Do Not “Support” This Scam

Here’s the scenario…

The customer of a large national bank felt uneasy. He had renewed his annual subscription for internet security but couldn’t access his computer. He had received a follow-up phone call from the company just after making his online payment; however, the person on the phone indicated they hadn’t received payment. This was now the third time he had sent payments already – how could they not have been received?

Then he felt a sinking feeling in his gut – he realized he had been scammed. It wasn’t until he had provided payment information for the Google Pay cards that he knew the money was gone – and he would not be getting it back. Then he retraced his steps… he had made three $3,000 withdrawals over the course of as many days. The bank teller didn’t notice the unusual cash withdrawals and inquire what the abnormal cash withdrawals were for. The technician did say there was a problem with his computer and he would resolve it remotely but why wasn’t he supposed to turn it on for 48 hours? These statements were not right.

The Support Scam

While there are many deceptions used against vulnerable adults, in the Support Scam, the caller poses as an engineer and informs their target that they have already fallen victim to criminals; they must take urgent action to plug the security gap. The victim is asked to visit a webpage from their computer, and to download a remote control tool that will allow the engineer to access their system to perform “repair work.” In some cases, the victim may indeed be having a legitimate issue with their internet security.

In this version of the Support Scam, criminals telephone their victims pretending to be from a reputable business such as Microsoft, Panda, etc. However, if you are having a technical issue, call your vendor with the contact info they provided when you purchased the service. After doing so, you may receive a valid call back, but do not respond to or give out personal or payment information to an unsolicited “tech support” caller. You may end up making several large payments for this “repair work” and also possibly end up with a virus or malware installed on your computer.