What is the Tech Support Scam?

posted on Monday, March 27, 2023 in Fraud

Have you heard of Tech Support Scams? They'll make you think your computer is on the fritz, then loot your info and your wallet. Find out how to spot them and stay safe!

How Does the Tech Support Scam Work?

Tech support scammers want you to believe you have a serious problem with your computer, like a virus. It could be an email, a warning screen on your computer, or even a phone call telling you there is an issue with your computer. The fake tech representative may ask you to give them access to your computer and then they pretend to run a diagnostic test. They will say the problem or virus can be removed for a fee, hoping you will pay to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. Often these scammers will ask you to pay by wiring money, putting money on a gift card, prepaid card, or cash reload card, or using cryptocurrency or a money transfer app because they know those types of payments can be hard to reverse.

Tips to Help Prevent You From Falling for the Tech Support Scam

  1. Legitimate tech companies won’t contact you by phone, email, or text message to tell you there’s a problem with your computer.
  2. Security pop-up warnings from real tech companies will never ask you to call a phone number or click on a link.
  3. Don’t allow remote access to an unauthorized stranger. Never allow someone to take remote control of your computer unless you are certain that they are representing a legitimate company. 
  4. Don’t share personal information. Do not disclose sensitive financial information such as passwords, credit card, or bank account numbers over the phone. Ever!
  5. Also note, if tech support offers you a refund, but accidentally offers too much, never send it back to them. 

What To Do if You Think There’s a Problem With Your Computer

If you think there may be a problem with your computer, update your computer’s security software and run a scan.

If you need help fixing a problem, go to someone you know and trust. Many software companies offer support online or by phone. Stores that sell computer equipment also offer technical support in person.

How To Report the Scam? 

If you have fallen victim to the Tech Support Scam, please contact us at 866.360.5370 or stop by your local branch to speak with a C1st Representative. You can also report it to the FTC at ReportFraud.ftc.gov.