Following the American Psychological Association’s Guidelines
Humans are always communicating. Unfortunately, they are not always communicating in the most savory of ways. While some communication efforts start violent or verbally abusive exchanges, some communication begins what are known as scams. Scams take place over many medias, including the internet and telephone. When a scam happens, an individual is typically tricked into giving up personal information without their knowledge. Often one uses intimidations tactics, though varieties of strategies are available. Specifically, when individuals use tech support as a screen, the innocent public is forced into trusting criminals lest they allow their computers to be left open to virus attacks. Essentially, scams come in many forms, with this being one of the latest forms consumers need to be aware of.
Scams, over the telephone or otherwise, require a breach in order for them to work. There are various types of breaches, varying from data, to financial breaches. Concerning the Telephone Technical Support Scam brought to the public’s attention in 2014, the breach was unintended disclosure . The individuals called and intimidated by technical support were intimidated into giving personal information, believing they were speaking to professional who were going to rid their computers of viruses or malware. Furthermore, after being alerted that the technical support was a scam, they continued to give money to an individual they believed was an government official. While they disclosed information, they did not intend to disclose it to an individual who was going to swindle them.
Victims of the fraud were intimidated into sharing their information. They were further intimidated into giving money when scammers called back, stating they would need to give more money to be removed from the Blacklist because their first donation had been used to purchase weapons for a terrorist organization. Given this information, it is unlikely victims would contact the government, as they assumed they were not being scammed. Moreover, they would also assume the government already knew what had happened. According to, “IRS Releases the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2014; Identity Theft, Phone Scams Lead List,” the government was aware of several different phone scams that had become progressively sophisticated over the years, alerting them to the possibility scammers were becoming better at covering their tracks. They were able to surmise the scam occurred when “support” began inpersonating government personnel, as this was becoming a common scam tactic.
Loss in Confidentiality, Integrity, Etc.
Because of these scams, computer companies have had to exceed the customer’s expectations in an effort to eliminate future swindling efforts. For example, Microsoft has released helpful pages on their website that give the consumer valuable information on how to protect themselves . Furthermore, Microsoft gives a list of their credible customer support services on their website, allowing consumers to verify sources before they allow scammers to take their money, or before they give away personal information. Microsoft also gives helpful links allowing customers to easily report telephone and internet scams easily and quickly . Reporting telephone scams quickly is perhaps the greatest service a company could do in an effort to prevent recurrences, as it allows combat, but it also helps law enforcement permanently prevent the spread of certain scamming rings.
Summary and Conclusion
In sum, there are many dangerous, unlawful scams occurring today. With the telephone and internet surrounding us, tricks such as these are easy to create, and easier to execute. Strategies such as intimidation allow scammers to prey upon almost anybody, performing a variety of breaches on anybody’s life. Communication can be a helpful tool between humans, but it can also be dangerous. Unfortunately, some people choose to use communication as a means to intimidate others into giving them money and personal information. Fortunately, these scams or becoming more noticeable, despite their sophistication, and companies are doing all they can to stop scammers such as those involved in the 2014 Telephone Technical Support Scam. With luck, victims will be reduced each year and our personal information will eventually be 100% safe.
(n.d.). Retrieved from http://eds.a.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.umuc.edu/eds/detail/detail?vid=9&sid=18853786-8d64-433f-ad3e-3a4701b0b8af%40sessionmgr4001&hid=4102&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#db=iih&AN=94716043
Albrecht, C., Albrecht, C., & Tzafrir, S. (2011). How to protect and minimize consumer risk to identity theft. Journal of Financial Crime, 404-414.
Avoid Tech Support Phone Scams. (2014). Retrieved from Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx
IRS Releases the “Dirty Dozen” Tax Scams for 2014; Identity Theft, Phone Scams Lead List. (2014, February 19). Retrieved from IRS: http://www.irs.gov/uac/Newsroom/IRS-Releases-the-%E2%80%9CDirty-Dozen%E2%80%9D-Tax-Scams-for-2014;-Identity-Theft,-Phone-Scams-Lead-List
Kee, J. (2008, April 28). Social Engineering: Manipulating the Source. Retrieved from http://www.sans.org/reading-room/whitepapers/engineering/social-engineering-manipulating-source-32914