Fallen for a phone scam?

It is common to receive phony tech support phone calls from people who claim to be from the Service Desk or a major company (Microsoft, RSA, Google, Hewlett Packard, etc). These callers are cybercriminals who want to:

  • Trick you into downloading malware.
  • Take control of your computer remotely and adjust its settings to expose it to security vulnerabilities.
  • Get you to tell them your password or enter it in a site they direct you to.
  • Get your credit card information and bill you for phony services or services you don’t need.

A few months ago, the FTC announced a major international crackdown on these scammers, but you still need to be vigilant and hang up if you suspect a call is fraudulent. To make sure you are talking to the proper person, ask them for their name and extension, go to their official website or phone book to get the phone number, and use that number to reach the person.

If you think you might have been a victim of a phone scam, downloaded malware from a phone tech support scam website, or allowed a unauthorized person to access your computer, contact the CTS Service Desk (360-753-2454). They can walk you through the proper steps to ensure your system hasn’t been compromised, or if it has, how to recover from it.

They may ask you to do some or all of the following:

  • Provide details about the person who claimed to be technical support.
  • Provide details about what the person asked you to do or that the person did to your system.
  • Change your domain password and any password you use on your computer. Examples: work related applications, external email account, financial accounts, etc.
  • Scan your computer with your antivirus software to find out if you have malware installed on your computer.

FTC International Crackdown on Tech Support Scams
Further tips on Tech Support Scams

Security tips are brought to you by the CTS SOC. The mission of the CTS SOC is to provide centralized information sharing, monitoring, and analysis of Washington State security posture. Contact us at: soc@cts.wa.gov.