Some of the top scams are the ones that have been around the longest. One might think that a crime like the tech support scam, which has been around for 15 years, might fade away but it is more common than ever. According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, the tech support scam was reported by nearly 18,000 victims who had a combined $588 million stolen from them last year.
These scams start with an unsolicited phone call or a pop-up alert on your device, claiming to be from Microsoft, Norton, or another related company warning of grave problems. The goal is to persuade you to allow them to remotely connect with your device where they can convince you they find something terrible. They are actually seeking to install malware to harvest personal information and logins, creating ways to get back into your device or convincing you to pay for expensive repair and protection – all of which if fake.
Bottom line, the urgent phone call or popup message is a sham. Don’t answer (or hang up immediately if you do), and to rid your screen of the message, exit out of your browser, power down your device or do a hard shut down. Keeping your operating systems and security software up to date is an important way to keep real viruses and malware out.
Be a fraud fighter! If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam.
Visit the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork or call the AARP Fraud Watch Helpline at 1-877-908-3360.
This story is provided by AARP Pennsylvania. Visit the AARP Pennsylvania page for more news, events, and programs affecting retirement, health care, and more.
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