Release date: 3/7/2019
(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today warned consumers to watch out for tech support scams as part of a nationwide crackdown on scammers who try to deceive customers into buying costly tech support and repair services and giving scammers access to personal data. As part of today’s crackdown, Attorney General Stein also announced that he has launched an investigation into Krish Tech LLC of Union County related to the company’s tech support operation and potential mining of personal data.
“Scammers who run tech support scams try to convince people that there’s a problem with their computer or phone to access and steal their personal information or money,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “People need to watch for the warning signs of these scams and report them to our office. My office will do everything in our power to hold these scammers accountable.”
Tech support and repair scams work in similar ways. Scammers use phone calls and online ads resembling security alerts from major technology companies to trick consumers into contacting the operators of these schemes and giving them access to their computers. The scammers will claim consumers’ computers are infected with viruses or experiencing other problems, and try to pressure consumers into buying unnecessary computer repair services, service plans, anti-virus protection or software, and other products and services.
Here are some ways to avoid being the victim a tech support scam:
- Scammers will call and pretend to be from a recognizable computer or software company and will say there’s an issue with your device. If you didn’t expect a phone call from a technology company, hang up and report the call.
- Pop-up windows or alerts may appear on your computer screen warning that there’s a serious virus or other threat. Regardless of how trustworthy the alert looks, do not click on any links or call any listed phone numbers.
- If you do have a concern about your computer, directly contact a company that you know of and trust.
- Never pay for tech support services using a gift card. If they say that’s how they require payment, it’s a scam.
- Update your computer’s security software regularly.
The North Carolina Department of Justice received more than 80 complaints about tech support scams in 2018. If you think you have been the victim of a scam, please report it to our office’s Consumer Protection Division at http://ncdoj.gov/complaint or 1-877-5-NO-SCAM. You can also watch this video to learn more about how tech support scams work.
Attorney General Stein is participating in today’s nationwide sweep along with the U.S. Department of Justice, the FTC, and the Attorneys General of Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota. Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, and Washington D.C.
Laura Brewer (919) 716-6484