My friends and family frequently ask me about the newest scam, so they can stay vigilant and keep on top of the latest ways fraudsters are trying to get our information.
But many times, they alert me to scams that they are experiencing. Such was true this week.
We all know by now it is a scam when people call us on our residential phone line saying they are from “Windows Support.” Unfortunately, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continues to warn consumers not to give anyone their user names and passwords to get into their computer over the telephone.
But now scammers are getting more creative and have figured out a way to insert a pop-up into your computer. This happened this week to someone I know. He was using his computer when a pop-up message appeared that said his computer was having issues and needed tech support. He says the message looked totally legitimate (and he is well-trained!), so his antennae went up. The pop-up included an 800 number to call. Curious, he called the number and started cross-examining the guy on the other end of the line. When the guy asked for the user name and password, he knew it was a scam, even though it sounded pretty legitimate. He took his computer to his IT department to check out how the pop-up was inserted. As always, this makes me concerned about vulnerable people such as seniors.
Days later, on February 21, 2017, the FTC blog posted a piece on “Global Connect technical support scam, part 2.” The blog reminded us that the FTC shut down an operation called Global Connect, which was behind these pop-ups. It is warning consumers that Global Connect is back at it despite that the FTC “shut it down.”
The FTC is asking consumers to let it know if they get one of these pop-ups or calls so it can continue to go after them. For more information about how to detect a tech support scam, visit the FTC website at www.ftc.gov.