Avoid Phone and Online Scams
Recently, the Huntley Police Department has received reports of a computer scam, which is sometimes called the Tech Support Scam or Account Take Over Scam.
WHAT IT IS
The scammer can initiate contact in several different ways, such as a phone call, email, or a computer pop-up message. It will advise that a computer virus has taken over the computer and will delete all your information. The scammer will then offer to stop this threat...for a fee. The fee must be paid either with a credit card, gift card, or by remote access to your bank account.
Another portion of the scam is to get you to allow access to your computer via remote log in. The scammer then has you log into your bank account so they can remove or transfer funds from the accounts.
WHAT TO DO
If you feel you might be a victim of this type of crime, do not pay any fees or allow anyone access to your computer. Immediately call the method of payment (such as your bank or credit card company) and see if you can stop the transaction. Contact a local, reputable computer specialist if you feel you might have a virus on your computer. Report this type of scam to your local police department as soon as possible so it can be investigated.
How to Prevent Scams
There are several things to keep in mind to avoid falling victim to any scam:
- Do not provide personal or banking information to unsolicited calls, emails, or mailings
- Avoid answering calls from numbers you do not know
- If your computer needs work, contact a local, reputable specialist to assist
- Trust your gut and contact local law enforcement if something seems odd
- Never make payment with gift cards
- Remain calm and do not get pressured into making a payment over the phone
Be sure to talk to your friends and family about these scams as well. If you have any questions, always reach out to local law enforcement for advice and help.
Huntley Safety 1st is the monthly education series written by the staff of the Huntley Police Department to provide citizens with information on public safety related issues.