Tech Support has been Helping my Relatives, and How to Protect Your Workers

by | Mar/17/2022

My wife came to tell me a story. She received a call from some of her relatives whose computer started making noises and behaving terribly. A window popped up over all the other flashing error windows saying that they’d been infected by a horrible virus and needed to call tech support immediately to solve the problem.

They called the emergency support line and followed the representative’s instructions to install a program that gave the technical expert access to the computer. When the tech support person asked them to log in to their bank account to confirm a $1 charge, my relatives knew the whole thing was a scam and hung up. They’ve decided to throw away the computer and get another because they don’t know what else the program did to their computer. It probably included a keylogger that would capture their username and password when they logged into the bank so the bad actors could log in too. It might have included ransomware and likely a backdoor so the attackers would have continued access to the computer.

Her relatives are knowledgeable people who know to be wary of computer scams. But the alert screen was so convincing that they felt compelled to call. The bad actor posing as a support agent was highly skilled at social engineering. These people are artists at tricking the savviest users.

This is a way to protect your users without preaching to them. Tell them this or another story of a tech support scam. Please forward this to your friends and encourage them to share a story as a simple way to remind their workers to be wary. You might have an even better story to share!