Out of nowhere, you receive a call or a screen pops up on your computer – maybe from a reputable company like Microsoft or an anti-virus company. They tell you that you have a virus or an error, and they can fix it before you lose all of your data. But first, you have to call the number on your screen allow them access to your computer, and/or pay them a sum of money. Sometimes they will use a “scan” of your computer to try to convince you there is something wrong. Don’t believe them!
Don’t give access to your computer! If you do, the scammer can look on your computer for your personal or financial information, or add malware that really will infect your computer, or add spyware so they can get your information in the future.
Instead, you can try exiting the internet, restarting your computer, or manually pressing the “off” button. Or try contacting a reputable source for help. Be careful though when searching for businesses on the internet – sometimes illegitimate services have paid for ads that might lead you to think they are the real thing!
Remember: real tech support or other computer companies don’t just contact you out of the blue.