Transcript for Better Business Bureau warns of a growing number of scams disguised as tech support pop-ups
We have a warning now from the better business bureau about computer caps where people pose as tech support and convince you to pay to fix a problem you don't have and Rebecca Jarvis is back using deceptive pop-up alerts and phone calls. They have exploded in prevalence costing consumers hundred, sometimes thousands of dollars and the worst part is the tactics these criminals are using. They make it look like your computer has a legitimate problem, a virus, malware when really there's no problem at all. You've got your fire wall and anti-virus protection on your computer. So you're safe, right? Well, not quite. A new report from the better business bureau says there's been an alarming uptick in people victimized by computer tech scams. Thieves posing as technicians claiming they can fix computers when, in fact, there's nothing to fix. Their scare tactics make people believe they have to act immediately and anyone is a target. Come on. Reporter: 29-year-old Amy Sowell fell victim to the scam on her Microsoft PC a month ago, a pop-up claimed her computer was infected with a virus. If I exited out of the pop-up, I would lose all of my data on my hard drive so I called the number which said they were a Microsoft partner so I didn't think twice about calling the number. Reporter: She then gave them permission to gain control of her computer and soon the fake technician on the line convinced her to pay $150 to fix the problem. I had this gut feeling that something just wasn't quite right. So I googled Microsoft partner and I found out that they were a scam. Reporter: The better business bureau says pop-up e-mails similar to this are sent to victims. This is so common I think it's a matter for all of us not whether we'll be contacted by a tech support fraud but when. Reporter: Steve baker is lead investigator on the better business bureau report on tech scams. A lot of victims never complain to law enforcement. A lot of people dope even know they've been ripped off. Reporter: Microsoft reports receiving 12,000 complaints every month telling ABC news whenever you receive an unsoliciteded phone call or see a pop-up on your computer, don't take the risk, just hang up or close your browser. If you need tech support reach out to our technical support experts at the Microsoft answer desk? So that's some advice right there but as he said this is super common. How do we protect ourselves. Microsoft says they're never going to reach out to you with an e-mail or a pop-up or a phone call to say you have a virus. The best thing you can do if you spot a pop-up on your computer do not click on it. If your screen freezes on your computer rather than clicking around or trying to fix it, shut the computer down immediately and if you're being reached out to, if you think there is a scam reach out immediately, record the complaint with the better business bureau, ftc or Microsoft and if there is really a problem with your computer, rather than dealing with somebody online go to a store. You could go to a Best Buy or a Microsoft store, Microsoft even has a support side, support.microsoft..com where you can ask legitimate questions of legitimate people. All right. Good advice, thank you.
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