Protect yourself from tech support scams, warns RCMP

Protect yourself from tech support scams, warns RCMP

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If someone calls you and says they work in computer support and need remote access to your computer, there’s a pretty big chance they’re lying.

RCMP in Penticton are warning the public to take steps to avoid being a victim of pervasive tech support phone scams.

The RCMP has seen a sharp increase in the number of telephone computer support scams, said Constable James Grandy, and is warning the public not to become victims.

“The scam often originates from outside of Canada, and occurs when a person is called, often from a phone number which looks like a local number,” explained Grandy.

“The person on the phone identifies themselves as a computer support person and is wanting to gain access to the person’s computer to make necessary updates.”

The fake tech support scammer may pretend to be from Microsoft and claim to need remote access to one’s computer. The scammer then demands payment, typically in the form of untraceable gift cards, and make threats should they not receive the funds.

“RCMP would like to remind the public that Microsoft does not send unsolicited email messages or make unsolicited phone calls to request personal or financial information or fix a computer,” Grandy said.

Anyone who believes they have become a victim of this, or another scam, is encouraged to report it to their local RCMP Detachment, or call the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre, 1-888-495-8501.

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