Computer tech support scams can be avoided by refusing to give personal information to unsolicited callers and by declining to click on pop-ups or install software that appears to be from illegitimate software companies. Tech support scams are used to trick individuals into giving control of their computer over to a third party, who then steals credit card or other information.
Some cybercriminals claim to be from Microsoft or other legitimate computer companies and state that the individual's computer is infected with a virus or is missing a computer license. A useful way to protect against this kind of criminal activity is to refuse to give any personal or financial information to unsolicited callers. Never rely on the caller ID function on telephones to verify a caller's identification, as cybercriminals are capable of fabricating this information, making it appear they are calling from a legitimate company. Avoid visiting websites and installing the software that is specified during an unsolicited phone call. If technical support with a computer is required, an individual should contact only the company that he is already a customer with and verify the identification of the technical support specialist before giving out any personal information. When surfing the Internet, avoiding downloading software unless the identity of the company supplying the software is known and reputable.