Hey computer users, it’s time for a pop quiz.
A) You get an urgent call or email from a tech support company, saying your computer has a problem. Should you give the company remote access to your computer to make repairs?
B) A warning announcing “suspicious activity” or “security threat detected” appears on your computer screen. Should you call the number shown on the screen to talk to a technician?
C) One of these tech support companies asks you to pay for its services, maybe by using a gift card (like from iTunes or Amazon) or wire transfer. Should you?
The answer to all of these questions is “No.”
Here’s why: Your computer is almost certainly fine. Legit tech support companies don’t operate that way. Tech support scammers sometimes make false claims that they are associated with legitimate computer companies to make you believe them. The person who calls, or who gives you a toll-free number to call, is a scammer who wants to steal your money. If you give someone control of your computer, they can install malicious software that can help them steal your personal information. And anyone who asks you to pay for anything – including tech support services – with a gift card is scamming you. No legitimate company will ever ask you to pay with a gift card. If someone wants you to pay with a gift card, please tell the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.
For more tips on avoiding a tech support scam, watch this video:
The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.
- We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
- We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
- We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
- We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to ReportFraud.ftc.gov.
We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.
In reply to Get these calls many times by Aware
In reply to I am a Senior citizen, and by aerodriver
In reply to Thank you for posting. I was by Poorbrokescamm…
In reply to I was a victim of the same by Trust in God
In reply to I lost $1600 on Friday to a by CC64
I fell for this on 5/25 due to flash on screen which I could not get rid of. I gave access to my computer by NTS 1-844-2608 for services and paid them $400. I fear that malicious software has been installed on my computer. What should I do to reclaim my $400 get the malicious software off my computer??
In reply to I fell for this on 5/25 due by David
In reply to I fell for this on 5/25 due by David
I have already reported a scam about federal government grants where they used someone else identify now the are using my identity and trying to scam my friends on Facebook so I was going to report it to fb yesterday evening
I had never seen a no.to call before but there was one yesterday I called they wanted 400.00 in Google play cards for a deposit for software and said I would get it back and refund 1,200.00 of the 2,500.00 I had lost
I didnt send any money and I put a reject on all calls from that no.585 326 0263 said he was a John Morris at Extension 310
In reply to who ets fraud&scam reports by harry
You can report a fraud or scam to the FTC at FTC.gov/Complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that law enforcement uses for investigations. The comments you put here on the blog don’t go into the law enforcement database.
In reply to I don't answer the phone by hmchelen
I keep getting a booming voice that tells me not t0o shut down my computer because it is infected. At the same time this entity tries to save an .exe file to my computer. The first thing I do is IMMEDIATELY SHUT DOWN THE COMPUTER>
In reply to Just this week I had a by LisaC
In reply to I had the same thing happened by Nash
You probably can't get the money back. Scammers ask people to pay them with gift cards, because it is like getting cash. You could try contacting the company that issued the gift card you used.
In reply to Just lost $10,429.00 to "Geek by Unbelievably Stupid