Beware fake Apple and Windows tech support sites

By Qubic News 9 months agoNo Comments
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Scammers are getting smarter from day to day, and according to Microsoft, they are testing new phone-call prompts to trick unsuspecting users into calling a bogus help hotline.

Their goal is to have their victims pay for support they don’t really need, as the supposed issues on their computer are non-existent. For example, a fake blue screen of death is one such trick used by these fraudsters.

Recently, a large number of these fake customer support websites were brought down by the Federal Trade Commission, and one of them was ordered to pay $10 million in refunds earlier this year. Supposedly, their operation extracted an even greater amount from victims between 2012 and 2014, with the numbers estimated to have reached $120 million.

In order to convince their victims, these scammers use various means of getting in touch, including phishing emails and cold-calling. Sometimes, malicious websites will use JavaScript to lock the visitors into a series of dialogue pop-ups displaying a security alert and listing a hotline number.

Microsoft and Google have responded to this already. By using Edge, for example, you can now close the browser even while a dialogue window is still open. Even then, however, scammers are willing to adapt, and certain websites now use a snippet of JavaScript that forces your phone to call the fake hotline semi-automatically; the number is pre-filled, but the user still needs to press a button to make the call.

When surfing the web, always be careful – the scammers never sleep.

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