Fraud and Security
New Twist On Tech Support Scam
Scams come in a myriad of twists, and the newest announced by the FTC relies on old-style phone fraud paired with a new angle--unsolicited (and fraudulent) tech support services with “follow-up calls” offering a refund on the bogus, unprovided services. The crooks collect bank or credit card information offering to provide a refund for services that never actually occurred.
"Once they’ve got you hooked, they claim that they need your bank or credit card account number to process the refund," the FTC says. "They might say that you need to create a Western Union account to receive the money. They may even offer to help you fill out the necessary forms--if you give them remote access to your computer. But instead of transferring money to your account, the scammer withdraws money from your account."
Avoid these types of scams by:
- Never giving your financial information or other sensitive details to someone who calls you. Instead, identify an official contact number from the IT provider’s site to call. Don’t rely on email links sent to you, but search out addresses on your own. If necessary, run them through siteadvisor.com, virustotal.com, etc. before visiting the site.
- Always seek out legitimate, referred IT services when needed. Consumers can seek help from stores where they purchased their electronics. Businesses can check IT provider listings in the Better Business Bureau, through their local Chamber of Commerce, or get referrals from other business owners.
- If you suspect your identity or account information has been compromised, contact your financial institution and financial advisor immediately. Victims of these false IT services are also encouraged to hang up on subsequent callers and file a complaint at ftc.gov/complaint.
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