FRANKFORT, Ky. – Consumers beware: there's a new telemarketing scam making its way across Kentucky.
Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway’s Office of Consumer Protection has received more than two dozen complaints since mid-November about a “Tech Support” telemarketing scam. Consumers report that the scammers impersonate tech support specialists who claim to have detected a virus on the victims’ computer.
“This is just another attempt by scammers to gain access to personal financial information and for the purpose of identity theft,” Conway said. “Never share personal information over the telephone with a stranger.”
The “Tech Support” scam generally starts with the caller posing as a technical support engineer certified by a well-known company like Microsoft, Cisco, or Windows. Typically the caller claims that the phone call is in response to reports sent out automatically by the user’s computer. The rogue tech support specialists offer to install what they claim are antivirus programs.
To add credibility to their story, the phony tech specialists ask the consumer to follow very specific steps to rid the system of the virus and fix the computer. By following the steps, the consumer gives the caller access to all of the data stored on their computer.
If you receive this type of call, Conway asks consumers to keep the following in mind:
“Always be leery of unsolicited calls,” General Conway said. “If a caller claims to be from your bank, your credit card company, Microsoft, or even your utility company, always have them provide a number and call them back. Only use a telephone number that you have looked up yourself. Do not call a number from an unsolicited email.”
Consumers who have fallen victim to this scam, or a similar one, should follow these steps:
For additional consumer protection tips or to file a consumer protection complaint online, click here or call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at 1(888)432-9257.