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Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia says IP address scams are getting creative

From the Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia:

BBB is seeing an increasing number of these cons reported to BBB.org/ScamTracker. There are two versions of this scam you should be ready to spot.

How the Scam Works

In one version, a pop-up appears on your computer screen with an ominous warning from a well-known tech support company. The pop-up asks you to call a number to resolve the issue. When you do, a “technician” will tell you your IP address is being used by shady individuals. In some reports, scammers claim child pornography websites are using your IP address and you could be held responsible.

In a second version of the scam, you simply receive a call out of the blue from someone making similar claims.

In both cases, scammers say they work for a reputable company and can fix the problem, but you’ll need to pay a fee and give them remote access to your computer first. These claims are false! Follow the scammers instructions and they’ll steal your money and gain access to personal information stored on your computer.

How to Protect Yourself from Computer Scams

  • Never open attachments or links in emails from unknown senders. These can generate the fake warning pop-ups that prompt you to make a call to scammers. If you do get a suspicious pop-up alert, don’t click on anything and restart your computer.
  • Be wary of unsolicited calls. A common scam tactic is to make cold calls. Scammers then try to scare you into giving them access to your machine. Hang up the phone and block the number.
  • Never give strangers remote access to your computer. You should only allow remote access to technicians of trustworthy companies that you contacted through a legitimate customer service number or chat.

For More Information

For more information on computer tech support scams, check out BBB.org/TechSupportScam, as well as these videos and tips from the Federal Trade Commission.

If you’ve been the victim of a tech support scam, report it on the BBB Scam Tracker. By reporting your experience, you can help others avoid falling for the same scam.

About BBB: BBB serving Central Virginia serves Richmond, the Tri-Cities, Charlottesville, and Fredericksburg, as well as 42 surrounding counties from Fauquier to Mecklenburg and Northumberland to Amherst. The nonprofit organization was established in 1954 to advance responsible, honest, and ethical business practices and to promote customer confidence through self-regulation of business. Core services of BBB include business profiles, dispute resolution, truth-in advertising, scam warnings, consumer and business education, and charity review.

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