COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - A new tech support scam is preying on local businesses in Colorado Springs by using technology to get access to personal and financial information.
How it works
It can come in the form of a call or an email. Usually, hackers will target people who have previously used tech support services online.
Scammers will execute the scam in one of three ways.
First, they'll call you asking you if you are satisfied with your tech support services (typically impersonating the company). If you answer "no" then they'll offer you a refund. But in order to get the refund, they ask for your bank or credit card information. That's the scam.
Secondly, scammers may go into the call stating their tech support company is going out of business and offering refunds to their customers. They'll again ask you for personal financial information and instead of refund you, they'll empty your account.
Thirdly, one of the most dangerous ways, is they'll convince you to go to a certain website to fix your device. Typically that website has malicious software pre-downloaded that will take control of your computer, granting full access of your information to the hacker. At that point, they'll either use your information or sell it.
Cheryl Epps, who works for Hancock Auto Body Shop in Colorado Springs, gets these calls 15 times a day.
"It's scary because they're hurting people," said Epps.
Hackers will often use convincing language like "trust me" or "if you don't believe me, I can put my manager on the line" in order to get what they want.
"They'll usually call on a private number with an unknown name," Epps said.
Tips and tricks
Det. Jon Price, with the El Paso County Sheriff's Office explains scammers often times research their victims before picking up the phone.
"Scammers are always on the prowl looking for an easy target," Price said. "Consumers really need to be aware."
If you continue to get these calls, contact your phone company to block the number.
For further questions, email me at Stephanie.Sierra@KRDO.com.