PENNSYLVANIA, USA — The newest scam sweeping the states is an old trick with an "adult twist."
According to the Better Business Bureau, the scam is easy to avoid, in theory. It stems from something being wrong with the victim's home computer or internet connection. The victim will search online for a customer support phone number, and—in a rush to fix the problem—will click on the top result.
A company "representative" will answer and ask a few standard questions about your device, such as the make and model number.
At first, the call will appear normal, but it will quickly take a turn. The "tech support representative" will insist that someone in your house has been watching adult videos.
In a recent report, the scammer asked the caller if they had a teenage son and then insisted the boy was to blame. In another case, "tech support" claimed that thousands of people had been using the caller's IP address to view adult content.
The end goal? The scammer wants to sell the victim expensive computer security software, which typically costs anywhere between $200 and $900.
This software, however, will not fix the victim's computer or internet access. In some cases, the scammers will also want remote access to your computer. Allowing them access only enables them to install malware that records passwords, keystrokes, and other files that hold personal information.
The best way to avoid these scams?
- Never open attachments or links in emails from unknown senders. These can generate fake warning pop-ups that prompt you to make a call to scammers. If you get a suspicious pop-up alert, don't click on anything and restart your computer, tablet or phone.
- Never give strangers remote access to your computer. You should only allow remote access to technicians of trustworthy companies you contacted through a legitimate customer service number or chat.
- Avoid clicking on pop-up boxes or ads stating that something is wrong. If a pop-up won't go away, disconnect from the internet and wi-fi by shutting off the device immediately and restarting it.