How to Protect Against the FastSupport Scam in 2024

Ana Jovanovic
Ana Jovanovic Editor
Updated on: May 22, 2024
Fact Checked by Kate Davidson
Ana Jovanovic Ana Jovanovic
Updated on: May 22, 2024 Editor

Short on time? Here’s how to protect against the FastSupport scam in 2024:

  1. Preliminary step. Remove any potentially malicious browser extensions that could be causing the issue.
  2. Install a reliable antivirus. Norton 360 is my top recommendation — it achieved perfect malware detection rates and comes with a good VPN, dark web monitoring, and excellent real-time protection and web security.
  3. Run a full scan. A complete scan identifies any potentially malicious files on your device. Once the scan is complete, let the antivirus software remove all the malware it finds on your device.
  4. Enable your antivirus’s real-time and web protection. Real-time protection should be turned on by default, but double-checking is always a good idea.
  5. Continue staying safe. Be vigilant about avoiding suspicious websites and keeping your software up-to-date.

The FastSupport scam is a form of technical support fraud: scammers manipulate you into granting remote access to your computer while pretending to provide legitimate tech support. Typically, the scam is executed using FastSupport.com, which is a legitimate remote access tool powered by GoToAssist.

While the FastSupport website is legitimate, unsolicited calls, texts, emails, or pop-ups claiming to be from FastSupport are almost certainly not, and you’re most likely getting them because you visited a dodgy website, have been involved in a data breach, or have a malicious extension installed. Either way, do not respond or share any personal information with the sender.

In addition to being careful, I highly recommend using trusted antivirus software, which will block dangerous websites, scan emails, and detect any malicious programs on your device. I tested and analyzed dozens of antivirus apps, and Norton 360 is my top choice. It has perfect malware detection rates, strong web protection, and lots of extra features.

Threat name FastSupport scam
Threat type Scareware, phishing
Devices affected Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android (and any other mobile or desktop devices connected to the internet)
Sources Malicious phone calls, text messages (SMS), emails, browser pop-ups
Symptoms Pop-ups, unsolicited tech support calls or messages, slowed computer performance, unfamiliar apps installed without consent, frequent website redirects
Damage Data theft, financial loss, identity theft, compromised security, system corruption

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How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

First of all, ignore any pressure tactics and resist following any instructions you get from the scammers. Instead, delete and report emails involving this scam and close any pop-ups you see.

Preliminary Step. Remove Suspicious Browser Extensions

Now, you should check to see if there are malicious extensions installed in your browser that are causing the FastSupport scam. If so, it’s super simple to fix the problem. Here’s how to do it:

Remove Malicious Extensions on Chrome

Google Chrome is usually very good at blocking malicious browser extensions — but they can still sneak in sometimes. Follow these steps to remove them in Chrome:

  1. First, click the 3 vertical dots in the top right.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

  1. Mouse over Extensions, then click Manage Extensions.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

  1. From here, check for any suspicious or unwanted extensions and click Remove.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

After removing the suspicious add-ons/extensions, be cautious about downloading more. Some “free” downloads could include harmful add-ons you may not be aware of.

If the above didn’t work, you should reset Google Chrome’s settings to their defaults. Here’s how:

  1. Click the same 3 vertical dots — but this time, click Settings.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

  1. Then, begin typing “restore” in the search bar at the top. When the option appears, click Restore settings to their original defaults.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

  1. Click the Reset settings button to confirm and complete the process.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

Once complete, you can head to Step 1.

Remove Malicious Extensions on Firefox

Firefox makes it easy to uninstall extensions and add-ons. Here’s how:

  1. Click the puzzle piece icon.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

  1. Click Extensions on the left-hand side.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

  1. Look for any extensions you don’t recognize, click the 3 horizontal dots beside them, then click Remove.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

At this point, you should reset Firefox’s settings if that didn’t solve the issue. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Click the lines in the top right, then Help.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

  1. Click More troubleshooting information.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

  1. Choose Refresh Firefox.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

  1. Confirm by clicking on the Refresh Firefox button.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

Once that’s done, you can proceed to Step 1.

Remove Malicious Extensions on Microsoft Edge

If you’re using Microsoft Edge, you can easily remove suspicious-looking extensions. Here’s how:

  1. Click the puzzle piece, then Manage extensions.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

  1. Then, simply remove any extensions you don’t recognize.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

After that, it’s a great idea to reset your browser settings if that didn’t resolve the issue. Here’s how:

  1. Click the horizontal dots. Then, click Settings.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

  1. Begin typing “reset” in the search bar (in the left-hand sidebar under Settings). Click Restore settings to their default values when the option appears.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

  1. Then, click Reset to confirm.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

Now you can proceed to Step 1.

Remove Malicious Extensions on Safari (Mac)

Follow these steps to remove any suspicious Safari extensions:

  1. In an active Safari window, click Safari, then Settings… from the top menu bar. (An even easier way is to hold Command and press comma.)

