Avoid Tech Support Phone Scams

August 2012 - Many computer users have reported receiving calls from someone claiming to be from Microsoft or Windows Support, or another computer company, indicating that their computer has serious problems that need repairs. Microsoft Online Privacy & Safety warns that this is a foreign-based scam trying to collect credit card and personal information. If you receive a call like this, immediately hang up.

What to Know:

  • Publicly available phone directories allow cyber criminals to know your name and other personal information. They assume you're using a Microsoft Windows operating system. 
  • They may request information from you (e.g., IP address, user name/password), or trick you into installing malicious software by asking you to go to a website to install software that allows them to access your computer to fix it. If this happens, the malicious software can harvest personal and/or financial information. 
  • While they appear to be checking your system, they take control of your computer and possibly adjust some settings that will leave your computer vulnerable to future attacks.
  • After the “repair session” is complete, they indicate there’s a charge for the services and may ask for your credit card information, direct you to a fraudulent website to collect your credit card information, or request that you log into your online banking account to process the payment. If they acquire access to your online banking account through this method, they will have full ability to initiate money-transferring transactions.
  • Learn more about this SCAM: Fake Microsoft calls dupes users.

What to Do:

  • If you receive a call from someone claiming to have information about an issue with your computer, immediately hang up.
  • Do not allow anyone who calls you to access your computer or credit card information. Be suspicious of unsolicited email, pop-ups, or a phone call warning you of a problem with your computer.
  • If you think you may have downloaded malware, immediately change the passwords for your computer, email account, and any financial accounts.
  • Make sure your computer has up-to-date anti-virus, protective firewall and anti-spyware software. Run a scan to learn if any malware has been installed.
  • Check for the latest security updates available for your operating system. 
  • Keep your web browser and other applications up-to-date.

Who to Contact:

  • If there is an issue with your computer, contact a trusted service provider or support resource. 
  • If your KeyBank account has been compromised, contact Online Banking for assistance at 800-539-1539 or the Fraud Hotline at 800-433-0124.
  • If identity theft occurs, report the situation to Key.