By Daniel Stefanski |
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is warning Americans of a scam that is sadly targeting a growing number of individuals.
Late last month, the FBI issued a Public Service Announcement (PSA), “warning the public of a recent nationwide uptick in technical support scams targeting older adults, where scammers instruct victims to send cash, wrapped in a magazine(s), via shipping companies.”
The PSA informed readers that “tech support scammers usually initiate contact with older adult victims through a phone call, text, email, or pop-up window purporting to be support from a legitimate company,” informing those victims “of fraudulent activity or potential refunds for a subscription service.” Victims will then call the numbers provided to them by the scammers, who tell the victims “they have a refund for the victims” – but “the only way the money can be sent is by connecting to the victims’ computers and depositing it into the victims’ bank account.”
The victims will download software programs that unwittingly allow the scammers to gain access to their computer. Victims then follow instructions to sign into their bank accounts. The FBI notes that the scammers “supposedly transfer an amount to the victims’ bank account but ‘accidently’ deposits a much larger amount than intended,” which the victims are convinced to return to “save” the scammers’ jobs.
Lastly, “the scammers instruct the victims to send the money in cash, wrapped in a magazine(s), or similar method of concealment, via a shipping company to a name and address provided by the scammers.”
The FBI gives four tips for Americans to protect themselves against these scams. The first is for people to refrain from downloading software coming from strangers. The second cautions individuals to be vigilant with the people who have access to their computers. The third warns against clicking “on unsolicited pop-ups, links sent via text messages, or email links or attachments.” The final tip states that people should “never send cash via mail or shipping companies.”
Those who are being targeted by these scammers are encouraged to report these fraudulent or suspicious activities to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center at www.ic3.gov.
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.