Protect Yourself From Tech Support Scams
July 29, 2020
Protect Yourself From Tech Support Scams
Tech support scams are an industry-wide issue where scammers trick you into paying for unnecessary
technical support services. You can help protect yourself from scammers by verifying that the contact is a
Microsoft Agent or
Microsoft Employee and that the phone number is an
Microsoft global customer service number.
But remember that Factory or Upgrade installs are inferior installs which most enthusiasts won't even run because they'd expect endless issues. Consider doing the Clean Install in this link which compiles the best possible install that will stay that way as
long as you stick with the tools and methods given:
Autoruns - Free - See what programs are configured to startup automatically when your system boots and you login. Autoruns also shows you the full list of Registry and file locations where applications can configure auto-start settings.
Process Explorer - Free - Find out what files, registry keys and other objects processes have open, which DLLs they have loaded, and more. This uniquely powerful utility will even show you who owns each process.
Process Monitor - Free - an advanced monitoring tool for Windows that shows real-time file system, Registry and process/thread activity. It combines the features of two legacy Sysinternals utilities, Filemon and Regmon, and adds an extensive list of enhancements
including rich and non-destructive filtering, comprehensive event properties such session IDs and user names, reliable process information, full thread stacks with integrated symbol support for each operation, simultaneous logging to a file, and much more.
Its uniquely powerful features will make Process Monitor a core utility in your system troubleshooting and malware hunting toolkit.
Do all of these :
If you had a 3rd party antivirus on the OS you upgraded OR if you have one now uninstall it and then run its maker's removal tool. Use Windows Defender which in Windows 8/8.1/10 is a full antivirus. Despite all the hype out there
Windows Defender and the Windows Firewall are true superstars.
The below is additional help with some of the methods in the "Tips to improve...." link.
Windows Key + X - Command Prompt (Admin) OR Windows PowerShell (Admin)
(Run these one line at a time.)
Note if that shows uncorrected errors - do the below regardless.
When that completes run these :
DISM /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth
DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
Note if that shows any uncorrected errors - do the below regardless.
Then restart the computer.
Be sure you are running the latest available BIOS, chipset drivers, and all the major device drivers.
Check with System Maker (Motherboard Maker for custom systems) for updates to the BIOS, low level chipset drivers, and the major on-board and separate device drivers. Run DriverView - set VIEW to Hide Microsoft drivers - update those without Dump in their name.
DriverView - Free - utility displays the list of all device drivers currently loaded on your system. For each driver in the list, additional useful information is displayed: load address of the driver, description, version, product name, company that created
the driver, and more. http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/driverview.html
For Drivers check System Maker as fallbacks and Device Maker's which are the most current. Right Click Start Button - Right Click Start Button - Display Adapter - write down the make and complete model of your video adapter - double click - Driver's tab - write
down the version info. Now click UPdate Driver (this may not do anything as MS is far behind certifying drivers) - then Right Click - Uninstall - REBOOT this will refresh the driver stack.
Repeat that for Network - Network Card (NIC), Wifi, Sound, Mouse and Keyboard if 3rd party with their own software and drivers and any other major device drivers you have.
Now go to System Maker's site (Dell, HP, Toshiba as examples) (as rollback) and then Device Maker's site (Realtek, Intel, Nvidia, ATI as examples) and get their latest versions. (Look for BIOS, Chipset, and software updates at System Maker's site while there.)
Download - SAVE - go to where you put them - Right Click - RUN AD ADMIN - REBOOT after each installation.
Always check in Device Manager - Drivers tab to be sure the version you are installing actually shows up. This is because some drivers rollback before the latest is installed (sound drivers particularly do this) so install a driver - reboot - check to be sure
it is installed and repeat as needed.
Repeat at Device Makers - BTW at Device Makers DO NOT RUN THEIR SCANNER - check manually by model.