How does a tech support scam work?
A tech support scam begins by planting a pop-up message in the target user’s web browser that alerts them to a so-called virus infection, employees and experts say. The pop-up alarms the user, sometimes by locking their devices, forcing them to call a phone number flashing in the message. In an industry where customer interface rarely goes beyond long distance calls, small legitimate operations often act as smokescreens for many fraudulent cyber businesses.To capture the scam, an HT journalist called Tech Live Connect’s registered number to complain that his perfectly healthy Windows laptop was running slow. He was first instructed to hand over remote access to the computer and then told, in an escalating tone of alarm, about a range of security threats, from “junk files” to “virus, malware, Trojan” to that his “computer has been hacked”.The journalist was told his computer would be “unfixable” if he didn’t buy an $8 one-time fix followed by a year’s worth of security service from Tech Live Connect.