The US Federal Trade Commission has raised an immediate scam alerts on ‘computer repair’ scammers who deceived people that they represent the FTC.
The commission said these scammers usually send send pop-up computer warnings to pitch unnecessary and sometimes harmful tech support services. Some others make make actual ‘phone calls’.
Others like one scammer the FTC just sued send spam emails that falsely claim the FTC hired them to help remove problem software. In this case, announced today, the court has ordered the defendant to stop claiming he’s affiliated with the FTC, to shut down his websites and phone numbers, and inform current customers who contact him that he is not affiliated with the FTC. If you got one of those messages, please tell the FTC.
The FTC warned that “doesn’t hire companies to contact people and give technical support. The FTC says this imposter created a fake FTC press release, including the real FTC seal and motto, to make people believe he was connected with the agency. He sent the fake press release and spam messages saying it was his job to call people and remove tracking software from their computers. And, according to the FTC, if he got access to someone’s computer, he told them it was infected and tried to sell them technical support services”.
“If you get a pop up, call, spam email or any other urgent message from anyone about a virus on your computer, stop. Don’t click on any links, don’t send any money, and don’t give anyone control of your computer. The person behind the message probably wants access to your computer to grab your data, install malware, or sell you unnecessary services”.
The US FTC prevents business practices that are anticompetitive or deceptive or unfair to consumers; to enhance informed consumer choice and public understanding of the competitive process; and to accomplish this without unduly burdening legitimate business activity.
The FTC has not issued any statement whether there have been losses to these sorts of scams.