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Home Depot Ads Provide Unhelpful Tech Support

Published: March 01, 2023 on our newsletter Security Fraud News & Alerts Newsletter.

During quarantine, a lot of people decided they will do home improvement projects. I can attest, as I think my neighbor completely rebuilt his house over the past year; it’s a constant roar of power tools over there, every day. He’s not alone. Many people head over to Home Depot to get all of those materials to finish those do-it-yourself projects, but may want to purchase online and pickup, or just have it shipped. Easy enough to do and hackers are already on top of it. Someone has been redirecting what looks like a real Home Depot ad to a site that conducts a tech support scam. They also made it super easy to get you to their pages. All you have to do is click on the advertisement.

Many of us use Google search functionality to find websites. It’s easy. Those Google designers are super smart and make it easy for us to find anything quickly by typing in any number of words to find it. Hackers have started using this to their advantage by making a fake Home Depot ad appear right at the top of the search page when someone enters “Home Depot” in the search bar. It looks so real, that you’ll be tempted to click it too. BUT DON’T! It’ll just take you through a few clicks and straight to a popup claiming your PC has been blocked. It’s believable because it uses a Windows Defender dialogue box to tell you.

However, don’t believe it. Those pesky scammers just want you to put your payment card detail into their form. Put that card away. That’s not how real technical support works. In some cases, the user is tricked into giving remote access to the computer. You definitely don’t want them to have that.

Take some time to think when you see popups. Just because it causes you to panic, doesn’t mean you should make any sudden movements. In this case, close out the dialogue boxes. It might be a bit frustrating, because those creative scammers have made it pop up mania for added frustration. If you have to, close out your browser altogether.

To avoid this and other similar scams, don’t click on ads, no matter how easy it may be. It’s a lot more cybersecure for you to type the URL into the address bar than to click those ads. This goes for all ads, anywhere; especially on Facebook and other social media sites where scams are aplenty.

Sure, use that search functionality in whatever search tool you prefer. Type in what you are looking for, find the actual website URL, then manually type it into that address bar. And don’t forget to check it for typos before hitting that “enter” or “return” key!

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