The Federal Trade Commission is warning consumers of a tech support scam that includes a twist; it starts with a simple telephone call.
According to the federal agency, scammers call consumers falsely claiming to be from a well-respected tech company, such as Microsoft.
The callers may try to confuse those called with technical jargon and raise fears of viruses on computer systems.
The callers work to gain the trust of those they call.
They may ask for remote access to a computer. Once they have it, they may change the computer’s settings so as to “leave your computer vulnerable.”
Other tactics, the FTC cautions, may include attempts to enroll you in a worthless computer maintenance or warranty program or to get personal credit card information that can be used to bill you for phony services – or services you could get elsewhere for free.
Callers may try to trick consumers into loading malware onto their computers.
The agency urges those concerned about receiving a call from a technical support person to contact the company claimed to be represented on a phone number you know to be genuine.
The FTC also urges consumers not to be fooled by callers using high-pressure tactics. Remember to protect your personal financial information as well.
The FTC’s complete tech scam warning is available for reading online at www.ftc.gov.