Updated · Jan 29, 2023
Have you recently seen a pop-up message claiming your computer is at risk? Your first instinct may be to call the tech support number for help, but doing that may result in you falling for the FastSupport.com scam.
So, what exactly is a FastSupport.com scam? Is FastSupport.com a scam? Here is everything you need to know.
What Is a FastSupport Scam?
The FastSupport.com scam is a tech support scam scheme used by cybercriminals to trick you into using the FastSupport service to “fix” a nonexistent problem with your computer.
FastSupport itself is a completely legitimate service that allows tech support operators to enter your computer remotely via the GoToAssist software to investigate computer issues and fix damage to the files or system.
Unfortunately, it is frequently abused by scammers who use the service to gain remote access to a user’s computer to swindle money or infect it with viruses and other malicious software.
The FastSupport.com Scheme Explained
Here is how this tech support scam works.
Initially, spammers will use malicious advertising to redirect browsers to fake websites filled with pop-ups and warning messages posing as valid Microsoft Windows or Apple alerts.
These fake warnings inform users that their computer is infected with malware, aiming to scare them into calling the “tech support hotline” displayed on the website.
After calling, users are prompted to give scammers, who pose as certified technicians, remote access to their computer via FastSupport or another similar service.
The scammers then suggest that the system is infected with malware. To prove this claim, they often direct users to open Windows Event Viewer or a similar tool that most people are not familiar with.
The warning and error signs displayed in the Windows Event Viewer are used as proof that the system is at risk.
However, you should know that it is entirely normal for the Event Viewer to display these warning signs, and it doesn’t signify that your system is compromised.
The FastSupport scam can end in two ways. Namely, the fraudster tricks you into paying a substantial amount of money to resolve the issue, either in the form of a one-time fee or an ongoing subscription. If you refuse to pay, the attacker installs malicious software or ransomware on your device, which is later used to steal your personal or financial data.
How to Remove FastSupport.com Malware
If you’ve fallen victim to the FastSupport.com scam, the methods below will allow you to identify and remove any malware installed on your computer via the remote connection.
Method 1: Use an Anti-Malware Program
Identifying files and registry keys that belong to the virus can be very difficult, especially since malware creators often change and rename them. Therefore, using an anti-malware program is the easiest way to remove a virus from your computer.
Step 1: Boot into Safe Mode with Networking
Before removing the malware, it is necessary to restart your computer into Safe mode with Networking. However, booting your PC into Safe Mode works differently depending on which version of Windows you use.
For Windows Vista/7 Users:
- Turn off your PC.
- Press the power button to start it again, and start pressing the F8 button on your keyboard repeatedly to launch the Advanced Boot Options menu.
- Use the arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate to the Safe Boot with Networking option and press Enter.
For Windows 8/10/11 Users:
- Press and hold the Shift key on your keyboard.
- At the same time, open the Start menu and select Power > Restart.
- This will launch the Windows Troubleshoot screen.
- From here, select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Restart.
- In Startup Settings, press the F5 key to boot into Safe Mode with Networking.
Step 2: Search for any FastSupport-related malware
The easiest way to identify and remove any malware associated with the FastSupport scam is to use a reputable malware removal application, such as System Mechanic Ultimate Defense. This Windows utility by Iolo will detect and remove any virus from your PC and keep your system safe and clutter-free.
Method 2: Use System Restore
The System Restore feature can help you restore your OS to a previous point in time, in this case, before it was infected with a FastSupport-related virus.
However, keep in mind that you must have a system restore point created either automatically or manually.
Step 1: Boot into Safe Mode with Command Prompt
To perform a System Restore, you must first boot your PC into Safe Mode using Command Prompt.
For Windows Vista/7 Users:
- Turn off your PC.
- Turn it on again and press the F8 key repeatedly to open the Advanced Boot Options Menu.
- Select the Safe Mode with Command Prompt option and hit Enter.
For Windows 8/10/11 Users:
- Press and hold the Shift key.
- At the same time, open the Start menu and select Power>Restart.
- In the Windows Troubleshoot Screen, select Troubleshoot>Advanced Options>Startup Settings>Restart.
- In the Startup Setting, press the F6 key to launch Safe Mode with Command Prompt.
Step 2: Perform a System Restore
- Once the system loads and Command Prompt appears, type ‘cd restore’ and hit Enter.
- Then, type rstrui.exe and press Enter to launch the System Restore window.
- In the System Restore window, click Next and choose a restore point created before the FastSupport malware infection.
- Click Next, then Yes, to initiate the system restoration process.
