scams (also known as computer repair scams) often begin when consumers receive a
phone call or warning message claiming thereís a problem with their computer.
They are asked to follow a series of instructions, and ultimately, theyíre told
to provide payment, access to their device, or personal information so the
operator can address the supposed problem. Consumers who follow the instructions
risk losing money and compromising their personal information.
Tips to avoid
tech support scams include:
give a stranger access to your device. If
you receive an unexpected call or message saying thereís a problem with your
computer or other device, donít give the caller to access your device, donít
provide personal information, and donít buy any software the caller claims
to be selling. Instead, hang up.
pop-up messages. Scammers
may use full-screen warnings or smaller pop-up messages made to look like
legitimate virus warnings. Donít click on suspicious links or pop-ups, and
donít call phone numbers contained in these messages or ads.
where to find real help. To
find legitimate computer repair help, look through the tech support
information found with your security or antivirus software package, contact
your internet service provider, or locate documentation from your computer
manufacturer. You may want to talk to friends and family for referrals and
find out if a local computer repair service is available in your area. When
searching online for help, be aware that some scam artists place
legitimate-looking ads offering services they wonít actually provide.
if youíre asked to pay using gift cards or wire transfers. Con
artists often ask for payment using one of these methods, because it is
difficult to trace or recover the money after itís sent. A scam artist may
tell someone to buy a gift card and then read the card numbers over the
phone. This allows the scam artist to drain funds from the card, even
without having the card itself.
for phony refund offers. Be
extremely cautious of anyone who claims to offer you a refund for bad tech
support services, even if the offer comes months after a tech support scam.
The supposed refund may be part of another scam, where a con artist pretends
to offer compensation as a way to get you to provide money or personal
To report a potential scam you can contact the
Ohio Attorney Generalís Office, call 800-282-0515 or visit www.OhioProtects.org.