Tech support scammers have found new methods to replicate call optimization services, giving legitimate contact center service providers a difficult challenge to address.
Antivirus software maker Symantec has reported that it blocked more than 93 million tech support scams in the past six months alone, a problem that could lead to a damaged reputation in the services industry.
“Call centers, e-commerce vendors, affiliate networks, and all manner or small to large organizations have recognized the advantages of using call optimization services to improve their business, and now the criminals behind tech support scams have begun doing the same,” says Symantec in its report.
Call optimization services include platforms for handling outgoing and incoming calls. These platforms are reportedly being hacked by the scammers, fooling customers into calling scam hotlines instead of the real ones.
The scam often takes the form of malware advertising, with a warning showing up on a user’s screen to call a certain number to get help. The fraudulent tech representative then tries to convince the consumer or business worker to download software or let the “technician” remotely access the PC.
Some scammers seem to have been operating as fully operational call centers and never miss the opportunity to scam someone out of their money.
Microsoft estimated that 3.3 million people would have been defrauded to the tune of US$1.5 billion in America alone in the year 2015.