Tech Scams: How can I know if it’s legit or not?
An error message appears on your screen. You’re trying to decide if it’s legitimate or not. Should you take action? Are you at risk? The following list conveys common aspects of fake alerts that can be classified as tech scams, scareware, and malware.
Scareware screens are messages designed to be frightening that can draw you into a scam, usually where the scammers are trying to get payment or personal information. Malware is malicious software downloaded on the computer that may also draw you into a scam or cause other problems on your system, such as slowness.
Signs of Tech Scams
Is there a telephone number to call on the screen? = SCAM
Are there warning bells or an automated voice talking? = SCAREWARE
Does a message claim that you have 16,543 [insert other large number here] errors to fix? = MALWARE
Does the notice claim to be from a government agency? = SCAM
Does it pressure you to “take action immediately or risk losing files”? = SCAREWARE
Does a program always want to run a scan, but never seems to fix anything? = MALWARE
Does it ask for payment, especially in unusual ways (such as money order or gift cards)? = SCAM
Does the notice block your screen and not allow you to close the browser. = SCAREWARE
Do pop-ups appear on the screen every time you turn on the computer? = MALWARE
How can I know if a notice is legitimate? If you’re unsure, just wait and ask the advice of a friend. Don’t let yourself be frightened or pressured into making any immediate decisions, particularly if a notice or caller is asking for control of your computer or money.
If you have malware already downloaded, you may need to take your computer to a technician for virus removal. If you encounter scareware or a scam online, try closing the browser or shutting down the computer. When you open your browser, start a new session and do not have it restore the previous windows or tabs.
Share this blog with a friend who could use some tips on avoiding tech scams!