The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers of fake tech support calls during which an operator offers to fix your computer.
Consumers who have been scammed get a telephone call from someone claiming to be with tech support from a well-known software company. Microsoft is a popular choice. The callers have strong accents and use common names such as "Adam" or "Bill."
According to the Better Business Bureau, the scammer may know consumers' names and other personal information, which they get from publicly available phone directories. They might even guess what computer operating system you're using.
The caller says the consumer's computer is sending error messages, and they've detected a virus on it. They claim only a tech support employee can remove the virus, but first they need to be granted access to the machine.
If the consumer gives the OK, the caller will run a scan of all files and actually point out how the virus has infected the computer. The scammers then offer to remove the virus for a fee. Of course, they need credit card information first.
Here's the twist: Those who allowed the caller remote access to their computers, whether they paid for the virus to be removed or not, reported difficulties with their computer afterward, according to the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center. Some said their computers would not turn on or certain programs/files were inaccessible. Some victims even reported taking their computers for repair, and the technicians confirmed software had been installed.
What to do if "Tech Support" calls:
If you did allow a caller access to your computer: