Tech support scams
Tech support scams typically begin with a call from a blocked or international number. Often targeting trusting seniors, the caller claims to be a technician certified by Microsoft or another major brand.
Cybercriminals often use the names of well-known companies like Microsoft to convince people their services are legitimate, says a spokesperson for Microsoft.
Using scare tactics, the scammer urgently claims that he has detected a virus or malware on the senior's computer. The caller may even ask to take over the personal computer remotely to install software that allows him to assist. In order to clean the PC and fix the problem, the scammer inevitably asks for payment of several hundred dollars via credit card or online payment. Resist, and the scammer may get angry and threaten to destroy the computer, according to a Microsoft blog post about the scam.
Of course, there is no real problem with the PC, and nothing gets fixed. Anyone can fall victim to this type of scam – not only seniors. Yet seniors have been some of the most vulnerable, Microsoft says in a blog post.
How to Avoid: Be inherently distrustful of unsolicited emails and don’t disclose private information online except to a trusted organization. If you have questions about whether a communication you received is legitimate, call that organization directly.