Be Alert to Tech Support Fraud

Support fraud involves criminals contacting you to fix ostensible technology problems. Their methods include phone calls, web pop-ups and sending emails. Although this type of fraud been around for many years the level of sophistication of the attacks has grown.

Recently we’ve received reports of scammers pretending to be Microsoft technicians. Several in our community have received calls at the same time they were noticing slowness with their computers. The computer may have already been infected with a virus or malware and the phone call is “part 2” of the scam.

The intent of the fraud is to either get you to provide full access to your computer so that they can extract personal and financial data, or to fool you into purchasing a virus remediation system.

  • If you receive such a call do not provide any information, just hang up. If you get an email you can forward it to scam@williams.edu for us to evaluate.
  • If you get a fake pop-up asking you to call a phone number please close all open programs, including your browsers, and reboot the computer.

Your next step is to run a virus scan on your computer and make sure updates are current.

If any malware or malicious software is discovered, changing your passwords for any online financial accounts would also be important (if possible, change the passwords using a different device than the one that is running slowly).

The Department of Homeland Security has issued their own alert on this type of Tech Support Fraud:

https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/current-activity/2018/03/29/IC3-Issues-Alert-Tech-Support-Fraud

You can contact OIT support at desktop@williams.edu or 413-597-4090 if you see or receive anything suspicious along these lines.