Cyber Safety Review in 2: Spot, Avoid and Report Tech Support Scams

March 25, 2020  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources

Candice was using her computer to make a purchase when a startling pop-up disabled her browser: Microsoft Warning Alert! Your computer has been infected with spyware and riskware. Do not ignore this critical alert. Call us immediately.

While the message was alarming, Candice immediately recognized it as a scam. She closed the pop-up and reported it to the HITS Service Desk.

“We’ve seen an uptick in people impersonating tech support staff. They often target populations through online pop-ups or phone calls,” said Molly McPhall, education and awareness lead with Michigan Medicine’s Information Assurance team. “The scammers claim to know something is wrong with your computer and want you to pay them to fix it. Scammers want you to provide personal information and remote access to your computer. ”

The Federal Trade Commission reports that tech support scams generated about 134,000 complaints last year, the biggest single category of scams. The typical victim lost about $400.

“Scammers use your stolen information to create new accounts, or make purchases using your credit card,” McPhall said. “We caution people to watch for these scams both at home and at work. If they gain access to your Michigan Medicine account, sensitive data can be at risk.”

Think you’ve been scammed?

If you are the victim of a tech support scam, take action:

How to avoid tech support scams Take two minutes to view the March Cyber Safety poster

Win a breakfast basket

Take the quarterly quiz for a chance to win a breakfast basket!

Q: What is something you should do if you are scammed?
TIP: Open the awareness poster for the answer!

Email your answer to with “Quarterly Quiz” in the subject line.