Don't search for tech support numbers

These days it's very common for people to begin every browsing session with a search. Even when they know the link/domain to a website, many people will lazily just do a search for "microsoft" to go to by clicking on the top search result, instead of the more direct (and safer) route of explicity typing "" (you could get away with just ""). Those with malicious intent know this, and use their skills at poisoning search results (from Google and elsewhere) to get their fraudulent, malicious link near the top of the search results page, even sometimes above that of the actual company itself. That first, top link you see after searching for "microsoft" may at times not even be the actual company Microsoft at a "" link.

This is especially common when searching for tech support. Search for "somecompany tech support" and the top result is likely to be a bogus link, taking you to a fake tech support page. Call the number listed, and you'll be talking to some actor pretending to be tech support for the company you were trying to contact, who then leads you along a made up script where they convince you there's something horribly wrong with your computer and they either A) need a $299 to fix your computer, and/or B) need to take remote-control of your computer in order to diagnose it. In the case of "B", there's nothing wrong with your computer yet until you grant them that remote control, at which point they use this full control (that you gave them!) in order to actually infect you with things that they'll then happily charge you an arm and a leg to remove. If just "A", then they're just trying to trick you into giving them your credit card info in order to supposedly "fix" whatever issue you were already claiming you had. Either way, you'll soon be worse off (and poorer) than you were before.

The moral of this story? Don't be lazy. If you're going to a website, explicitly type the full web address to go there (if you know it). It might be as simple as adding .com to the end. If you don't already know the domain for a company, be very careful and study the search results before clicking... don't just take one of the top choices in the search results! And if you're looking for a company's tech support contact info, follow the previous steps first to go to the company's actual official website, then navigate on their website to find their contact info. Don't search for "somecompany tech support" or similar... you will likely be lead astray with results trying to scam you and take your money.

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