You’re minding your own business typing away on your computer when you get a pop-up claiming to be from Microsoft saying that your computer has a virus. You probably don’t, and whatever you do, don’t call the number on the pop-up.
“Usually there’s a 1-800 number and you’re going to call that number and they’re going to help you out,” Better Business Bureau Regional Director Kelly Trevino said. “Once you call that number though, the connection has happened for a scam.”
The scammers are good at convincing people to give them control of their computers.
“Once they access that computer they can put malware on that device or they can actually hold it hostage,” Trevino said. “They can take control completely where [your computer] is basically a brick to you, but they have access to everything.”
If you get a tech support scam pop-up but think you might actually have a virus, call the company that made your computer instead of the number from the pop-up. And, make sure your kids know about the scam too.
“You have to let your children know before they’re on that computer, before it’s too late, what to look for,” Trevino said. “It’s good to share this information with them, and say, ‘look, if a pop up comes up don’t click on that.”