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

  1. On the right-hand side, click Extensions, find any you don’t recognize, click on them, and click Uninstall.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

Now you can move on to Step 1.

Step 1. Install Reliable Antivirus Software

Begin by purchasing a subscription to Norton or another leading antivirus. Install it on your device and follow the setup instructions.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

Once the installation is complete, you’ll be equipped to guard against scams, viruses, and other online threats.

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Step 2. Perform a Full System Scan

It’s important to run a full device scan, which will discover and remove the malicious files causing the FastSupport scam on your device.

To perform a full scan using Norton, simply navigate to the Device Security tab and click on Full Scan. This process could take about an hour, but you shouldn’t interrupt it.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

After the scan finishes, you’ll see a list of potential threats. You’re free to review them — but this isn’t necessary (or even recommended if you’re not an advanced user).

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

In most cases, you can simply go ahead and let your antivirus delete or quarantine any threats automatically.

Once you’ve cleaned your system, restart your device to stop any leftover harmful processes. When your computer boots up again, perform another full scan to confirm that all threats have been completely removed from your system.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

Step 3. Enable Real-Time and Web Protection

Real-time protection is an essential feature of antivirus software. It continuously scans all files before you open them on your device. This means that if you accidentally download a questionable file, real-time protection will identify the threat and prevent it from executing.

How to Detect, Remove & Protect Against the FastSupport Scam (Step-by-Step Guide)

Web protection, on the other hand, will prevent you from downloading malicious files in the first place by blocking access to websites that contain them. It’s particularly effective against phishing sites, which are a common tactic used by fraudsters impersonating FastSupport agents.

Norton does a great job of protecting you from this type of attack that involves scammers tricking you into giving your personal information to them. Its phishing protection successfully identified all phishing attempts in my testing. It outperformed browsers like Chrome or Firefox by blocking numerous malicious websites attempting to steal my information.

I also suggest getting Norton’s browser extension for your favorite browser, or trying out its dedicated secure web browser for added safety. Norton Private Browser is a sealed environment where you can more safely perform financial transactions or other sensitive tasks.

The browser comes with Web Shield, Privacy Guard, and strong password protection. Web Shield protects you from phishing scams and malicious websites and downloads; Privacy Guard blocks ads and trackers; and password protection stops malicious apps and other malware from viewing and changing your passwords.

If you decide on the browser extension, just remember to always keep it activated to avoid accidentally visiting harmful websites.

Step 4. Stay Safe

To stay safe on the internet, adopt a proactive security approach. Be vigilant about phishing attempts — never click on suspicious links or download attachments from unknown sources. Regularly update your software to patch security vulnerabilities, and use reputable antivirus software to protect against malware.

Educate yourself about the latest cyber threats and scams, such as the FastSupport scam, to recognize and avoid them. Finally, ensure that your internet connections are secure, particularly when using public Wi-Fi, by using a virtual private network (VPN) to encrypt your data.

3 Best Antiviruses for Protecting Against the FastSupport Scam

Quick summary of the best antiviruses for protecting against the FastSupport scam

  • 🥇 1. Norton 360 —  Best overall antivirus with strong protection against the FastSupport scam.
  • 🥈 2. Bitdefender — Great lightweight antivirus scanner with lots of additional features.
  • 🥉 3. TotalAV — Simple-to-use, straightforward interface that’s ideal for beginners.

How Does the FastSupport Scam Work?

The FastSupport scam works by getting you to provide remote access to your computer. Scammers can then access your sensitive data, including files and passwords, and even access your bank accounts. Here’s what you should look out for.

  • Unsolicited tech support emails. Unless you contacted them first asking for help, tech support agents will never reach out to you asking for remote access to your computer.
  • Calls you’re not expecting. Always be hyper-vigilant about calls you’re not expecting or phone numbers you don’t recognize.
  • Odd URLs. Be cautious of messages with links that look similar to the FastSupport website but are slightly off. Always check where a link is going before you click.
  • Spelling and grammar mistakes. Look out for emails or messages that contain poor grammar, spelling mistakes, or unusual phrasing.
  • Pressure (or scare) tactics. Scammers often use urgency, like threatening account suspension or immediate fines, to prompt quick actions. These are all lies to deceive you.
  • Unexpected requests for information. Never respond to unsolicited messages that ask for personal or financial information.
  • Generic greetings. You can safely assume that any salutation like “Dear Customer”, “Dear Sir”, “Dear Madam” is an outright scam.

