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July 19, 2022

How do tech support scams work?

Tech support scammers impersonate computer professionals to convince you there is a serious problem with your computer, that your anti-virus needs an update, or that you are entitled to a refund because the software failed.

Tech support scammers will:

  • Contact you by phone, email, or text letting you know you have a virus or problem on your device.
  • Buy ads online to deploy fake advertisements or to create fake pop-ups with a phone number to call.
  • Use malicious websites to trick you into thinking you are contacting a trusted computer support professional.

The scammer will use one of the tactics above then instruct you to install software to “fix” the problem. The scammer may instruct you to log into your online banking or to purchase gift cards as a method for payment or as a method for a refund to be issued.

Red Flags

  • Tech support companies will never contact you by phone, email, or text to tell you there’s a problem with your device.
  • Pop-up security warnings will never ask you to call a phone number to work through a computer issue.
  • Tech support companies will never ask you to pay in gift cards or to access your personal information.
  • Criminals will always encourage you to be dishonest and private about your transactions to avoid getting caught.

Helpful Tips

  • Use trusted sources and local computer professionals if you identify there may be an issue with your electronic device.
  • Do not let anyone you do not know or trust download apps, gain access your devices, or gain access your login credentials.
  • Inform your loved ones about these types of scams so they can protect themselves from these financial criminals.