Arizona residents should be on the lookout for criminals falsely claiming to provide tech support. A recent report from the FBI says these cyber-thieves are looking to get into your personal computer and devices for nefarious reasons.
Martin Hellmer, an FBI supervisory agent in Phoenix, said that victims may be lured into getting scammed through a variety of methods.
“Sometimes they utilize emails to send to their victims indicating there’s a problem with their computer,” Hellmer said. “They can also use pop-up ads, or they just simply make a telephone call to their victim, saying that they’ve become aware of a problem with their computer.”
Reports of fraudulent tech support services have been on the rise, according to Hellmer.
The FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center received about 11,000 reports from people who claimed to have lost $15 mill, says an FBI report from 2017; an 86% increase in losses from this past year.
Residents in Arizona have lost nearly $1.3 million in tech fraud scams.
This a very widespread scam, which is why officials wants residents to be aware.
Tech support companies will not reach out to you directly, says Hellmer. If someone is reaching out to you, it’s red flag.
Scammers will also pay search engines for higher spots on search results, adding immensely to the problem.
Arizona residents are also advised to download ad-blockers and anti-virus software, that way they have bolstered security in the event something goes wrong.
If you believe you have been the victim of fraudulent tech support, the FBI urges you to file with the Internet Crime Complaint Center or call the Phoenix FBI office.