Beware of tech support scams

Did you know that an estimated 3.3 million Americans were victims of tech support scams in 2015? Whether you are targeted through online pop-up ads or personal telephone calls, scam artists claim that your computer has been infected with a dangerous virus. Unfortunately, this is just a ploy to get a payment for fraudulent tech support services to gain access to your personal information.

Use the information below to beat tech support scams:

  • Be cautious when pop-up messages claim that you need to download software or call for support. Simply close the browser you are using and reopen to refresh your system.
  • Computer manufacturers and protection-software companies do not make personal phone calls or send pop-up warnings. When real threats are presented, a security update or warning will be sent directly to your antivirus software.
  • Even if the “tech support” caller knows your name and address, don’t be fooled. Scam artists select targets through public phone directories, or even social media, in order to gain public personal information.
  • Never give strangers remote access to your computer unless you initiate contact with a trusted technology assistance firm.
  • Check regularly for updates in your security software and run full scans several times a week so your computer is always up-to-date on the latest protection technology.
  • If you have been taken advantage of with this type of scam in the past, beware of follow-up messages stating that you’re entitled to a refund. Scam artists are looking to gain financial institution account information for a supposed direct-deposit reimbursement which could result in money being withdrawn from your account instead.

TruStone Financial wants to make sure your personal information stays safe. Keep up-to-date on the latest protection practices with other member security tips, courtesy of your neighborhood credit union.

Editor’s note: Segments of this article were taken from onguardonline.gov and aarp.org.