Tech support scams have been around for quite some time now and they’re probably not going away any time soon. The US Federal Trade Commission has issued another warning regarding such scams.
According to the FTC, the scammers are promising victims refunds for tech support services in an effort to trick them into handing over their money.
In one variation of the scam, the crooks call potential victims and ask them if they’re happy with the service. If they’re not, they can allegedly get a refund.
In another version, the scammers say their company is going out of business and that they’re making refunds to those who have already paid.
So how do they make money by promising refunds? They ask victims for their bank or credit card account numbers to process the refunds. In other cases, they ask people to create Western Union accounts and even offer to help if they’re allowed remote access to the computer.
In reality, they’re not transferring money to the account, instead they’re withdrawing it.
The FTC gives three pieces of advice for avoiding such scams. First, simply hang up on callers who promise a refund if you hand them over your financial data.
If you’re a victim of such a fraud scheme, and you’ve paid with a credit card, ask the card company to reverse the charges. If you don’t know how to dispute credit card charges, you can check out the FTC’s advisory on this topic.
Finally, you can file a complaint against the fraudsters on FTC’s special complaint page. You can file a complaint regarding identity theft, spam and unwanted telemarketing, mobile devices, online shopping and Internet services in general, and job and money-making schemes.