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Official-sounding calls about an email hack

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There’s a new twist on tech-support scams — you know, the one where crooks try to get access to your computer or sensitive information by offering to “fix” a computer problem that doesn’t actually exist. Lately, we’ve heard reports that people are getting calls from someone claiming to be from the Global Privacy Enforcement Network. Their claim? That your email account has been hacked and is sending fraudulent messages. They say they’ll have to take legal action against you, unless you let them fix the problem right away.

If you raise questions, the scammers turn up the pressure – but they’ve also given out phone numbers of actual Federal Trade Commission staff (who have been surprised to get calls). The scammers also have sent people to the actual website for the Global Privacy Enforcement Network. (It’s a real thing: it’s an organization that helps governments work together on cross-border privacy cooperation.)

Here are few things to remember if you get any kind of tech-support call, no matter who they say they are:

  • Don’t give control of your computer to anyone who calls you offering to “fix” your computer.
  • Never give out or confirm your financial or sensitive information to anyone who contacts you.
  • Getting pressure to act immediately? That’s a sure sign of a scam. Hang up.
  • If you have concerns, contact your security software company directly. Use contact information you know is right, not what the caller gives you.

Read on to learn more about tech-support scams and government imposter scams. And, if you spot a scam, tell the FTC.

Tagged with: email, imposter, scam


I am receiving calls (no number) UNKNOWN stating that my email has been hacked. My password has been changed ten times and asking me how many spam emails do I have. Do I know anyone from Russia? Thats where the hack is from. Three times in two days. Told them to stop calling. He threatened to disable my email. I said fine!

Today I got two calls from a man with a heavy Indian accent. He told me and my mother that he's from the Google tech support division. He asked to speak with me by name. He told us that my gmail account has been hacked from somewhere in Ohio. Then asked if we lived there, knew anyone there, visited Ohio or bought anything from there. I said no, then he asked if we use Apple products and what is the company name of my laptop. Told him Asus or aser, not sure. He called back and started right from where we left off like we never stopped talking. He asked if I was on my computer and what type it was. He said he was here to help because my gmail account sent some emails to a company that were deemed fraudulent. I googled these types of calls and came across this site. Just got off the phone with him after I said that I googled him with these types of calls and your a scammer trying to get money and to stop calling me. Rofl he hung up before I could. My account was really hacked twice before and Google shut my email down and gave me a new password that they created. This guy even asked for a pin number too. I've also gotten calls talking about a lawsuit against me pressuring me to call before action is taken. Do Not Believe Them!

‭+31 38 880 00 55‬ Netherlands call today from Microsoft Customer Care, staying my email has been hacked as has my computer. They needed to get on to help me repair my system.
I explained that I’d change my passwords and then have a local IT department take a look at it, the person said that it doesn’t work like that- IT can’t “help”! Well, I sure told him that there’s no way I’d randomly give control to someone calling me about my computer.

We get these calls from different numbers everyday. We never agree to the scam- you’d think they’d get the hint. It makes it hard to have phones and emails with the scams out there.

My daughter just got a call from “Windows” saying people from overseas have been trying to hack her email account. The person wanted her to log in so she could fix it! Luckily she is aware I’ve had similar calls, especially those IRS scams so she brought her phone to me and put it on speaker!! As soon as the person on the phone heard me in the background they hung up!!

Received a phone call today claiming they were from google and that my old email address was being used for illegal activity overseas. I was concerned at first because I have been having ALOT of issues with my account, laptop, tablet and phone having been hacked. When I told him I was at work he wanted to know when I would be home to take care of this issue. I said later tonight, he called again but I wasn't home yet and said he would call me in the morning before I go to work so we can take care of it. I was worried at first, but then after talking to my boyfriend and reading all these posts, I realize it's a scam. Kind of looking forward to the call in the morning so I can cuss this guy out!!

I have gotten several calls from a foreign sounding man saying he is with cyber crime in washington dc and that my email was hacked. He wants to match a number off my computer. I keep hanging up on him

Cardinal rules to avoid being a victim:
1. You have the right to be suspicious. Cold calls from strangers are automatically suspect; your information is already out there, and bad folks can use it to convince you they are trustworthy or legitimate.
2. Never, ever, give vital information over the phone unless you have initiated the call, to an independently verified number sourced from your records, i.e. bank branch, hotline, broker, etc.
3. Do not engage in idle chat with a suspicious caller, just to mess with them. They are pros, and can beguile you into revealing more than you think, then calling back later with a new ploy, using the new info you gave them to "verify" their authenticity.
4. Think logically; Microsoft does not have your telephone number, nor millions of employees dedicated to calling owners. Then, your anonymous computer also does not (or better not!) link to Microsoft etc. to alert them that you've been hacked. Even false warnings can pop up on-screen, if you go to a questionable internet site while browsing. No one has control of your machine unless you oblige them by downloading software or going to their weblinks. Disconnecting from the Internet is simple enough, and turning the computer off works very well, also.

I foolishly fell for a scam they said they weren’t selling anything but hackers are into my computer and I let them get in then they said if I didn’t buy the soft ware my computer was disabled I was in a panic mode and said ok fix it then they said no credit card only a routing number I didn’t give it to them but they say I owe the money and must send check when I said remove the software they said stocking fee would equal the same cost computer is working and I haven’t sent check what shall I do

Just got a call Automated that said that my email was going to be discontinued because it's been spamming people. What do I do now? Can they really discontinue my email and if course I'm not spamming anyone only messaging my friends etc

I just had someone telling me that my internet had been hacked and Telstra was turning it off tomorrow. They claimed to be from Telstra, from the Melbourne office. is this real?


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