LOS ANGELES – California Attorney General Xavier Becerra today issued a consumer alert to warn Californians about “tech support” scams targeting personal computers. Also, this morning the Federal Trade Commission announced it will be conducting an aggressive law enforcement sweep targeting tech support scams nationwide.
“Millions of Californians rely on computers for banking, shopping, school work and much more,” said Attorney General Becerra. “While technology makes our lives easier, it also creates opportunities for scams. Californians should be particularly wary of anyone asking for money or private information online or over the phone.”
Tech support scams often begin either by phone or online, via a pop-up window requesting to chat with a user or directing people to call a phone number to fix a computer problem. The scam can also start with an email or text message warning of a computer vulnerability and directing users to visit a website or call a phone number. Then, the scammer pretends to be a computer technician working for a reputable technology company or internet service provider and solicits personal information.
In a new consumer protection guide released today, Attorney General Becerra provides practical ways for Californians to protect themselves against tech scams. The guide includes tips on what to look out for; ways to protect oneself against phony tech support; what to do if scammed; and instructions for filing a complaint with the California Attorney General’s Office.
Attorney General Becerra has made protecting consumers a top priority. Californians who believe they are victims of a tech support scam or who have been approached by tech support scammers should file a complaint at www.oag.ca.gov/contact/consumer-complaint-against-business-or-company with the California Attorney General’s Office. Victims may also call (800) 952-5225 or send a letter to: California Department of Justice, Public Inquiry Unit, P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, CA 94244-2550.