The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has a warning for consumers. A call from someone claiming to be tech support may actually be a call from a scammer. Tens of thousands of consumers are being targeted.
"You'll get a call from someone claiming to be a computer tech service person affiliated with a legitimate computer company like Microsoft, Dell, MacAfee, or Norton. They'll tell you that your computer is infected with viruses or other malware and what they are trying to do is is trick you into buying software that you don't need," said Bill Efron, FTC Northeast Regional Director.
According to the FTC, consumers have already lost tens of millions of dollars.
"Do not give your password out over the phone. Legitimate companies do not call and ask you for your password. Do not give someone access remotely to someone if they call out of the blue. Never rely on caller ID to confirm that a caller is legitimate," said Efron.
Computer user Jerome Dorfman was concerned about a phone call he got from someone claiming to be from tech support.
"He said he was from Microsoft and I had downloaded a corrupt file," said Dorfman. Dorfman was not having issues with his computer, so he immediately suspected a problem.
"And I said, 'Well, obviously you know who I am, you know my e-mail address, send me an e-mail,'" said Dorfman. Then the person on the other line hung up.
In October, the FTC took action against six companies that they claim were scamming consumers. Again it all started will a cold call asking if you have any computer issues.
"If someone calls you and tells you that your computer has a problem, the best thing to do is hang up the phone," said Efron.