Despite newly created opportunities for fraudsters to rip-off unsuspecting citizens during the ongoing pandemic, tech support scams inflicted nearly $150 million in reported losses in 2020.
“Criminals may pose as support or service representatives offering to resolve such issues as a compromised email or bank account, a virus on a computer, or a software license renewal,” the bureau explained. “Recent complaints involve criminals posing as customer support for financial institutions, utility companies, or virtual currency exchanges.”
These scammers use various tactics to trick people. They may call, use pop-up warnings, or set up fake websites and ads, hoping that you”ll give them a call or enter a phony chatroom.
No matter what tech support services they pitch you, their main goal is to steal your money. While individuals in any age category may fall for these scams, 66 percent of victims are over 60 years of age, the report shows.
How to spot and defend against technical support scams
Scammers may contact potential victims via phone calls, emails and instant messages on social media platforms. Here”s what you need to do if you or a family member are contacted by individuals claiming to be tech support agents: