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 They try to convince you by saying your software is out of date or corrupted and will be obsolete soon.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).

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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