People could be forgiven for feeling besieged by the sheer number and variety of scams and frauds that are currently out there. There is very much a feeling that cybercriminals are adopting increasingly ambitious and underhand methods to attack the vulnerable. Recent scams involve fraudsters offering bogus tech support by impersonating internet service providers.
Impersonation is an established trick of fraudsters, in both the physical and digital realm. The thing that keeps changing is just whom they decide to impersonate, and what the implications are for their potential victims.
Typically they cold-call their victim by telephone, or email them, purporting to be from an internet provider, Microsoft for example, then charge for fake IT support.
When the scam is online, it involves a pop-up window with a realistic message interrupting a browsing session. The message will announce that the ISP has detected malware and that the victim should call a number for immediate assistance.
The online scam is a more sophisticated variant on the traditional cold-call, particularly as the pop-up window messages are designed to look authentic.
Criminals are placing fake adverts on legitimate websites. These adverts will contain a single infected pixel, which redirects and infects users without them being aware. They may not even have to click on the ad itself for this to happen.
After the users have been redirected, the background website checks their computer for their IP address. The cybercriminals can easily work out the ISP provider from the IP address, which gives them the identity they need to then contact the user with the bogus alert information.
Online criminal activity keeps apace with legitimate technical developments and evolves alongside them. Scams become more sophisticated and more prevalent, including different forms of impersonation, and actual identity theft.
It is one of the fundamental tasks of IT support to provide security advice and assistance, and to make people aware of the widespread and changing nature of cybercrime.
San-iT provides IT support across Manchester, Cheshire, Lancashire and the North West. We understand people’s security concerns, and we offer practical solutions for prevention and reassurance.