Attorney General Leslie Rutledge is warning Arkansans of a prevalent tech support scam infecting common electronic devices, such as smartphones, laptops and tablets. This antivirus software scam usually begins with a phone call or pop-up message on the consumer’s electronic device. The communication is actually from a fake tech support representative claiming to be from a well-known technology company.
“I urge all Arkansans to be cautious when anyone asks for access to their devices or private information,” said AG Rutledge. “Scam artists scour the internet and phonebooks to find unsuspecting victims who are willing to share their sensitive information.”
How the scam works is that a representative or message will claim to the consumer that there is a virus infecting a device or that the consumer’s virus protection has expired. The consumer is instructed to install the software immediately in order to protect the device and private information. The scammer often claims to need sensitive information such as account numbers, date of birth or Social Security number in order to remedy the issue. Even more terrifying, the scammer will con a victim into giving access to the device. When the device is accessed in this way, the scammers install applications that allow remote access to the device at any time without the victim’s knowledge or permission. The scam artists use this information for illegal activities, such as gaining access to the consumer’s bank accounts. Scammers will quickly drain the accounts and move on to another unsuspecting victim.
Remember these tips when safely navigating online:
• No legitimate company will ever send you an unsolicited email asking for your personal information.
• If you get an email or pop-up message that asks for personal or financial information, do not reply.
• Contact the business identified in the original message directly by using the customer service number provided to you on a reliable statement to verify the legitimacy of the message.
• Do not give sensitive information in response to an unsolicited request.
• Immediately delete all suspicious emails, and never open email attachments or click on links from unknown sources.
The Attorney General’s Office provides a tip card for consumers on how to spot phishing scams, information for parents to spot cyberbullying and tips on internet safety. For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982, firstname.lastname@example.org or by visiting ArkansasAG.gov.