Support Without Scams

Posted January 12th, 2021

As we all know, scammers love to take advantage of people needing help. One group of people who are prone to scams are those seeking help with computers or laptops.

Often, someone with a computer issue will search something along the lines of “computer repair” in an attempt to find someone who can help. Scammers know this and see someone who wants their computer fixed as a target, so they take out ads on Google advertising computer repair. Often, they will even put money behind the ads so they show up as top results.

Once a person clicks on that ad or search result, a form pops up asking for information. After the form is completed, someone from the company, aka a scammer, calls and asks for online access to the computer. If that access is granted, that scammer can now show evidence of viruses or other threats that they promise to fix for a specific price.

According to the FTC’s website, 2019’s lawsuit against Elite IT Partners, Inc. shows that Elite, a fake computer repair company, scammed people out of hundreds of dollars for each fake repair.

If you find yourself searching for tech support, here are a few steps you can take to ensure you safely receive support.

1. Always use a company you know and trust or, if you don’t know one, ask family and friends for suggestions. If you decide to search online, be sure to search the company name + “scam,” “review,” or “complaint” before contacting them.
2. If you receive a phone call from an unknown number stating there is a problem with your computer, hang up immediately.
3. Never call a number in a pop-up that warns you about computer problems. A real security warning will not ask you to call.
4. If you suspect a computer problem, run an update and a scan to check.

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