The Federal Trade Commission warns consumers that if they get a call promising a refund for tech support services, it is just a new twist on an old scam.
Tech support scams try to gain consumer’s trust and access to their computer and personal and financial information. Typically, a fraudster calls claiming to be a computer technician from a well-known software company, and says they’ve detected a virus on the consumer’s computer. Their goal is to trick consumers into giving them remote access to their computer or paying for bogus software they don’t need.
In this latest version, scammers call consumers who may have been victims of an earlier tech support scam under the guise of checking on their “satisfaction” with that service and offering a refund or new service when they express their dissatisfaction. Others may claim a company is going out of business and providing refunds to people who paid for technical support services that will no longer be provided. But it’s all a hoax. Once consumers give their banking or credit card information for a refund, the scammers actually take money from their accounts.
Anyone who gets these types of calls should hang up immediately and file a complaint with the FTC. Consumers who paid for bogus tech support or tech support refunds using a credit card should contact their credit card company and ask to reverse the charges.
The Federal Trade Commission works for consumers to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices and to provide information to help spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint in English or Spanish, visit the FTC’s online Complaint Assistant or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). The FTC enters complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to more than 2,000 civil and criminal law enforcement agencies in the U.S. The FTC’s website provides free information on a variety of consumer topics. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.