You can encounter these people in a couple of different ways. One is that you will get a call from someone telling you that they have detected a problem with your computer and will fix it for you for a fee. Sometimes they will even identify themselves as being with a legitimate company, like Microsoft or a certified Microsoft associate. Sometimes you will be talking to your Internet provider (Comcast, Charter, etc) and they will transfer you over to a separate support group. In reality, you will be switched over to one of these scammer companies.
However you end up in contact with them, here are a few things to remember:
- Nobody outside your home can tell that your computer is having problems.
- Immediately be suspicious of someone who wants you to pay them for remote support. If it is a phone call, just hang up. If it is an email, delete the message.
- Never let anyone that you don't know have remote access to your computer. Once they get in they have the foothold that they need to blackmail you, take control of your computer, steal your information and damage your files.
You don't have to be stupid to be fooled by these scammers. People place great value on their computers and their contents and the scammers know this. They are very good at convincing people that something terrible is going to happen to their computer is they don't pay for support right now. They often target older people, since they are less like to have a good understanding of computers and are often easier to scare.
Do not take this matter lightly. This sort of scenario is becoming increasingly more common and can have dire consequences for its victims.
Let me know if you have any questions.