Have you received a phone call recently from a supposed Microsoft tech or seen a pop up message in your internet browser saying that something is seriously wrong with your computer and to immediately call an 800 number for tech support?
Be assured, Microsoft is not in the business of monitoring and soliciting computer users for tech support services, however a growing number of tech support scammers are aiming to take advantage of less tech savvy people with various scare tactics.
Their goal often is to get you to allow them remote access into your computer, and after showing you a multitude of bogus critical errors, security risks and/or virus infections, push to sell you a service plan that often costs several hundreds of dollars.
On Friday, May 12, 2017 the Federal Trade Commission announced the roll out of “Operation Tech Trap” to combat the explosive rise of such computer tech support scams. Quoting from the FTC’s press release:
As part of this coordinated effort, the FTC and its partners are announcing 16 new actions, including complaints, settlements, indictments, and guilty pleas, against deceptive tech support operations. This brings to 29 the number of law enforcement actions brought by Operation Tech Trap partners in the last year to stop tech support scams.
While tech support scammers will unfortunately always be a part of our internet culture, recent and forthcoming legal actions taken by the FTC will hopefully deter more would be cyber criminals from engaging in these practices.