How to Hang Up on Tech Support Scammers
Telephones have been ringing off the hook with alarming -- but bogus – news: A dangerous virus has been detected on your computer. The caller, a self-described technician with Microsoft or some other well-known software company, says he can remove it; unfortunately, it's a lie to get payment for fraudulent tech support services or gain control of your computer and access to your files.
A new public survey by Microsoft Corp. found that a significant number of people are falling victim to the scam, and FBI statistics show that losses will total in the multiple millions this year. In response, the AARP Fraud Watch Network is launching an education campaign to help people protect themselves.
On Monday, Nov. 14, AARP Fraud Watch Network Ambassador Frank Abagnale advised consumers on how to recognize the 'Tech Support Scam' and how to keep their computers and their sensitive personal information safe from cybercriminals.
Although he is now one of the world's most respected authorities on forgery and identity theft, Mr. Abagnale was once a master at stealing identities, as depicted by the 2002 movie Catch Me If You Can, starring Leo DiCaprio. After cashing in millions in fraudulent checks, getting caught and serving jail time, he switched teams and for four decades has been advising the FBI on how to outsmart the bad guys. He also serves as AARP's Fraud Watch Network Ambassador.