What to Do If You’ve Fallen For the FastSupport Scam

If you realize you’ve shared your information during a FastSupport scam, it’s important to act quickly to mitigate any potential damage. Here are the steps you should take immediately:

  • Scan your device for malware. Use a reliable antivirus to perform a thorough scan of your device. This will help identify and remove any malicious software installed during the scam.
  • Contact your financial institutions. Inform your bank and credit card issuer about the potential security breach. They can monitor your accounts for suspicious activity and, if necessary, help you secure your accounts.
  • Change your passwords. Update your passwords for all important accounts, especially those related to banking and email. Choose strong, unique ones for each account to enhance security. A good password manager can help you with this.
  • Enable two-factor authentication (2FA). Add an extra layer of security to your accounts by enabling 2FA. This requires a second form of identification beyond just your password, which can help prevent unauthorized access.
  • Report the scam. Notify the appropriate authorities about the scam. This could include your local consumer protection agency, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), or cybersecurity divisions in your country. Reporting can help prevent others from falling victim to the same scam.
  • Monitor your accounts and credit reports. Keep an eye on your financial accounts and your credit report for signs of unauthorized activity. You may consider setting up alerts with credit reporting agencies to notify you of any new inquiries or accounts opened in your name.

Taking these steps can help protect your personal information and prevent further damage. If you’re unsure about how to proceed, consider consulting a professional cybersecurity service.

How to Protect Against the FastSupport Scam & Other Phishing Scams

Follow these steps to protect yourself from the FastSupport scam and other similar scams.

  • Use reputable antivirus software. Install and maintain reliable antivirus software like Norton to detect and block malware and other threats.
  • Be skeptical of unsolicited contact. Whether it’s a call, email, or text, if you didn’t initiate the contact, be wary of sharing any information.
  • Educate yourself about phishing techniques. Recognize the signs of phishing attempts to avoid falling for scams that mimic legitimate requests.
  • Keep software updated. Regularly update your operating system, browsers, and apps to protect against vulnerabilities that scammers could exploit.
  • Report scams. If you encounter a scam, report it to the appropriate authorities to help prevent others from being victimized.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is FastSupport a scam?

FastSupport is a legitimate technical support service, but scammers can use it for malicious purposes. While some fraudsters impersonate FastSupport agents to extract personal information or gain device access, others might trick you into believing your computer is infected and urge you to click on a FastSupport link without claiming to be FastSupport employees.

Therefore, it’s crucial to be cautious of unsolicited support calls or messages. Verify the authenticity of any tech support communication by directly reaching out to the official company’s contact points. Never share personal information or allow remote access to your computer unless you are absolutely sure of the entity’s legitimacy. Also, consider getting an antivirus suite to further enhance your web protection.

What’s the most common way fraudsters try to scam you out of your information and money?

The most common method fraudsters use to scam you out of your information and money is phishing. Phishing involves sending fake messages that seem to be from trusted sources, like FastSupport. These messages might arrive via email, text, or phone calls, and they usually ask you to provide sensitive details such as passwords and credit card numbers.

These scammers design their messages to look very convincing, often creating a sense of urgency. They might urge you to verify your account details or click on a link that could install malware on your device. Always be cautious with unsolicited requests, and double-check the source before responding or clicking on any links.

What happens when a scammer gets access to your computer?

Once a scammer gains access to your computer, they can install malware, steal personal information, or lock your system and demand ransom. They might use this access to commit identity theft or financial fraud.

This is why it’s paramount to use one of the best antiviruses for Windows or Mac. Once you’ve downloaded and installed your chosen one, it’s important to run a full system scan and remove any suspicious software immediately. Also, you should enable real-time protection along with web protection to protect you from inadvertently visiting malicious websites.

Who should I contact if I have been scammed?

You should contact local law enforcement and report the scam to your country’s consumer protection agency or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) if you’re in the US. Reporting the incident can help authorities track down the scammers and potentially recover any losses.

Additionally, notify your financial institutions, such as your bank and credit card issuer, to secure your accounts and monitor them for fraudulent transactions. It’s also a good ideal to alert the tech support company being impersonated, as they might issue warnings to other customers. You can do your part to help others out.

How do I clean my computer after being scammed?

First, you should download and install reputable internet security software. Then, run a full scan to detect and remove any malware. Ensure your antivirus is up to date to handle the latest threats effectively.

Follow up by changing passwords for all accounts you accessed through the compromised computer. It’s also wise to update your software and operating systems to close any security loopholes. Regularly back up important data to an external drive or cloud storage to prevent data loss in future incidents.

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About the Author
Ana Jovanovic
Updated on: May 22, 2024

About the Author

Ana Jovanovic is an editor at SafetyDetectives. She has nearly a decade of experience editing, proofreading, fact-checking, and rewriting content for dozens of websites covering various topics, including two dedicated to antiviruses, VPNs, parental controls, and password managers. Prior to joining the SafetyDetective team, she led a team of SEO content editors working in several niches, including cybersecurity, finance, and technology. Ana has also worked in printed media and the book publishing industry as an editor and translator. When she's not working, she enjoys reading, cooking, and taking care of her plants — she has over a hundred of them!

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