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BBB: Tech support scam is a widespread problem

Posted at 8:59 AM, Dec 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-18 10:59:04-05

Better Business Bureau warns of a widespread tech support scam. According to BBB, in the past two years, BBB Scam Tracker has received more than 7,000 reports of the tech support scam.

"Our new study shows just how incredibly widespread the problem has become and that each of us is likely to encounter it. The report shows losses of $21 million —just this year," said BBB's Veronica Craker.

"While most of the calls are coming from India, we have learned of people in the U.S. setting up businesses in partnership with scammers from India. And we have found that some of perpetrators of the scams are getting access to online bank accounts of their victims," Craker continued.

So what do you do if you get a pop-up or phone call saying you have a virus? 

In the case of pop-up, simply disconnect your device from the Internet and do a hard restart.

If you get a phone call, remember a tech company will never contact you directly to tell you there’s a problem with your computer.

"Just hang up the phone. Never give out your personal banking information over the phone, and you can always take your computer in to be seen by a reputable company, one that you’ve vetted through BBB, later on," Craker said.

When it comes to getting your money back, Craker says if you pay by check you can try and stop the payment through your bank. If you pay by credit card, contact your credit card company immediately to dispute the charges.

"But, also be cautious if the fake company offers a refund. Because that’s another trick scammers use. They 'accidentally' refund too much money and then ask you to send them back the difference. Instead, wait for the check to clear, which can take up to a few weeks. There’s a good chance that check will bounce," Craker said.

For more information and resources, visit www.bbb.org.