FTC’s Tech Support Takedown 2019

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We read you loud and clear! Last year, the FTC got nearly 143,000 reports about tech support scams. We’ve been warning people about this type of scam for years. But one piece of information in the FTC’s newest Consumer Protection Data Spotlight was an eye-opener. People 60 and over were about five times more likely than younger people to tell us they lost money on this scam, even though they were less likely than younger people to say they lost money to many other types of scams.

The FTC has brought many cases against tech support scammers, including our case just announced against Elite IT. With our law enforcement partners at the Department of Justice, other federal and state offices, and international colleagues, we’re fighting to protect older adults. And this is all part of the largest-ever nationwide elder fraud sweep focusing on tech support fraud.

But that’s not all. Visit ftc.gov/techsupportscams to see, hear, and read how to help the people you care about spot and avoid these scams – and get tips on what to do if you were scammed. Need a quick, shareable (and printable) snapshot on how to spot tech support scams? Check out our tech support scam infographic.

And, because we save the best for last, check out our new video – a compelling first-person account of how Mr. Donald Holmes of Arizona faced a tech support scam, and what he did about it.

Spotted a tech support scam? Report it at ftc.gov/complaint. And after you report it, use this handy information from ftc.gov/passiton to talk to your family and friends about what happened so they can avoid it too.

Comments

I AM A RETIRED LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, WITH 29 YEARS OF SERVICE. I HAVE HAD OVER 300 OF THESE FRAUD, SCAM, FAKE TECH SUPPORT ILLEGAL CALLS. I HAVE SENT IN HUNDREDS OF COMPLAINTS TO THE FEDERAL FTC, FCC, ATTORNEY GEN. OFFICE AND ALL LOCAL STATES AUTHORITIES. I AM ALSO HELPING OTHER PEOPLE ON THIS AND OTHER SCAMS. I WILL ABSOUTELY TESTIFY IN ANY USA COURT, TO PUT THESE ILLEGALS, SCAMMERS AND FRAUD IDIOTS IN PRISON AND MAKE THEM PAY MILLIONS.!!!

this is what happened to me 4 years ago, and they still keep calling me. They do not care that I told them I contacted the FTC and reported them for fraud and harassment. They also opened up Venmo accounts and started draining my checking account. What a nightmare. I am older also we tend to be more trusting.

I am a retired 64 year old who was tricked onto checking a box for "Mackeeper", thinking it was and Official Mac (Apple) suggestions.
Thereafter, I was repeatedly PLAGUED by unsolicited "Pop-Ups".
The pop-ups persisted and ousted me from whatever I was viewing on my MacBook Air. It was frustrating and aggravating to be booted out of my intended site over and over again, and then the "history" of what I was looking at, was replaced with "Mackeeper", sometimes listed 20 times in a matter of minutes!
So, each time I tried to return to a site, I'd be booted out again.
I eventually had to take my lap-top to be debugged from the scammers who call themselves "Mackeeper", who are NOT affiliated with Mac/Apple Company. I urge my fellow retirees, and everyone else.... be careful what you click on, even if it appears to be legitimate... it probably isn't!

The EXACT same thing happened to me a couple of years ago, except that at the same time that they locked my screen, there was a LOUD penetrating buzz coming from my computer which was doubly confounding. They were pretending to be my Norton Anti-virus support team and by calling the number which they provided, I gave them access to my computer. By the time he got around to asking for 300.00 to clear viruses and unlock my compurpter, I realized that I had been duped and refused to give him money. After that we received numerous phone calls on a regular basis until the calls became less frequent. Yes, I am a senior citizen!

Thank you (again)

Getting calls claiming they are ssa

Thank you so much for the update. Tech Support scammers have been stealing from computer users for years.

Thank you for this information and I have forwarded it to my siblings in their 50's and 60's and even to my Mom who in her late 80's as she also uses her computer regularly. A special thank you to Mr. Holmes who graciously shared his story. No doubt his willingness to do so will help protect others.

A real hero for us the elder statespersons Is that even a word?

Thank you for this information. I have received these scams too, but luckily ignored them.

I had some instances where I had problems with my computer.I have a hp computer and also it gave me info to talk to a technician.I would tell them my problem and they would direct me by telefone as what to do to correct it.Then they would try to sell me support for a yearly basis I heard that and said I could not aford that and hung up.I am more aware now as how to fix my own computer with no help.

Please check out SRS IT Services LLC and 365 Tech Care. I believe I was scammed out of $3000.00 and want to recover that money from SRS IT Services LLC.

To report a problem to the FTC, go to www.FTC.gov/Complaint. You can give details about your experience and the information will go into the secure database the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations.

The comments you send to this blog do not go into the law enforcement database.

Thanks for the good information. I wish you could help get at least some of my money back.

I need to report a scam but cant figure out how to! It has to do with un-asked for magazine subscriptions.

You could call the FTC to report the scam. You will talk to a person who will take your report when you dial 1-877-382-4357.

Thank you! It means so much!

I have one simple rule. I never do business with someone who solicits business or wants my credit card over the phone. As a senior myself, I trust nobody I do not know.

Fortunately, I have a son, who is a writer and school teacher who knows alot more about computers than I, as a senior citizen. So, if I feel something is not quite right when something pops up on my screen,I request he investigate.I did know that Social Security or Medicare do not use telephone calls to contact you anytime and I was able to avoid those calls.I did have a problem with medicare for all sorts of back braces,etc.being shipped to me without my authorization.It was a mightmare but I reported this to medicare, who had paid for them, and we managed to get medicare their money back.These telemarkerters need to get a REAL job and stop harassing people, partucularly senior citizens.

The mini-video on scamming is very effective. Could you possibly send it in a different format so that we could copy and save it on a flash drive for showing to large groups.

We're happy that you like the video and would like to share it. To see different formats, go to the video's home page: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/media/video-0181-how-avoid-tech-support-scam.

Directly below the video display, you'll see the words "Description" and "Downloads."  Click on Downloads, and you'll see three different format choices. You can save the video file to your flash drive, just like you would save a document file.

If you have questions, please send another comment.  Remember that we have free handouts about fraud prevention and other topics at www.FTC.gov/Bulkorder.

I submitted a complaint about numerous calls from a scammer, identifying themselves as Apple, INC. they call at numerous times during the day. I am recuperating from several surgeries I've had since September 13, 2018. The number, they had been calling from came up 408-996-1010; now they're calling again and number comes up, Apple, Inc. 949-325-5426. They actually called today, twice and this is Sunday! We had been scammed several years ago; so I know not to fall for this one. The first time they called, I answered and they started telling me they found malicious spyware on my IPad and IPhone. Apple Does Not call people, if you're having trouble with your device, you have to call Apple! I notified Apple about this. I just wanted to make people aware of this.

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