FBI IC3 Cautions Against Tech Support Scams

Agency says attackers dupe victims into handing over remote device access and thousands of dollars.

Dark Reading Staff, Dark Reading

June 7, 2016

1 Min Read

The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has cautioned against rising cases of technical support scams in which scammers use a variety of methods to deceive victims. In a recent announcement, IC3 says it has received 3,668 complaints in the last four months with adjusted losses of $2,268,982.

In one technique, according to IC3, criminals claim they work for tech support companies, were notified of viruses or security threats to the victim’s device, and offer to eliminate those threats for a fee. Once given remote access to the victim’s device, the fraudsters either steal personal details or infect the machine with malware. In some instances, the miscreants have also extorted the victims for a ransom, by threatening not to surrender control of the victim's device and/or bank account.

Hackers may call, send a pop-up message, or freeze the victim’s computer screen with a displayed phone number to call for assistance, adds IC3.

IC3 has advised that individuals be alert, and if contacted, take necessary steps -- including not giving unverified persons remote access to their devices or accounts.

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Dark Reading Staff

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