Seven out of ten times the phone rings, it’s a robocall, or sales person with a phony pitch. Sometimes they wear us down, but it’s important to beware of these tech support scams.
And sometimes, they get you at the right time. If you’re having trouble with your computer or a device and a caller offers to fix it remotely, think more than twice before you agree to his or her plan.
A Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alert warns about the tech support scammers who call to convince us that we need their software to fix some mystery virus on our computers. The FTC says, “At best, the software is worthless or available elsewhere for free. At worst, it could be malware — software designed to give criminals access to your computer and your personal information.”
These creeps pretend that they’re from well-known companies and ask you to perform a series of tasks on your computer. They try to scare you into thinking you need help and explain that they can help you if you give them remote access to your computer.
Do not do this. They can install malware on your computer and steal sensitive information.
They also frequently ask for credit card information and bill you for phony products, or things you can get for free.
Do not give out credit card information, passwords or any private information.
If You Fell For It:
- 1. Use legitimate security software to get rid of malware. You can download this from the Internet.
- 2. Change your passwords and accounts that are compromised.
- 3. Ask credit card companies to reverse the charges.
- 4. Visit the FTC’s identity theft website and file a complaint with the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.