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Tech Support Scammers Target Phones & Tablets

Sunday, January 19th, 2014 by | Filed Under: Android, Security Help

Scammers are always looking for a new angle and phony computer tech support has always been  popular. Recently we told you about a scam where crooks call people pretending to be from Microsoft and asking for control of their computer.

Now security experts Malwarebytes are warning that scammers have a new target: smartphone and tablet users.  And they are targeting them with some pretty clever tactics. Say you have an issue with your phone and you search for some answers, these guys are buying ads that turn up in your search results that look fairly legit. 

When you tap the ad, you see this pleasant looking tech support rep. She wouldn’t scam you, would she?

But when you call that number, a tech will tell you that they need direct access to your computer. Then the tech will ask you download a program that allows them to log into your computer remotely.

The person from Malwarebytes that allowed the tech to access a test computer just to find out if this service was legit, says the tech did nothing for the phone, but then tried to tell him they’d discovered all sorts of non-existent issues that needed to be fixed.

The company then tried to sell the guy from Malware Bytes a $299 a year plan to keep his computer a phone safe. 

These scammers operate under multiple names and use multiple websites. They’ve been targeting Windows and Mac users for years, but with the booming smartphone and tablet market, it looks like they’re branching out.


3 Responses to “Tech Support Scammers Target Phones & Tablets”

  1. Roy Leggett says:

    I had this happen about two months ago. I started doing what the “Tech from Microsoft” said do but when they wanted my pass word and controll of my computor, I hung up. By then they had me change a lot on my computor. I did a re-format and cleaned my computor. This week they have called me twice and I hung up again. Be careful. These people are dangerous

    • K.Vee.Shanker. says:

      Hi Roy,

      Thanks for sharing.

      I also suggest that instead of just hanging up their calls, consider reporting such ads/ telephone numbers to Google and other related sites/legal authorities. Google provides a ‘report an issue’ link in search result pages. Doing so would be a great service to the fellow innocent internet surfers. Ultimately, we all must contribute whatever we can against scams.

      I’ve been doing it for bank scam mails.

  2. Roy Leggett says:

    P.S. The phone calls are coming from Washington D.C. Maybe be the government…LOL

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