CHAPPAQUA, N.Y. – The New Castle Police Department is urging citizens to hang up on tech-support calls following a Federal Trade Commission report indicating an increase in related scams.
According to police, the latest version of such scams involves phone calls through which scammers pretending to be associated with well-known companies attempt to convince people that their computers are damaged and then offer to remedy the proposed issue by offering phony services. These offers can range from software that is useless or available cheaper elsewhere to malware that can harm a computer and acquire personal information such as usernames and passwords.
Scammers also ask people to take steps such as releasing credit card information to be billed for illegitimate services and running their computers through fake security scans.
Police recommend people call companies directly through a legitimate phone number when experiencing computer issues. These numbers can be found on the software package or a receipt.
Police advise customers to not rely on caller ID, as scammers can spoof caller ID numbers and appear to be calling from genuine company numbers or local numbers. The Internet also can lack reliability because scammers often post fake ads online and pay to boost their rankings on search engines sometimes causing their information to appear above that of legitimate companies.
The police also urge citizens to never release credit card numbers, financial information or passwords to anyone calling and claiming to work for a company’s tech-support division. For more warnings and tips regarding tech-support scams, visit the website of the New Castle Police Department.
For more information about computer security, visit the website of the Federal Trade Commission.
Complaints regarding online crime can be filed by visiting www.ic3.gov.