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Tech Support Scams

Information about Tech Support Scams.

How It Works

You get a call from someone who says he’s a computer technician. He might say he’s from a well-known company like Microsoft, or maybe your internet service provider. He tells you there are viruses or other malware on your computer. He says you’ll have to give him remote access to your computer or buy new software to fix it.

But is the caller who he says he is? Judging by the complaints to the Federal Trade Commission, no. These scammers might want to sell you useless services, steal your credit card number, or get access to your computer to install malware, which could then let them see everything on your computer.

Scammer have the technology to “spoof” a caller id, making it look like one Microsoft or Apple is really calling. Scammers can also post phony customer support number on-line for well-known companies.

How to Prevent It

  • Hang up. Never give control of your computer or your credit card information to someone who calls you out of the blue.
  • Do not click or call a number that pops up on your screen warning or a computer problem.
  • Do not rely on caller id – it can easily be spoofed.
  • Never share passwords with anyone who contacts you.
  • Keep security software up to date.
  • If you need help, contact a computer technician that you trust. Do not just rely on an online search.

If you have been scammed:

  1. Change any passwords you shared and scan your computer for malware.
  2. If you gave your credit card number, tell you credit card company and file a dispute of charges.
  3. Check your statement and contact your credit card company to dispute and reverse any charges for bogus services.
  4. If you get a call from the company for a “refund”, hang up because that could be part two of the scam.

Report scams to the Federal Trade Commission: Report Now