Phone Scams and Computer Repair: Know Your Facts to Protect Your Computer

by Geek Squad Agent on ‎07-24-2013 05:40 PM (10,015 Views)

An increasing number of computer users are receiving similar phone calls and some — afraid of potential data loss and device damage — are surrendering their bank account information in the hope this will protect their tech.

If you get such a call, we’re here to tell you — hang up. It’s a scam!

 

Geek Squad Agents are seeing a rise in phone scams targeting PC and Mac owners. Cybercriminals pretending to work for Microsoft, Geek Squad, or any other nationally-recognized tech company call their intended victims, claim they’ve scanned their computers remotely and found viruses on them. Relying on computer users’ fear of viruses, data loss and identity theft, they trick people into giving them actual access to the computer.

 

Once the scammer has access to the victim’s system, they will often show the user scary looking error messages on the machine, require immediate payment to cleanup the “dangerously infected” computer and install more “protection” software onto the system. Chances are they’ll take the opportunity to install other bits of malware to capture the victim’s online shopping or banking information.

 

 If your first instinct is not to trust cold calls about fixing your computer, you’re absolutely right. Scammers often use publicly available information (like your name and telephone number) to make initial contact, and can often make an educated guess about your PC’s operating system. They can sound very convincing (they are good at this), but don’t be taken in.

 

It’s important to understand that reputable tech companies (like Microsoft, Geek Squad and other tech leaders) will not scan computers remotely without permission from the owner. They will not call computer users unless they are already working with them on a support issue.

 

Should you receive one of these telephone calls, here are a few tips to help protect yourself:

  • When in doubt, hang up the phone and call the company back at their publicly listed telephone number. You can usually find contact information on their web site.
  • Never provide a credit card or banking account information to someone on a cold call — even if they claim to be from a computer support company.
  • Never give remote access to your computer to any technician unless they can confirm they are a legitimate member of a computer support company with which you have an existing support agreement.

 If you’ve been a victimized by a phone scammer:

  • Contact your credit card or bank and speak with the fraud prevention team to have the charges reversed and the account protected from future charges.
  • Change your computer password, along with the password of any online accounts that may have been provided to the cybercriminal.
  • Update your security software and run a full scan on your computer, oruse one of our tools.  You may also want to contact one of our Geek Squad Online Support Agents to have the PC checked for malware.

Phone scams are successful because cybercriminals rely on computer users trusting an unknown person with access to their computers. Together, we can defeat these scams by simply hanging up when you receive an unrequested support call, regardless of who they say they are.

Comments
by Anthony L Bechtold
on ‎03-15-2017 04:52 PM
I was a victim of Geeks Connect LLC.  I've been checking on the unauthorized payment of $999.99 to Geeks Connect LLC in my online bill pay account. In checking their online account, I discovered their phone number is 1-800-603-6021 & their address is 710 Clayworth Dr., Ballwin, MO 63011 This phone # is the same # given to me by someone named John a week or two ago when they called me about a "Zeus virus" on my computer. They said they could guarantee to clean the virus from my computer & guarantee it for life. I told them not to mess w/ my computer until I talked to my adult son who is a computer geek. My son said it's a scam & don't give them any more info. They wanted $999.99 for the warranty. Now this check for that amount pops up on my MFCU online Bill Pay account. I want this payment disputed & removed from my account!! Please advise.
Agent3012 wrote:

An increasing number of computer users are receiving similar phone calls and some — afraid of potential data loss and device damage — are surrendering their bank account information in the hope this will protect their tech.

If you get such a call, we’re here to tell you — hang up. It’s a scam!

 

Geek Squad Agents are seeing a rise in phone scams targeting PC and Mac owners. Cybercriminals pretending to work for Microsoft, Geek Squad, or any other nationally-recognized tech company call their intended victims, claim they’ve scanned their computers remotely and found viruses on them. Relying on computer users’ fear of viruses, data loss and identity theft, they trick people into giving them actual access to the computer.

 

Once the scammer has access to the victim’s system, they will often show the user scary looking error messages on the machine, require immediate payment to cleanup the “dangerously infected” computer and install more “protection” software onto the system. Chances are they’ll take the opportunity to install other bits of malware to capture the victim’s online shopping or banking information.

 

 If your first instinct is not to trust cold calls about fixing your computer, you’re absolutely right. Scammers often use publicly available information (like your name and telephone number) to make initial contact, and can often make an educated guess about your PC’s operating system. They can sound very convincing (they are good at this), but don’t be taken in.

 

It’s important to understand that reputable tech companies (like Microsoft, Geek Squad and other tech leaders) will not scan computers remotely without permission from the owner. They will not call computer users unless they are already working with them on a support issue.

 

Should you receive one of these telephone calls, here are a few tips to help protect yourself:

  • When in doubt, hang up the phone and call the company back at their publicly listed telephone number. You can usually find contact information on their web site.
  • Never provide a credit card or banking account information to someone on a cold call — even if they claim to be from a computer support company.
  • Never give remote access to your computer to any technician unless they can confirm they are a legitimate member of a computer support company with which you have an existing support agreement.

 If you’ve been a victimized by a phone scammer:

  • Contact your credit card or bank and speak with the fraud prevention team to have the charges reversed and the account protected from future charges.
  • Change your computer password, along with the password of any online accounts that may have been provided to the cybercriminal.
  • Update your security software and run a full scan on your computer, oruse one of our tools.  You may also want to contact one of our Geek Squad Online Support Agents to have the PC checked for malware.

Phone scams are successful because cybercriminals rely on computer users trusting an unknown person with access to their computers. Together, we can defeat these scams by simply hanging up when you receive an unrequested support call, regardless of who they say they are.


 

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