A new scam is gaining popularity and causing computer owners to lose money and personal information. The scam usually starts with a phone call from someone claiming to be Tech Support from a well-known computer company such as Microsoft®. The caller claims that they detected a virus or malware on your computer and once they have gained your trust they may:
- Convince you to allow them remote access to fix the problem and install software you don’t need and leave you and your computer vulnerable.
- Try and enroll you in bogus warranty programs and service agreements.
- Ask for credit card information so they can bill you outrageous amounts for the work they performed.
- Trick you into installing malware so that they can steal your personal information.
If you get a call similar to this, hang up and call the company yourself at a valid number. As a general rule an incoming phone call that moves quickly to pressure tactics is most likely a scam. It is never a good idea to hand over control of your computer to someone who calls you uninitiated.
If you have responded to a scam similar to this, don’t panic and make sure to follow these steps:
- Make sure to remove any malware that might have been installed by downloading legitimate security software. As it runs a scan make sure to delete any files it identifies as a security threat.
- If you feel as though the caller may have obtained personal information. Visit the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) identity theft website @ www.consumer.ftc.gov.
- Make sure to file a complaint with the FTC @ ftc.gov/complaint