Phishing may be one of the simplest, oldest tricks in the cybercriminal world. But there is still lots of it. From the classic, fake email that impersonates a well-known brand to sophisticated campagins like spear phising –which attack their victims with personalized messages. Even the offline world has its share: vishing scams study their victims thoroughly and then call them on the pone with fraudulent offers.

Why send thousands of messages trying to catch just a few victims? Why go through the complications of studying anonimous people just to try and scam then through fake emails or phone calls? The reason is quite simple: it is very profitable.

Lately, many reports have come to our attention from concerned users who claim to have received various forms of communications –phone calls, emails, text messages- from companies asking them for renewal money.

Big companies are always in a hacker’s scope. Sending loads of emails is certainly not very expensive, and even though the probabilities of reaching a customer of the company that these cybercriminals are impersonating –or even someone confused enough- are low, it pays off once a victim falls for the scam.

Thanks to our kind customers, we have been able to find a phising scam passing as Panda Security. The victims are reached by telephone after the criminals have used social engineering techniques to determine if they are Panda customers. After this, they just try and convince these users thay they have to pay renewal money.

Our message is very simple: we do not send claims for money owed for renewing our service.

How to Spot, Avoid and Report Tech Support Scams

You may receive a call from a technical service saying that you have a problem such as a virus or that you have already been hacked. Very often they pretend to be from reputable businesses like Microsoft or big telephone providers.

Once in control of the computer, the “technician” may call up the computer’s event log and show several scary looking (but completely harmless) alerts.

Do they want you to pay for urgently fixing your problem? Common sense dictates that this is a scam. Criminals are very quick to ask for money and want you to pay by transferring money, putting it on n a gift, prepaid or cash reload card, or using money transfer apps. Do not do any of these things. Legal payments always go through a secure payment gatweay.

How can we protect ourselves?

As we have seen here, phishing comes in all sorts of forms and trying to look like many different brands. So here is a guide on what to do in case you receive suspicious messages: