BBB Tip of the Week: Avoiding Tech Support Scams

computer with caution tapeOut of the blue, you suddenly get a call from someone at a familiar-sounding computer company telling you that something is wrong with your computer and offering to fix it. What should you do?

In most cases, Better Business Bureau advises consumers to hang up on these callers, who likely are trying to commit fraud through a so-called tech support scam. BBB has received dozens of calls from consumers who’ve been contacted this way, including some who don’t even own a computer.

In a few cases, consumers have allowed callers to take control of their computers and have paid money only to realize later that the tech support person did nothing to fix their computer, installed malware or viruses on their computer or possibly took personal information from the computer and used it to commit identity theft or other fraud. Some consumers lost hundreds of dollars to the scammers.

The Consumer Fraud Task Force, a coalition of local, state and federal government agencies and nonprofit business and consumer groups in Missouri and Illinois, recently warned about these scams, which are rampant nationwide.

BBB advises consumers to resist pressure from unsolicited callers to allow access to their computers. If an actual computer problem is suspected, a consumer should seek out a reputable computer repair company, possibly the company that sold them the computer or software.

More detailed tech support tips are on BBB’s website. BBB Business Reviews on more than 4 million companies are available 24/7 on BBB’s website.

 

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