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Scam Alert: Tech Support Scams

Posted by Ellen Brown | Dec 27, 2023

Tech support scams are when someone tries to trick you into believing that there is something wrong with your computer or device and that you need to pay them to fix it.  You could also find that your computer just stops working and gives you a screen that in order to access your computer you must pay money.  The warning says not to close the window or shut your computer down.  These scams can happen through phone calls, pop-up windows, or even emails. Here are some tips to help you avoid tech support scams:

  1. Don't trust unsolicited calls or pop-up windows: If someone you don't know calls you or a pop-up window appears on your computer saying there's something wrong with it, be careful. Don't give out any personal information or money until you're sure it's safe.

  2. Don't give remote access to your computer: Scammers may ask for remote access to your computer to fix the supposed problem. Don't give them access, as they may install malicious software or steal personal information from your computer.  They can even duplicate the screen so you think nothing is happening while they steal information or log into your bank or other website and steal money.  

  3. Verify the company: If someone claims to be from a well-known tech company, like Microsoft or Apple, ask for their name and call the company directly to verify their identity. Don't use the phone number they give you, instead, look up the company's contact information online.

  4. Be cautious of scare tactics: Scammers often use scare tactics to convince you that there's an urgent problem that needs to be fixed immediately.  If a scammer ever threatens that you will go to jail for tech scam it is fraudulent and hang up immediately.   Don't let them pressure you into giving them money or access to your computer.

  5. Report suspicious calls or pop-up windows: If you think you've been targeted by a tech support scam, don't ignore it. Report it to the company the scammer claimed to be from, or to the Federal Trade Commission.

Remember, it's always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to tech support scams. If you're not sure whether a call or pop-up window is legitimate, don't give out any personal information or money. Instead, verify the company's identity and report any suspicious activity.

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