FirstBank is excited to announce a four-part series on scams: “How To Spot A Scam & What To Do.”  So follow along as we highlight common scams, how to identify them, and what to do. First up: technical support scams.

The Situation: While logging into online banking you receive a pop-up message that something is wrong with your computer and you need to contact technical support right away. Pop-ups are nothing new, but this one may persist even after trying multiple times to close it. You start to panic thinking something is legitimately wrong, and you notice a phone number provided on the pop-up. You think “there’s no harm in calling the number” and grab your phone.

How the Scam Works: The number provided is for a computer technician, but it’s actually set up by fraudsters, who offer to fix your computer for a fee. They’re hoping you have a “do-what-must-be-done at–whatever-cost” mentality. The technician may also provide software to be downloaded, so they can remotely control your computer. After “fixing” the problem, they may ask you to log-in to secure information (like online banking) to make sure everything works.

How The Scammer Gets Paid: The fraudsters may be recording your login credentials to access sensitive information or may contact you in the future, claiming they were never paid, not paid enough, or overly refunded your account and need money back. They hope you’re so relieved your computer is working, you feel inclined to help them out. If you follow this scam’s instructions you are paying to resolve a fake problem, allowing someone access to your personal and sensitive information, and then paying them again after the fact.

How To Protect Yourself:

  • Only allow people whom you have met and trust to work on your computer.
  • Never call a phone number provided by a pop-up. Call your own trusted professional.
  • Trust your bank only to verify anything related to monetary transactions.
  • While someone is remotely accessing your computer, never enter your login information, especially if it leads to email access and other sensitive financial information.
  • If something seems too good to be true, it usually is.

One comment on “How To Spot A Scam & What To Do: Technical Support Scams

  • Great Information. My problem with Scammers is that in the past I would use Bill Pay and the moment I put in the amount and date to be paid, they cancelled it out. I woke up with two or three months worth of bills that had never been paid.

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