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Don't Fall for Tech Support Scams

Some scammers call and claim to be computer techs associated with well-known companies like Microsoft or Apple. Other scammers send pop-up messages that warn about computer problems. They say they've detected viruses or other malware on your computer. They claim to be "tech support" and will ask you to give them remote access to your computer. Eventually, they'll diagnose a non-existent problem and ask you to pay for unnecessary - or even harmful - services.

Tech support scam

If you get an unexpected pop-up, call, spam email or other urgent message about problems with your computer, stop. Don't click on any links, don't give control of your computer and don't send any money.

How the Scam Works

Scammers may call, place alarming pop-up messages on your computer, offer free "security" scans, or set up fake websites - all to convince you that your computer is infected. The scammers try to get you on the phone, and then work to convince you there's a problem. Finally, they ask you to pay them to fix that non-existent problem.

Tech support scams often start with a pop-up that wants you to call now, or else... If you get an urgent message like this, don't click, call, send money or give anyone control of your computer.

To convince you that both the scammers and the problems are real, the scammers may:

Then, once they've convinced you that your computer has a problem, the scammers might:

These scammers want to get your money, access to your computer, or both. But there are things you can do to stop them.

If You Get a Call or Pop-Up

If You Were Scammed

Refund Scams

If you paid for tech support services, and you later get a call about a refund, that call is probably also a scam. Don't give the person any personal or financial information.

The refund scam works like this: Several months after a purchase, someone calls to ask if you were happy with the service. If you say "No", the scammer offers a refund. Or, the caller says the company is going out of business and giving refunds. The scammer eventually asks for your bank or credit card account number, or asks for access to your bank account to make a deposit. But instead of putting money in your account, the scammer takes money from your account.

If you get a call like this, hang up, and report it: ftc.gov/complaint.

 

SOURCE: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0346-tech-support-scams

 

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