The Recent Crackdown on Tech Support Scams
The FTC has received over 40,000 complaints linked to tech support scams between 2012 and 2014. Since then they have carefully monitored for different types of scams, but with the news covering many hacks and malware, scammers have been given more opportunities to prey on the lack of understanding regarding the diverse types of technology. In the wake of the recent rise in tech support scams, the FTC has been stepping up their efforts to prosecute as many scammers as they can.
While their efforts can help prevent further problems, those who have already become victims of such scams may need legal assistance. An FTC attorney can help victims understand their rights and possible legal recourse.
The following are some of the tech support scams that have gained considerable attention.
The FTC recently settled with defendants in St. Louis who ran a popup add scam. The victim would receive a popup while they were online, and the popup would claim that the person’s computer was infected. The person would call in, and be “shown” the problems. The scammers claimed to be from large companies, like Apple, Google, and Microsoft, so it was assumed they were helping.
This is one of the most common ways for tech support scammers to steal, but it is easily avoided by keeping anti-viruses software current and ignoring online popups claiming a computer is infected.
Facebook Tech Support Scam
Facebook has tech support, but they do not contact users. This scam should set red flags because the scammers claim to be Facebook. The scammer will say that the victim must pay to have a service turned on or to stop an alleged hack. Once they have the victim’s financial information, they can begin using the person’s account for illegal purchases.
License Agreement Violations
This scam relies on the victim not understanding how computer licenses work. It tends to be targeted at companies but has often targeted individuals. The scammer claims that the victim has violated the licensing agreement and must pay. Companies do not track this kind of information on such a detailed level. They will not have pop-up ads or send an email if a person is in violation of a license.
Despite their best efforts, people will continue to fall victim to these types of scams. Even the most knowledgeable user can slip up. When this happens, an FTC attorney can help.