The Youngstown Better Business Bureau is warning residents of fake technical support calls to gain access to computers.Consumers have logged complaints with the bureau after receiving calls from a person claiming to be a computer tech and offering to fix a non-existent bug or virus. The caller claims he needs access to the computer in order to fix the problem. According to the Better Business Bureau, the “tech” actually installs a virus on the consumer’s computer.
To make the fake tech support seem more legitimate, the caller claims to be from a well-known computer software company. Most of the callers have strong accents and use common names. The callers will also have personal knowledge of the consumer that they have gotten from publicly available phone directories or other internet sources.
The caller will ask for credit card information in order to charge the consumer to remove the “bug.”
According to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center, some victims reported difficulties with their computers afterwards, and some said their computers would not turn on or files and programs were inaccessible.
If you should receive a call, the Better Business Bureau suggests that you never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer. Never provide credit card or financial information claiming to be from tech support. Take the caller’s name and report the call to your local authorities or the Federal Trade Commission.
If you did allow a caller to access your computer, change the passwords for programs, email and banking accounts. Run a virus scan. Consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report if you shared banking information with the caller.