Scammers pretending to be from computer companies rely on successful tech support scams to steal your money, gain access to your computer, or both.
How it works:
- You get a call or see a pop-up message on your computer warning that you have a virus (the caller will claim to be from Microsoft, Apple or another well-known tech company).
- They convince you to provide remote access to your computer so they can show you the ‘problem’ – and then pull up benign data that look threatening to convince you to pay them to fix it.
- While on your system, they could install software that puts your computer and the information you store on it at risk.
- In the end, they will ask you for your credit card number to charge for the repair, and will try signing you up for a worthless maintenance plan.
What you should know:
- An urgent call from a supposed tech company warning you of a virus is a scammer.
- Rely on on-screen messages from your software security that will prompt you to do things like install updates to your security system.
- A follow-on scheme involves the tech company calling you back one day to claim it’s going out of business or it’s offering refunds for some other reason, and they will ask you for your bank or credit card information to process your refund.
What you should do:
- Hang up on anyone claiming to be from tech support warning of a virus on your computer.
- If you get a pop-up alert that appears to freeze your computer, don’t follow the instructions. Just shut down your computer and restart to get rid of the phony ad.
- If you are concerned about the security of your computer, go to someone you trust for help. Don’t do an internet search for “tech support” as you may end up on a scammer’s site.
If you think you’ve been the victim of fraud, contact the Oklahoma Attorney General’s office by visiting www.ok.gov/oag or calling 1-405-521-3921 or 1-918-581-2885. When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You have the power to protect yourselves and your loved ones from scams. Please share this with friends and family.
PS: If you haven’t tuned into AARP’s weekly podcast The Perfect Scam, it’s worth a listen! The series shares compelling personal stories from scam victims and their families. Professional con artists and leading experts pull back the curtain on how scammers operate and share tips on how best to protect ourselves. If you enjoy The Perfect Scam, please nominate it for a People’s Choice Podcast Award!
The post Fraud Watch Network Alert: “No, Microsoft is not calling you about a virus.” appeared first on AARP States.