(WPRI) -- A new technical support scam is knocking out computers all over the country.
It's one of those scams that you'd think you'd never fall for, but the hundreds who have already fallen victim to it most likely thought the same exact thing.
Crooks are calling people claiming to be technical support, usually for a well-known company. The caller will then say your computer is sending error messages and they've detected a virus on it. They'll mention that only tech support is able to remove the virus, and you'll need to give them remote access to your computer.
The scammers will then offer to remove the virus for a fee, and will ask for your credit card information. Although, those who gave the caller access to their computers, whether they paid for the virus to be removed or not, have reported difficulties with their computer afterwards. Some said they had trouble accessing certain files, while others reported not being able to turn on their computers at all.
According to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, some victims have taken their computers to get repaired, and the technicians confirmed that rogue software had been installed.
If you receive one of those phony tech support calls:
- Never give control of your computer to a third party, unless you can confirm that it's a legitimate support team that you've already been in business with.
- Never give out your credit card information to someone claiming to be from tech support.
- Know that most of the callers reported the scammers had strong accents, but used common names.
If you've allowed a caller to access your computer, immediately change the passwords to everything on your machine. Also, be sure to run a virus scan and contact your anti-virus software company to alert them of the scam.
For more information, visit Call 12 For Action's Consumer Guide.
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