IT support scams: 4 tips to protect yourself

The fraudster wants access to your computer so they can "scavenge" for personal data and passwords.

Charli Côté Gauthier | Desjardins

Here's some help recognizing a common scam in the internet age and some tips to protect yourself.

The classic setup

An IT support "technician" calls you. They say you need a software update, antivirus protection or a patch or repair for your computer. They try to convince you by saying your software is out of date or corrupted and will be obsolete soon. Then they ask for remote access to your computer so they can install the update or troubleshoot for you.

What's really happening

The fraudster wants access to your computer so they can "scavenge" for personal data and passwords. Once they have that, they can access your financial information and accounts and transfer your money to themselves.

What you need to know

An IT support company would never call you about software updates or computer service or repair. Being careful and aware is your best defense if you get one of these calls.

4 tips to protect yourself

  1. Don't give anyone you don't know remote access to your computer.
  2. Don't do anything to your computer just because someone asked you to.
  3. Never give out your personal information (debit or credit card number, AccèsD password, PIN, etc.).
  4. When in doubt, hang up and call the company the caller said they work for. Use a reputable and reliable external source to get the contact number (e.g., Canada 411).
Did you know that identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in Canada? Protecting your personal information is our top priority and why we developed a new protection solution for all our members. Find out more about our personal data and identity theft protection measures - This link will open in a new window..

What to do if you've already given a fraudster access to your computer?

Contact someone you can trust right away:

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