Callers pose as tech support workers to gain personal info

Consumer Alert

POSTED: Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 9:00am

UPDATED: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 2:34pm

The Federal Trade Commission has issued a warning about a new computer scam that's tricked tens of thousands of people into giving up personal information to scammers posing as technical support employees.

The scam starts with a phone call.

On the other end an individual, often from India, poses as a technical support employee with a major company.

He directs the victim to a standard computer utility area and pretends the messages within are evidence of a virus.

The scammer offers to remove this "fake infection" in exchange for access to your computer and up to $450.

FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz say an international investigation turned up thousands of victims in the U.S. and five other countries.

Now a U.S. District Court has ordered a stop to six of these tech support scams, freezing nearly $200,000 in assets.

"Our sense is that is a significant step in disrupting their operations," Leibowitz says.

If you do get one the cold calls, hang up.

Never give credit information to a caller offering to fix a computer problem remotely, and only use trusted sites or resources for computer assistance.

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