Tech support scams in which consumers are tricked by scammers into believing there is a problem with their computers that require the expensive services of the scammers is a major problem.  Tech support scams are increasingly common and victimize consumers 60 years or older about five times more than people between the ages of 20 and 59 according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  Recently the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) settled a lawsuit it brought against two Tech Support scammers, Vast Tech Support, LLC and OMG Tech Help, LLC who used free security scanning software trials to trick people into thinking that there were security problems with their computers when there were no problems with their victims’ computers. The tech support scammers pressure their victims into buying unnecessary tech support products and services.  The FTC is sending refunds to the victims of this scam through PayPal.  For more information about the refund program if you were a victim of this scam, click on the tab entitled “FTC Scam Refunds” in the middle of the first page of Scamicide.com

TIPS

Over the years I have warned you about a variety of tech support scams.  The most common tech support scams start with popups on your computer that provide notices of security problems that contain telephone numbers for you to call to fix the problem,  Whenever you get a pop-up, email, or text message that appears to tell you that you have a security problem with your computer, you should never click on any links contained in the message or call the telephone number provided. If your screen freezes, all you need to do is just turn off your computer and restart it. If you are concerned that you may be experiencing a real security problem you can contact tech support at the real tech companies directly by phone or by email using the phone number and email addresses you find on their respective websites.

Scammers also call people posing as employees of the major tech companies and tell their victims that they are employees of companies such as Microsoft and Apple.  Sometimes they request remote access to your computer.  Remember, whenever you get a phone call, you can never be sure who is really calling you.  The truth is that neither Microsoft nor Apple nor any of the major tech companies will ever call you to inform you that there are security problems with your computer.  Scammers can “spoof” a call to you by which they trick your Caller ID to make it appear as if the call is legitimate.  Never give personal information or certainly remote access to your computer to someone who calls you unless you have absolutely confirmed that the call is legitimate and there is a need for your response.  The better course is to hang up and confirm whether or not the call is legitimate.  Most of the time you will find it was not.

For those of you receiving the Scam of the day through an email, I just want to remind you that if you want to see the ever increasing list of Coronavirus scams go to the first page of the http://www.scamicide.com website and click on the tab at the top of the page that indicates “Coronavirus Scams.”  Scamicide was recently cited by the New York Times as one of three top sources for information about Coronavirus related scams.

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