How the Scam Works
Scammers may call, place alarming pop-up messages on your computer, offer free “security” scans, or set up fake websites – all to convince you that your computer is infected. The scammers try to get you on the phone, and then work to convince you there’s a problem. Finally, they ask you to pay them to fix that non-existent problem.
To convince you that both the scammers and the problems are real, the scammers may:
- Pretend to be from a well-known company – like Microsoft or Apple.
- Use technical terms.
- Ask you to get on your computer and open some files – and then tell you those files show a problem (when they don’t).
Then, once they’ve convinced you that your computer has a problem, the scammers might:
- Ask you to give them remote access to your computer – which lets them change your computer settings so your computer is vulnerable to attack.
- Trick you into installing malware that gives them access to your computer and sensitive data, like user names and passwords.
- Try to sell you software that’s worthless, or that you could get elsewhere for free.
- Try to enroll you in a worthless computer maintenance or warranty program.
- Ask for credit card information so they can bill you for phony services, or services you could get elsewhere for free.
- Direct you to websites and ask you to enter your credit card number and other personal information.
These scammers want to get your money, access to your computer, or both. But here’s what you can do to stop them.
If You Get a Call or Pop-Up
- If you get an unexpected or urgent call from someone who claims to be tech support, hang up. It’s not a real call. And don’t rely on caller ID to prove who a caller is. Criminals can make caller ID seem like they’re calling from a legitimate company or a local number.
- If you get a pop-up message that tells you to call tech support, ignore it. 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.
- If you’re concerned about your computer, call your security software company directly – but don’t use the phone number in the pop-up or on caller ID. Instead, look for the company’s contact information online, or on a software package or your receipt.
- Never share passwords or give control of your computer to anyone who contacts you.
If You Were Scammed
- Get rid of the malware. Update or download legitimate security software and scan your computer. Delete anything the software says is a problem.
- Change any passwords that you shared with someone. Change the passwords on every account that uses passwords you shared.
- If you paid for bogus services with a credit card, call your credit card company and ask to reverse the charges. Check your statements for any charges you didn’t make, and ask to reverse those, too. Report it to ftc.gov/complaint.
If you paid for tech support services, and you later get a call about a refund, that call is probably also a scam. Don’t give out any personal or financial information.
The refund scam works like this: Several months after a purchase, someone calls to ask if you were happy with the service. If you say no, the scammer offers a refund. Or, the caller says the company is going out of business and giving refunds. The scammer eventually asks for your credit card number, or asks for access to your bank account to make a deposit. But instead of putting money in your account, the scammer takes money from your account.
If you get any calls like this, hang up, and report it immediately: ftc.gov/complaint.
If at anytime you feel any of your First Financial accounts may have been compromised in this or a similar scam, contact our Member Relationship Center right away at 732.312.1500. If your First Financial credit or debit cards were compromised in a scam, call the 24/7 toll-free number on the back of your card to report the incident and replace your card. All important phone numbers for members can be found on our website: https://www.firstffcu.com/contact-us.htm
Article Source: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0346-tech-support-scams
I was a victim of such a scam – the caller used Microsoft to convince me there were problems with my account and showed me “proof” of 17 other users on my internet service. That was on Sept 22 – today they called to refund my money – I was stupid as they were giving me back more than I paid. They were originally going to refund my money thru Walmart. Since I couldnt get to Walmart they wanted to talk to my husband to tell him how he could pick up the money, since I am disabled. He kept telling me it was a scam but I refused to listen as he thinks everything is a scam. Anyway to make a long story short they did exactly as you posted today – which I noticed when I logged in to see if they had made the refund. They changed the refund amount to 3000.00 – I saw where they went into my account and transferred 3000.00 from my savings to checking. Then they wanted me to refund the extra 2700.00 back to them. I kept telling them I would not do it and told them what I saw – they told me don’t worry about it – they just wanted their over refund returned. I hung up and closed my computer – so far my money is secure – I went back in and transferred the money back to my savings account. I called the CU and left a message to ask them to cancel any transactions as I thought it was a scam and l also sent an Email. I am now going to send my complaint to ftc.gov/complaint. Thank you – I have shared this to facebook to try to stop anybody else from being as stupid as I was.
Wow – thank you for sharing your experience and this article to prevent it from happening to others! We will pass your comments onto Member Services as well to make sure someone gets back to you right away.