Last Sunday I was awakened by an early morning phone call from Tech Support at Microsoft. They were calling to alert me to a problem on my computer. Fortunately, I knew this was a scam and hung up the phone, but many people have been fooled by scammers who are calling them to get them to purchase security software or to gain access to their computers, personal information, or credit card numbers. The Federal Trade Commission has recently brought action against several of these phony tech support companies, including: New York-based Pairsys, Florida-based Inbound Call Experts (ICE) and Florida-based Vast Tech Support , for misrepresenting that they found security or performance issues on consumers’ computers. Unfortunately many of the scammers are still operating.
What can you do to avoid similar tech support scams?
• Don’t give control of your computer to someone who says they need to activate software. Instead, look carefully at the software instructions to learn how to activate the software yourself.
• Don’t give control of your computer to someone who calls you out of the blue claiming to be from tech support. Instead, hang up and call the company at a number you know to be correct.
• Never provide your credit card information, financial information, or passwords to someone who claims to be from tech support.
• Learn how to protect your computer from malware.
What if you think you might be a victim of one of these tech support scams?
• If you paid for bogus tech support services or software with a credit card, then call your credit card company to reverse the charges.
• If you think someone may have accessed your personal or financial information, then learn more about how to lower your risk for identity theft.
• Get rid of malware that the fraudsters may have installed. Download legitimate security software and delete anything that it finds as a problem.
• Change any passwords that you gave out. If you use the same passwords for other accounts, then change those too.
• If you think you may be a victim of a tech support scam, report it to the federal Trade Commission.
To learn more about these types of scams and how to protect yourself, you may want to review the full article at the Federal Trade Commission.
* The information contained in this Blog is intended for general information and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or an opinion of counsel.