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Sep 30

Tech support scams reappear in Upstate NY

The tech support scam is back in Upstate New York. Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York’s Scam Tracker is receiving reports again of scammers pretending to offer tech support to unsuspecting users.

There are three types of tech support scams. The first is a phone call from a “specialist” at a computer company. The second type is a pop up on your computer, wanting you to call a number to fix the “problem” your computer has. Ransomware is the third type. These programs lock your computer and demand payment to release your files. Be careful not to give in to this request. You may be targeted again because the scammers know they have someone who will do what they say.

tech support

Never give out your passwords over the phone.

Reports to BBB’s Scam Tracker:

Monroe County: “Pop up window appeared while using Internet and advised me to contact Microsoft immediately about a security breach on my system. Phone number given was ***-***-**** which went to an answering machine. Pop up does not go away even after the system has been turned off and restarted.”

Albany County: “This ****** guy called me up two days ago and said “Hi, I am from Microsoft tech support. I wanted to let you know that our servers here at Microsoft are showing that your software needs special attention as there is a problem on your computer.” He then told me to hold down the Windows key on the keyboard and search for the letters “OSK” in the search bar and then follow his instructions so that he can gain access to my computer and fix the problem.”

Orleans County: “Computer screen froze and said to call certain number to free it up of all spyware and such. Finally resolved for one check for $499.99 and another for $395.95. Haven’t felt good about it since it happened yesterday.”

Better Business Bureau of Upstate New York provides these tips to stay ahead of these scammers:

If you receive a tech support call:

  • Do not rely on caller ID to know who is calling. Scammers can spoof a name and number to hide their real identities.

  • Use bbb.org or a known company’s official website to get tech support information.

  • Never give out your password or allow remote access to your computer the phone.

If you think you downloaded a virus or ransomware:

  • Update or download security software from a legitimate provider and scan your computer.

  • Change all of your passwords. Use a password manager to keep track of your passwords.

  • If you get a pop-up, use Control-Alt-Delete to get rid of it. Do not click on the ad.

  • Watch your credit cards statements for unauthorized charges. You can call the card company to have the charges dropped.

Update: One of our staff received this message from Microsoft with the correct information to reach their tech support staff.

Hi Z***,

The error telling you to contact this number  888-255-8309 or else you will lose your files is a well known scam. The number of the said department is not from Microsoft since we use this 800-642-7676 for global support. Please do report any issue like this one to our report-a-scam page. The link is given below.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/getsupport?oaspworkflow=start_1.0.0.0&wfname=scamsurvey&locale=en-us&wa=wsignin1.0&ccsid=636111176160299103

Thanks for contacting Answer Desk.

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