection of virus on your computer. Something unsolicited, Microsoft, stay. So they never practically reach out to you to provide unsolicited PC technical support. They just don't do that. So any communication it has with you must be initiated by you. Don't call the phone number in a pop up window on your device always be cautious about clicking on notifications. Asking you to scan your computer or download software and that software spidery that remote saw for the bag is on a us. Get inside your PC. So many of these gamers a full unit thinking that they're notifications legitimate. This is how this scam worked so never give control of your computer to any third. Party unless you confirm that syllogism, it Representative of computer support team with whom you're already a customer. So if you're not a customer from this company that's calling you do not fall for the scam. So if if you're skeptical takedown that person's information down, and then reported to the local authorities and also you can report it to Microsoft, Microsoft dot com has a peyser to report a scam in. So that's highly recommended that you do that Microsoft's have been very aggressive going after these tech support scammers to help us fight this fraud. Let's talk about something that was really big with the department of Justice just recently North Carolina man pled guilty for his role in an international tech support scam. So this is were companies like Microsoft are working with the federal government to go after these tech support scammers to protect us, Charlotte. North Carolina man pleaded guilty to conspiracy to access a protected computer for his role in international tech support scam. That. Defrauded hundreds of victims, including seniors a more than three million dollars. So this tech support scam. A lot of times very effective with senior citizens again, Chris at that fear creates a sense of urgency. They're very persistent in they often target seniors. So these isn't Torney general of there in North Carolina has made this announcement that an individual named Bishop Mattel. He's twenty four years old pled guilty before a US magistrate judge. I currently released on bond syncing date has not been set quite yet. But according to this indictment released by the department of Justice, the information that plea agreement Mattel was part of this conspiracy that carried out an international internet scheme or tech support scam by placing fake pop up ads on victims computers to convince them that Sears computer problem in induced into pay for purported technical support services and then to resolve the issue. Okay. So this Bagai admitted in court that he. In another co conspirator, actually resided in Charlotte, North Carolina, and they were owners and managers of a they critical capstone technologies. LLC also headquartered in Charlotte that claim to provide computer related services to customers in capstone. Looks like conducted business using several different aliases. We won't talk about all those those the bag is carried out their tech support scam by using a call center located in India. So they partner with some bag is in India all set up the handle this tech support calls with potential victims. So this is a very labyrinth scheme scam by fraudsters are very knowledgeable on how the system works. So according to the information the indictment of pop up ads where central part of the conspiracies take support scam altogether here. So the these individuals and other co conspirators purchase blocks malicious pop up and wear from publishers around the world so limited against these bad guys. Purchase blocks a. Delicious pop up adware from publishers around the world. So the fake pop-ups would suddenly appear on your computer in. It would freeze your screen prompt in you, the victim to call this capstone technologies at the numbers shown where shown on the pop up ad. So just like what we talked about in. When some of you probably seen on your own PC's. It looks like when when the victims called this India based tech support center for assistance, the co conspirators use remote access tools to gain control of the victim's, computer. So that's what we talked about before do not be lured in to being convinced. You should download this remote software is once you do. That's when the bag is can get into your PC. So once the bad guys were control of these victims computers, the scammers identified various fictitious causes for the victims purported, computer malfunction ever. Remember this pop up in these other ways, the bad guys are doing doing this tech support scam. They're creating this on your commute is not really happening. They're making you believe it is because you're freezing. Computer, shown up a phony baloney blue screen, so what they're doing is at their. There's telling you about these these are fictitious causes for what's going on with your computer. So low time zone include letting you know or make you believe there's a presence of Maur or other computer viruses. And so what happens you the victim or the seniors actually start paying for a virus cleanup or other tech support services offered by the frost or so looks like the indictment also says the co conspirators would charge victims between two hundred in two thousand dollars to make these computers operable, again is almost holding your computer for ransom until you pay the money and the and then it gets cleaned up. I guess this is crazy. So Mattel and his co conspirator bag is to fraud at hundreds of victims throughout the United States, some of whom were elderly and senior citizens of more than three million dollars. So the FBI actually conducted this investigation in worked with the United States Department of Justice in. And the assistant attorney general there, North Carolina. So great job guys. That's awesome. So why right now to back in March looks like US attorney's office as created initiative that aims to combat elder financial expectation by expanding efforts to investigate in prosecute financial scams at specifically targets seniors in educate older adults on how the dentist scams and avoid being victims of financial fraud. So that's that's another part of this podcast is all about education awareness, giving the word out there to people who don't know better in really educated into be on the lookout because they are targets for these tech support scammers. And if you never been a victim of tech support scam uses information and go out there and educate others. So that they do not fall victim to these bag is operating all across world to defraud you of your money. So a lot of this information is available on the podcasts notes on include some information from the United States of office in the United States apartment. Justice. Great case from the FBI and includes hell. Awful hints and notes from Microsoft that we spoke about just earlier talking a little bit more in detail about what to do if you feel like you're fell victim to tech support scam. What you can do to clean up, your, computer and fix it. And how you can report a bag is to the authorities, which is so important. Hey, guys. I hope this has been helpful today. This is this is kinda information ruined bad guys day. We want to get out there and share no educate people. Everybody out. There is is exposed to all kinds of different kinds of malware viruses. Being sent our way by bad guys for one form or another for one really purpose to defraud us of our money. And you know, the best way combat kind of scam is to really arm yourself with knowledge in via wear was what's going on out there in the real world? If you have a PC that PC is is the object of desire for bag is the personal information on it. And everything that you do probably during the day to communicate with loved ones at work the bad guys. No union that BC so tech support scam for them works quite often. So guys. Hey, if you like the podcast, please. Go to apple I tunes and like us hit those five stars. It's really helpful helps really growing this podcast more and more every day. I want to thank everybody so much for sending in those emails in a lot of that great feedback and no lot of the content in this show is is really coming from people. Just like you talking to people just like me all wanna ruin a bad guys day in really get that word out any I wanna put out there to anyone who is anxious to be a part of room bag is day radio with more content and interviews, you know, there's gonna be call for for guests. It'll be a call for more guests for in a bag is a radio because we're highlighting some of the top broad fighters practitioners in industry for two thousand nineteen. So I welcome those calls, and I welcome the feedback and everyone hope you have a great week. Thanks for listening to go in a bad guys day radio podcast with skip Myers. If you like show, these tell your friends and colleagues, you can learn more about us at ruin bad guys date dot com, or visit us on Twitter and Facebook at Ruina bad guys day. Join us for another episode of Ruina bad guys day radio podcast. 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