Timely warning from NRP on on-line computer tech support, today being National Computer Security Day.
Recently, the Niagara Regional Police have received several similar complaints regarding on-line scams that involve computer tech support.
To initiate the scam, victims are contacted by phone, email, or "pop up" screens and are told that their computer has a virus or other issues. On some occasions, victims seeking technical support on their own, unknowingly link into a scammer through a legitimate appearing support website.
Once communication is established the scammer gains the victim's co-operation and remotely accesses their computer. The scammer then takes over the computer and offers to remove viruses or install software for a fee. The victim is asked to provide credit card information, banking information, passwords and other personal data. The victims later find out that their credit card has been charged significantly more than the fee offered.
Often, this scam has been combined with the "overpayment scam". The scammer gains access to the victims bank accounts and transfers money into or between them. The scammer gives the illusion that he has accidentally deposited money into the victims account and asks to be reimbursed. The victim then sends money as instructed by etransfer, wire transfer, iTunes cards, or other means.
The Niagara Regional Police are reminding citizens to be cautious about providing personal or financial information over the internet and exercise due diligence to confirm the companies they deal with are legitimate.