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Avoiding tech support scams

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You’re working on your computer when, suddenly, a message pops up on the screen: “Virus detected! Call now for a free security scan and to repair your device.” That’s a tech support scam. Don’t call, text, or email. Legit tech support companies don’t operate that way.

Scammers pose as big-name companies and use pop-up messages, fake websites, and phone calls to trick you into thinking your computer has an urgent problem. Their plan is to get your money by selling you worthless software, enrolling you in fake programs, or getting you to pay for useless tech support. The scammers urge you to call a toll-free number immediately, threatening that you may lose personal data if you don’t.

When you call, the scammer might ask you to give them remote access, pretend to run a diagnostic test, or tell you they’ve found a virus or other security issue. They try to sell you a security subscription or other “services” that range from worthless (for instance, they’re available for free elsewhere) to malicious (they install dangerous software that can help them steal your personal information.)

What should you do? If you get a pop-up to call a number to fix a virus on your computer, ignore it. Your computer is almost certainly fine. But if you’re concerned about your computer, call your security software company directly — and don’t use the phone number in the pop-up or on caller ID. Use a number you know is real, like the one on a software package or your receipt. Tech support scammers like to place online ads pretending to be legitimate companies, so be sure you have the correct telephone number for the real tech company before calling.

And if someone asks you to pay for anything — including tech support services — with a gift card, cash reload card, or a wire transfer, that’s a scam. No legitimate company will tell you to pay that way. If you see that, report it at FTC.gov/complaint.

July is Military Consumer Month. Share this video with the military community to help them avoid tech support scams.

 

Tagged with: imposter, military

Comments

I was scammed a couple of months ago into a call indicating that IYogi support was calling to give me a refund due to inability to cover me any more for the service. I fell into a trap in that the form that locked my computer until I paid them the error they made. I was forced to use my debit card at the local Walmart and buy $2700.00 in gift cards and immediately give them the numbers. They then unlocked my computer and left me with only the amount of the Questionable refund. I reported to Police and BBB along with the Maine bureau to report. No luck on getting money back.

7/22/2018 - on my skype-site popped out an announcement, that my skype should be up-dated and I should allow it, otherwise it will expire. I did!!! The design of the skype-page has been changed yet it seems to work. Have I done something wrong??? Thanks for answer.

One thing that is good with some of these phone scammers is to talk softly. Just a little at first, but slowly lower your voice as you pretend to get to your computer and find what they were looking for. That is about the right time to sound your handy-dandy boat horn, kept within easy reach of the phone for just such occasions.

i had it happen called the police to file a complaint which helped someone said he was from Microsoft and personal datq had been stolen and if i didn't call in 5 minutes i would have my computer blocked i tried to shut down did and when i powered up and went into internet explorer it kept coming up and finally i called told them it was scam and if they didn't stop putting it on my computer they would be sorry guess what i used goggle until the next day and then checked ie and it was gone the police officer thought it was funny when i told them they would be sorry

The most fun I've had was to play along with one of these folks, pretending to follow the instructions but making lots of mistakes that took many minutes to correct. He must have thought I was a total idiot, but he persevered. Then when he got to the money part I told him I'd known all along it was a scam and had purposely wasted as much of his time as possible so he could not use it to scam others. I hung up - he called back! Screamed at me and called me a son of a bitch! I laughed at him and hung up again.

I never got a call like this until my mother-in-law moved in and started using our home phone as her main line; now we get calls from "Microsoft" regularly to tell us that there is something wrong with our computer. We also get calls DAILY from a loan company offering us this and that. I can only imagine that the scammers are plugged into whatever mailing lists seniors are prone to use and milk them to the max.

reading comments regarding microsoft phone calls have rec many which i ignore but yesterday i was threatened on robo call that the local police will be called within 24 hours how dare they threaten me in my own home that is crossing the line i reported to ftc that could scare an elderly person call was from new york i live in michigan

I am embarrassed to say I let a scam company onto my computer via a remote session...and then gave them my checking account # for a one time e-check. The alert came from Microsoft (NOT) and stated that I would be shut down so that I didn't infect them also if I didn't call this 800 number. They get on remote session with you and show you a false view of what you think is a totally mess; infected by a foreign entity (well, yes it was - them). You're then transferred to the division that will clean up the mess. I questioned why I was now with a company called Tech Axis and they said the Diagnostic Expert (supposedly Microsoft's) transferred me. While they were on remote I did call Microsoft and they informed me that they never reach out to their consumers. So....I shut the computer down and immediately stopped payment on the check. Well....6 days later I get an alert from my bank that they removed the funds anyway ($299.99). It is removed from a company call Itimes. My bank insisted I call them before filing the complaint. They said they had already issued the credit (yeah right) and would see it in 3-4 days. What's shocking to me is that they retained my account number when they said it would not be in their system. The company Tech Axis is out of Pakistan and most like Itimes is also. I encourage you to contact the Federal Trade Commission so that we can put a stop to this tech support scam!!!

I fell for it but my husband cold booted to kick them out. He ran the security program and deleted the crap they were loading. The company name is Tech Access. Dubai and Pakistan based. They even post as a legitimate company on Google. Pure scam. I also closed my checking account and put a stop payment on the check. It cost me $35.00 to stop check---I learned my lesson. Now they harass me for payment with several calls a day. I contacted the State Attorney General and Microsoft. Hang up and cold boot these guys out of your life.

Exactly what happened to me, but I closed the my bank account before they got into the money. They sure were convincing. Don't feel bad, I fell for it too.

This website is uselessly outdated. I doubt there are ANY live people monitoring these comments. I've spent HOURS filing complaints & NOTHING has changed.

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