POSTED: Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 9:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, October 17, 2012 - 2:34pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — 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.