Scammers targeting customer service lines - Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Scammers targeting customer service lines


We all know how frustrating it can be trying to call and speak to a "real live person" in the customer service department at a big name company, and now, scammers are taking advantage of that too!

So, how do the scams work? And how can you protect yourself?

Their Facebook page is colorful, inspirational, and popular, too, with more than 170,000 followers.

And apparently vulnerable to hackers, who replaced wholesome posts on the "sisters in Christ" Facebook fan page with "adult content".

"We just immediately panicked," said Teresa Allissa Citro.

Worried about the site's reputation, Teresa searched online for "Facebook phone tech support" and found several numbers.

She called the first one that popped up. The person who answered said for $129, they'd rescue their page from the hackers, and keep them out.

"They also were supposedly putting on some kind of a device so that we couldn't be hacked again," said Citro.

Turns out Teresa wasn't talking to Facebook.

In fact, the social networking giant doesn't even offer "phone tech support".

Facebook says, "this was undoubtedly a scam".

And the feds say they've received thousands of complaints about similar "tech support scams."

"The goal is to get consumers to pay hundreds of dollars for unnecessary computer repair services," Atty. Colleen Robbin.

The Federal Trade Commission recently launched a major tech support scam crack down, filing complaints against several companies based mostly in India.

"It was very interesting how persuasive the defendants were in trying to trick consumers," said Robbin.

The FTC says scammers rely on two different schemes. They either cold-call you, claiming to be major companies like Microsoft, Norton, McAfee and dell, or they lure you into calling fake online tech support listings, like the one Teresa fell for.

In both instances, the scammers try to convince you to give them remote access to your computer.

Producer: "you can only help me by getting in my computer?"

Tech support operator: "I can just help you out only if you allow me to get into your computer ma'am. Ma'am ,you can trust me, okay, we just work for Facebook."

Once in, they try to sell you repair services, or scare you by telling you it's riddled with viruses and mal ware.

"But there's nothing wrong with your computer and they're not going to fix it for you," said Robbin.

Now Teresa hopes she's "inspiring" others not to fall for this tech support scheme.

"I never expected that I wasn't speaking to Facebook because they answered the phone call with 'this is Facebook technical support,'" said Citro.

Experts say don't use online search results to find a company's tech support number.

Go to the company's website directly and look for that contact information.

And if you've been ripped off by a tech support scam, be sure to report it to the FTC.

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