CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is warning consumers about a computer repair scam that is currently active in the Mountain State.
“Consumers should be cautious if they receive a suspicious call, particularly if they haven’t done business with the company in question,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Look for warning signs such as a machine-generated voice, unusual word choices or improper grammar. Most importantly, never give money to a scammer or allow them to access your credit card or computer.”
This scam involves an impostor who calls consumers and claims to be from a major technology or computer company. The scammer then demands payment for antivirus software the consumer supposedly bought.
The caller will urge the consumer to make a payment via credit card, gift card or ask for their bank account information. The scammer may also seek to gain access to the consumer’s computer if payment is refused. For instance, they might claim they need to remove the supposedly-installed virus repair program since the consumer is refusing to pay them.
Scammers may also use a tactic called “spoofing” to mask the phone number from which they are calling and make it appear that it comes from another source.
Other versions of the scam involve technology company impostors demanding payment and access to the consumer’s computer to remove a virus that does not exist.
Consumers also should safeguard sensitive information such as computer passwords, network information and financial information. Creating strong passwords can be a good line of defense against potential hackers.
Anyone who believes they have been a victim of a scam should contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 800-368-8808, or file a complaint online at www.wvago.gov.