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New tech support refund scams

The Better Business Bureau is warning consumers about a new kind of tech support scam. Typically these kinds of cons involve a phony representative helping you “fix” a fake computer problem for a fee. Now scammers are trying a new approach by offering you a refund instead—but there’s a catch (of course).

Here’s how it works

A big tech company appears to call you, such as Microsoft, Apple, or Dell. The person on the phone claims you were erroneously charged for tech support product and so the company owes you a refund.

To get that refund, all you need to do is give them some information.The person on the phone says you need to give them banking or credit card. They may even ask you to log in to specific accounts/websites or give them remote access to your computer. The person on the phone may even say you need to purchase pre-paid debit cards and give them the numbers.

Three ways to avoid this scam

The Better Business Bureau says you should:

  1. Be wary of unsolicited calls. Despite what the Caller ID might say, legitimate tech companies do not make unsolicited calls to customers.
  2. Never give a stranger remote access to your computer. Scammers can steal your personal information and install malware that can be used to commit identity theft.
  3. Beware of requests for untraceable payments. Scammers often ask for payment by wire transfer, gift card, or pre-paid debit cards. Legitimate companies do not—or will not—accept payments in these forms.

shutFor more information about tech support scams, visit the Better Business Bureau’s website or check out our other blogs on the topic (here and here).

About Missy Kellor

Missy works on the Corporate Communications team and reports stories to TDS employees and customers. This is right up her alley because she’s an extrovert and also a big fan of research (really, she’ll look up just about anything that strikes her interest). Missy is a native of Madison, Wis. with an undergraduate in Anthropology and a master’s degree in Life Sciences Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her interest in the Internet as a mass media shaped her work towards a PhD in Journalism and Mass Communications. She’s also worked as an editorial assistant, copywriter, and production artist. In her off hours, Missy is a crafter, Pinterest addict, reader, wife, and mom of two kids. You can find Missy on G+ and on Twitter.
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