NewsCovering Kentucky


BBB: Phone Scam Promises “Tech Support” Refunds to Computer Users

Posted at 10:26 AM, Sep 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-11 10:28:38-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) – The Better Business Bureau is warning of a phone scam that is hitting central Kentucky computer users.

The calls are really from scammers trying to steal money and personal information.

A Fleming County woman tells the Better Business Bureau that she received a phone call saying she was being billed $499 for a tech service subscription she had not authorized.

“To cancel this subscription, I was directed to call a number to get a refund,” she said. “I called and was told to get on my computer and log in to a certain website that wanted me to authorize them to get into my computer remotely. Red flags went up immediately.”

She asked the caller why he needed access to her computer. He said it was so she could get information to receive her refund. She refused.

A Lexington man got a call from a company telling him that “Geek Squad”, the tech support service based at retailer Best Buy, owed him money.

“This is a scam that takes a twist on the old tech support scam,” said Heather Clary, BBB Communications Director.  “Instead of telling you they have found a problem with your computer they will ‘fix’ for you, they are now trying to tempt you with the promise of a refund of fraudulent charges for various tech support or virus protection services you may or may not have even paid. They will also use the names of reputable tech companies to try to add credibility to their story.”

The con artists ask computer users to log in to certain websites which will allow them remote access to their computers, where the scammers can steal any personal and financial information stored there. In other cases, the scammers ask victims to purchase pre-paid debit cards and give them the card numbers so they can “deposit” the refund onto them. Instead, they steal the money.

AVOID the Tech Support Refund Scam –

  • Be wary of unsolicited calls. Legitimate tech companies don’t make unsolicited calls to their customers. This is a popular scam tactic.
  • Never grant a stranger remote access to your computer. Scammers can steal your personal information and install malware that is used to commit identity theft.
  • Beware of anyone asking for untraceable payments. Scammers often ask for payment by wire transfer, gift card, or pre-paid debit cards. Legitimate companies do not ask to be paid in this way.