It’s not enough that hackers are out to infect your computers now they are going straight for us human beings. The Federal Trade Commission has just issued a warning about a new computer scam that has already tricked tens of thousands of people into giving up personal information to scammers posing as technical support employees.
Here is what you need to watch for. The scam starts with a phone call. On the other end an individual, often from India, poses as a “technical support employee” with a major company, sometimes they even mention “Microsoft”.
The caller then directs the victim to a standard computer utility area and pretends the messages within are evidence of a virus. The scammer offers to remove this “fake infection” in exchange for access to your computer and up to $450.
FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz say an international investigation turned up thousands of victims in the U.S. and five other countries.
Now a U.S. District Court has ordered a stop to six of these tech support scams, freezing nearly $200,000 in assets.
“Our sense is that is a significant step in disrupting their operations,” Leibowitz says.
Be warned! If you do get one the cold calls, hang up.
Never give credit information to a caller offering to fix a computer problem remotely, and only use trusted sites or resources for computer assistance.