Lake Havasu City, AZ – Supervisor Buster Johnson would like to make the public aware of a new growing trend that has been surfacing more frequently on the internet. “Tech support scams from the outside may look very legit. With these scams, individuals claim to be computer techs associated with well-known companies like Google and Netflix,” Supervisor Johnson stated. In the past few days users of both Netflix and Gmail have reported their accounts being hacked with this particular type of scam. “Tech support scams first surfaced in 2008 and have become one of the most popular types of phishing attacks on the internet today. With over 40 million Netflix users and over 140 million Gmail accounts worldwide, hackers have moved on from attacking small, not well known websites to largely populist ones,” Johnson continued.
When it comes to tech support scams like the recent ones reported by Netflix users, individuals are informed that unusual activity has been detected on their account and asked to a call a support line. While users believe they are calling the real support line for Netflix, what they are really calling is a 1-800 number that directs them to a call center in India where hackers are trained to trick users into giving them access to their computer by downloading software aimed at getting rid of the virus they claim has attacked one’s computer system. The scammers will not only steal sensitive files from their computer, but swindle them out of $400 to “fix” the hacking problem. “Our personal computers are becoming the storing house of all our sensitive information. Individuals now a day store mostly everything on their personal computer from banking information to copies of tax returns that contain one’s social security number,” Johnson said. “It is important folks are aware of these types of scams so they don’t fall victim to them,” Johnson continued.
If confronted with a similar message when trying to log into one’s Gmail or Netflix account, both companies are urging users to check the web address. In the case of Netflix the user was actually redirected to a website url of www.netflix.afta3.com.
If one feels they may have already become victim of such a scam, the following steps should be taken:
• Revoke remote access by shutting down your computer. That should cut the remote session and kick them out of your PC.
• Scan your computer for malware. The miscreants may have installed password stealers or other Trojans to capture your keystrokes. Use a program such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to quickly identify and remove threats.
• Change all your passwords