You are probably too wise to fall for this, but since everyone is online these days - from children to seniors - tech support scams and their impact are an unfortunate growing industry. Keep about this threat so that you can protect your friends and family.
Imagine getting a cold call from an unknown phone number. The person calling you says that they're calling from Windows or Apple or Microsoft, and advise that your computer seems to be infected. Then they advise their certified technician can help you.
If this has happened to you or someone you know, you have been a victim of scamming. How severe a victim depends on whether or not you believed the caller, granted them access to your computer, and provided your credit card information.
These kinds of tech support scams have been around for almost a decade, and while the FTC is aware of them, it is not very effective at stopping them. This article from Malwarebytes expertly summarizes the variety of tech support scams out in the wild. They range from cold-calling, fraudulent toll-free numbers that fill up search results, and fake pop-ups. Once you are talking with a phony tech support agent, you will be requested to grant remote access to your computer, during which a whole new set of scams are applied to make it appear your computer is infected.
During a remote access session, the scammer can implant anything onto your computer -you effectively grant them full control. So, you provide your credit card information to have this issue cleaned up. You are then held hostage to this scam which will continue to charge your credit card to keep your computer "safe", or relaunch the spammy software that it paused previously.
The main point I stress with elder relatives is this:
No legitimate technical support entity is going to phone you out of the blue to assume your computer is running slowly. If in doubt, take down their contact information and tell them you'll phone back. In most cases, that will end the call right there.
If you are having a computer problem, here is what I suggest:
The Malwarebytes article is an excellent resource with screen shots of what fraudulent "tech support" people may show you, along with an explanation of what you are actually seeing. It concludes with a Tech Support Black List of known fraudulent "tech support" resources.
Stay safe out there!