Attorney General Jon Bruning reports his office has begun to receive complaints about a computer tech support scam.
The Office Mediation Center in the AG office says it has received six complaints in the past month from consumers reporting telephone calls from those falsely claiming to represent Microsoft. If allowed, fake tech support professionals can gain access to a wide-range of sensitive information, including financial information.
“Computers house a gold mine of information that scammers can use against you,” Bruning said in a written statement released by his office. “Nebraskans should never provide access to personal or business computers to people they don’t know. You can’t know who is on the other end of unsolicited phone calls, regardless of what they claim.”
According to the AG office, here’s how the scam works:
· Consumers receive phone calls from individuals posing to be with Microsoft or another legitimate support group (Dell, McAfee, Norton).
· Scammers claim an imminent security threat has been detected with the consumers’ computer.
· Callers may direct consumers to utility areas of their computers (such as the system log) to demonstrate how the computer is infected.
· Scammers request to “verify” consumer information so they can help correct the problem.
· The caller offers software available for download or offers to directly update the consumer’s current system.
· Consumers may be routed to dummy websites that allow scammers to remotely access their computers.
· Once the scammer gains access to the consumer’s computer, they can either install fraudulent software directly or may request bank account information to charge for installing fraudulent security “upgrades”.
· Tech support scammers can then use personal information gained from the transaction to perpetrate identity theft or make fraudulent charges to the victims’ accounts.
Those who believe they or someone they know has been targeted by a tech support scam can contact the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-727-6432 or at the website ago.ne.gov. Information on scams is available from the Federal Trade Commission online at fttccomplaintassistant.gov or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).