- Name: FastSupport Scam
- Type: Tech support scam
- Related Domains: www.fastsupport.com
- Related Scams: VIRUS ALERT FROM MICROSOFT, VIRUS ALERT FROM APPLE, and similar.
- Dangers: Tech support scammers try to gain remote access to your computer to install spyware and other malicious software on it. They also falsely identify problems with your computer and offer to help you fix them for an often excessive amount of money.
- Symptoms: Fake pop-ups, ads, or browser redirects claiming that malware has been found on your PC and displaying a tech support number to call; also, receiving suspicious calls from someone who claims to be from Apple or Microsoft.
- Removal Methods: You can remove any virus that displays fake alerts using anti-malware software. If you have already allowed cybercriminals to access your computer remotely, scan your computer with antivirus software or an anti-malware tool like System Mechanic Ultimate Defense. Another method you can try is to perform a system restore on your PC.
How to Avoid Falling For FastSupport Scams?
Follow these security measures to avoid falling for FastSupport scams:
1. Always Check the Website URL
The original and legitimate FastSupport service has this URL: https://fastsupport.gotoassist.com/. When scammers try to create a fake website, they usually make one slight unnoticeable change in the URL.
For instance, scammers may switch two characters to create a similar URL or change the website suffix from the original .com to .net or .org. So, before you seek out help from FastSupport, always check whether the website URL is the correct one.
Another thing you should be mindful of is the ‘https://’ in the web address. If a website lacks the ‘https://’ extension, it means it is not safe, and you should avoid using it.
2. Avoid Clicking on Pop-Up Messages
Legitimate companies like Apple or Microsoft would never use pop-up messages to inform you about malware found on your computer. They also never display their numbers in pop-up messages and warnings, as users can easily access their support numbers from their official support pages.
So, if you see a pop-up message warning you about a virus on your computer, you should never click on it or call the number displayed on it, as you will likely fall victim to the FastSupport scam or a similar phishing scam.
If you have a computer issue that you need assistance with, always contact customer support through the official website.
3. Don’t Accept Notifications From Suspicious Websites
Suspicious websites will often try to make you “accept” notifications to access certain pages. This is especially common among sites that host illegal or pirated content. One of these notifications could lead to the FastSupport scam, so you should never accept receiving notifications from these sites.
4. Avoid Suspicious Phone Calls
A legitimate company like Microsoft will only contact you on the phone to offer support if you arrange the call yourself. So, if someone contacts you to tell you that your computer is at risk without you scheduling it beforehand, you should hang up immediately.
Even if you have scheduled a tech support phone call, always make sure you are talking to a legitimate support representative before giving out any personal information or allowing remote access to your computer.
Remember that tech support representatives will never ask you to provide personal information, such as your Social Security Number, simply because they have no actual use for it.
How Dangerous is the FastSupport Scam?
The FastSupport scam is considered one of the most dangerous phishing scams there is. The reason for this is simple. Giving cyber criminals remote access to your computer means they can do anything they want, from installing trojans, keyloggers, and other types of malware on your computer, to stealing your personal and financial data.
Can I Trust Microsoft or Apple Tech Support Callers?
No, you should never trust Microsoft or Apple tech support callers simply because they are not who they say they are. As already mentioned, support representatives from legitimate companies like Microsoft or Apple never call customers to offer tech support or ask for their personal information.
But how did cybercriminals gain access to your phone number in the first place? There are many ways how that could happen. For instance, your personal information may have been exposed in an internet data breach, or your phone number may be publicly available on a social media platform.
Whatever the case may be, if you get a phone call from a person claiming to be a Microsoft or Apple support representative, it is always a scam. If you don’t hang up immediately, it can lead to financial loss or data theft.
The FastSupport scam is one of the most common tech support scams, where cybercriminals trick people into giving them remote access to their computers to extract money or steal their data.
While the scam can be pretty dangerous, you can easily avoid it by identifying false warnings about malware found on your PC and not engaging with tech support callers claiming to be from Microsoft or Apple.
Is FastSupport a scam?
No, FastSupport itself is a completely legitimate service that allows tech support operators to log into people’s computers remotely and resolve any problems they might have. Unfortunately, it is often abused by cybercriminals to deceive people.
What is a FastSupport.com scam?
FastSupport is a tech support scam where cybercriminals impersonate tech support agents to convince people to give them remote access to their computers. After that, they usually ask for money to resolve a nonexistent issue or install malicious software on the user’s computer.
Romj is a veteran copywriter who used to be a Jack of all trades. Now, he's trying to be a master of one: technology. He jumps down the rabbit hole to size the latest innovations up. As a content contributor for TechJury, he hopes to help you keep up in our fast-paced world with his discoveries.
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