Tech Support Fraud is nothing new, cyber criminals have been working this scam for years. Unfortunately though, the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) continues to receive an increased amount of complaints for Tech Support Fraud. There were 11,000 complaints reported in 2017 and the claimed losses were almost $15 million, which was a drastic increase from 2016. In 2018, National Exchange Bank employees have been hearing more and more about Tech Support Fraud occurring right here in our backyard, to our neighbors and friends.
To avoid becoming a victim of Tech Support Fraud, you must first know what to watch out for. This scam can come about in a number of different ways:
- Phone call claiming to be tech support from a reputable company, such as Microsoft or Apple.
- Pop-up messages claiming to have detected a virus or other malware and offering to help via remote assistance.
- Email or other urgent message regarding unknown problems with your computer.
- Fake websites designed to convince you they are legitimate or offer free “security” scans.
If you get scammed, you can report it to the Internet Crime Complaint Center, the Federal Trade Commission and, if it was a Microsoft Tech Scam, you can also report it directly to Microsoft. Be sure to take additional steps to secure your computer and other confidential and financial information:
- Ged rid of malware with up-to-date security software
- Change any passwords you shared.
- Dispute any unauthorized charges to your credit card.
To add insult to injury, there is also the Refund Scam to be aware of. This scam may piggyback the Tech Support Scam, when a scammer calls and offers to help you recover the money from your loss. Remember - don’t ever give confidential information to someone on the phone when you did not initiate the conversation. This includes but is not limited to User ID, password and text verification codes.