Nationwide, there’s been an increase in people reporting scams tied to tech support for an assortment of electronic devices. Federal authorities say scammers reporting to be associated with such telecommunication companies have been happening for years across the country. The Justice Department recently announced the sentencing of 24 defendants who ran what the agency described as “the first-ever large scale, multi-jurisdiction prosecution targeting the India call center scam industry.”
Underscoring how rampant the schemes are, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recently warned consumers about tech support schemes and how some fraudsters send pop-up messages to your screen to get you to think you’re having computer issues. Many of them will offer free “security” scans, or go to the extent of setting up bogus websites “to convince you that your computer is infected,” the FTC says on its website.
Here are 3 signs of a tech support scam
- If they ask you for remote access or your password: This is how scammers can actually modify your computer settings to make it more vulnerable to an attack. This method can be legitimate, but if you don’t know who’s on the other end of the line, don’t give them your personal info!
- If they try to sell you a maintenance plan: Scammers will hawk meaningless warranties and maintenance plans to you. Don’t fall for it. Many security programs are free or come pre-loaded.
- If they ask for your credit card info over the phone: Not only will they attempt to bill you for fraudulent services, but they may actually clean you out if you hand over your payment information.
Here’s what to do if a scammer calls your phone
- Hang up: It’s no longer true that we can rely on caller ID because they may use a falsified ID (called Spoofing). Many criminals know how to mask their calls with local numbers now. If you get an unexpected call from someone you don’t know or recognize, hang up.
- Get a pop-up? Ignore it: The FTC says, “There are legitimate pop-ups from your security software to do things like update your operating system. But do not call a number that pops up on your screen in a warning about a computer problem.”
- Call directly: Don’t rely on a middle man when you can go straight to the source for any of concerns about network security. If you’re having an issue as a Craw-Kan customer, call us at 620-724-8838 or visit our support page and fill out a trouble ticket.