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Criminals pretend to be technical support professionals and deceive Brazilians

Criminals pretend to be technical support professionals and deceive Brazilians

Brazilian users and companies are still victims of fraud under the guise of technical support. According to a study by Microsoft’s Digital Crimes division in several countries, the number of successful scams of the type in Brazil fell between 2016 and 2018, but 66% of people have had contact with the practice. Of the cases recorded this year, 5% resulted in a loss of money, less than the 12% in 2016.

In these criminal schemes, a hacker impersonates a support professional at a large technology company. By phone, e-mail or windows in the browser itself, he addresses a customer stating that his computer or cell phone is infected. The goal is usually to gain remote access to the device.

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1 of 2 Microsoft released study on virtual scams – Photo: Disclosure / Microsoft

Microsoft released study on virtual scams – Photo: Disclosure / Microsoft

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According to reports, the most frequent scam happens to pop-ups or windows that appear on websites, reaching 44% of users. Next are unsolicited e-mails, with 37%. A good part of the Brazilians just ignored the hackers’ attempt (43%), but a portion continued with the fraudulent contact, even if without financial consequences (19%). Others did not even interact with the fraudster (34%).

Brazil has statistics similar to the world average. In other countries, 63% of users are affected by technical support fraud attempts, of which 6% lose money. Economic damage, by the way, is an important negative effect, but not the only one – the stress caused and the repair of equipment are also mentioned. And the victims have different profiles, passing through different generations.

2 of 2 Some users suffer financial losses due to fraud – Photo: Pond5

Some users suffer financial losses due to fraud – Photo: Pond5

To avoid scams, according to the Microsoft report, it is necessary to understand the source of the threats and how they reach people. It is also essential to keep your devices safe and to know what are the best tools to check the reliability of websites and emails.

Technology companies don’t usually make contact with customers in this way, so be very careful if you receive a message or call asking for sensitive data. Do not pass on personal or banking information without being absolutely sure of the authenticity of your interlocutor.

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