Where do you go, if you need tech help with your computer? We all probably search online for same help. But online searching can lead your computer straight to scammers who would try to scare you and you would start to think your computer is in dire need of repair. Then you would buy expensive security software you don’t even need.
If you recognize yourself or you are in a similar situation, here are some steps you can follow:
- If you’re looking for tech support, get help from friend or family member or go to a company you know and trust.
- If you search online for help, search on the company name plus “scam,” “review,” or “complaint”.
- Never call a number in a pop-up that warns you of computer problems. Real security warnings will never ask you to call a phone number.
- If you think there’s a problem with your computer, update its security software and run a scan.
Here is an example what happened in the FTC’s lawsuit against Elite IT Partners, Inc. According to the complaint, Elite bought key words on Google that let them target people searching for how to recover lost passwords. You’d fill out an online form and give your contact information. Then, says the FTC, Elite’s telemarketers would call and ask to get online access to your computer – supposedly to check for problems. Once they were in, the caller would show you fake “evidence” of viruses or other threats that, they said, had to be removed right away.
Then came the sales pitches. Elite allegedly got people – many of them older adults – to pay hundreds of dollars for unnecessary repairs and maintenance programs. Elite IT Partners, Inc. is announced today as part of a massive law enforcement sweep.
If you spot a tech support scam, tell the FTC: www.ftc.gov/complaint. And learn more at www.ftc.gov/techsupportscams.