Beware of Tech Support Phone Scams

Please watch out for tech support phone scams. There are two types of scams. The first type are scammers who call you at home and fraudulently claim to be from some group like Apple or Microsoft. The second type are groups that you mistakenly call when you’re seeking technical support. 

For the last few years I regularly hear about scammers who call people at home. The scammers commonly call to indicate that there’s a security issue with your Mac and that they are calling to help you fix the problem. Such calls are always scams. Nobody from Apple, Microsoft, the FBI or any other group is ever going to proactively call you. Please hang up the phone and do not give out any information and do not give the scammers access to your Mac. For more details about these scams you can read this recent Huffington Post article. I’m not sure how effective it would be, but you can also file a report with the Federal Trade Commission.

Increasingly, over the past year, I’ve had conversations with clients who report the following situation. One day, they have a problem with their Mac or printer or some application. Consequently, the client will search the web for something like “Adobe Support Phone Number” or “Intuit Support Phone Number” or “Apple Support Phone Number”. The web page that they find are often imitation web sites that might appear to belong to Adobe or Intuit or Apple, but they don’t. Consequently, the phone numbers listed do not lead to legitimate support personnel. Instead the client ends up calling some sort of scammer. The scammer typically asks for remote access to your computer. Inevitably they claim to find a security problem with your Mac and indicate that they can help you, but they will need to charge your credit card a few hundred dollars. Please, be extra careful when you search for tech support phone numbers. For example, legitimate phone numbers for Apple tech support personnel will always be listed on web sites whose address ends apple.com. Similarly, Adobe support phone numbers will always be on web sites whose address ends adobe.com.

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