Tech support calling? Be suspicious.
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
More than a dozen North Carolinians have called our Consumer Protection Division in the last two weeks to report suspicious calls from phony tech support specialists claiming to be partners with Microsoft or Windows.
According to reports from consumers, the phony tech specialist claims that the consumer’s computer has a virus and then directs the consumer to take a series of steps to fix the problem. Following the steps actually gives the phony tech specialist access to all of the data stored on the consumer’s computer. At this point, the scammer may demand payment for installing “security software.”
If you receive one of these phony tech support calls, keep the following tips in mind:
- Microsoft and other computer and software companies do not make unsolicited calls offering tech support.
- Do not follow the caller’s instructions. If you need tech support, contact the computer or software company at a number you know to be valid.
- Never share personal information, such as bank account and credit card numbers, with anyone you don’t know who contacts you.
If you’ve fallen victim to this or a similar scam:
- Contact your bank or credit card company to dispute the charge for any money you paid.
- Immediately run anti-virus and anti-spyware software on your computer.
- Monitor your credit report and place a security freeze on your credit, especially if you store sensitive financial information on your computer or use it to bank online.
- Contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. Call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a consumer complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov .