As technology scams get more sophisticated and become harder to detect, consumers are being victimized by fraudsters posing as skilled computer technicians.
These scammers use sneaky advertising and carefully crafted sales techniques to scare consumers into buying phony fixes for their computers.
Unfortunately, this is not a new tactic, just another spin on a phishing attempt to steal personal information. Better Business Bureau Serving the Pacific Southwest provides the following tips to avoid these potential scams.
“Phishing” is when someone receives a suspicious email, computer pop up message, social media message or call from a so-called company needing to verify personal information. Emails or pop up links will inform consumers that their computer has been compromised or the antivirus software is out of date. Links in the email can put a virus on the computer to hunt for personal and sensitive data. The tech support scammers try to convince people that their computers have a virus, malware or have “crashed” when there is nothing wrong with the devices.
HOW TO IDENTIFY A PHISHING ATTEMPT
Unfortunately, phishing attempts are becoming more elaborate and difficult to identify. Keep an eye out for:
Generic greetings: Emails that do not address you personally.
Links to a fake website: Hover over the link provided in the email to see if it’s an identifiable web address. Do not click, copy or paste the link into the search bar.
Poorly written: Spelling, grammatical errors and distorted text.
Unofficial sender email: The sender’s address will not match the official company name or may come through as an unrecognizable email service provider.
Contact the business directly if you are not certain whether the email is legitimate.
For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website for details on spotting scammy emails. Report suspicious activity to https://bbb.org/scamtracker.
Yuma-based John Hessinger is community development director of the Better Business Bureau serving the Pacific Southwest. Contact him at [email protected] or 928-919-7940.