Tech Support Refund Fraud
One thing is for sure, tech support scammers will do everything possible to ensure that your computer has a critical problem, like a virus.
The main focus is to get you into a trap of paying for a service that you don’t need or to fix a “major” problem that doesn’t exist.
Like tech support scams, tech support refund scams work similarly but somehow distinctively. For instance, tech support refund scams involve a false “refund” that will only come to cost you a big deal. Beware!
But how does it work?
The best scenario of a possible tech support refund scam is when you receive an email that confirms charges for a given service that you have never had. You can also receive a notification for a refund from a company that claims to be going out of business. The primary explanation for that is merely a scam alert.
So, what exactly is a refund scam?
Most folks have lost their money in several online scenarios, whereby whenever you’re selling an item, someone overpays you. Later, they ask that you pay back the extra money, and when you do, they cancel the payment they sent first, and they get hold of your money.
Usually, the refund can come in the form of not using its service for a while. The email or alert says it’s significant that you understand how to spot a scam email. If you’re able to spot a scam email, then there’re high chances that you can stop the attack.
Who to spot a scam email
In a flash, you’ll receive the scam emails that appear official at first, but usually, they’re from unrelated addresses. Also, they never contain any specific information that relates to you. Moreover, if they have many grammatical errors, then it should be a clear sign that it’s a scam email.
Another vital tip you should remember is that most legitimate companies never ask to confirm your payment details merely by clicking a particular link in an email.
Ali Qamar, the digital privacy and censorship expert leading security investigations at Privacy Savvy, a platform dedicated to keeping users informed about best practices to defeat censorship, protect online privacy, secure internet-connected devices, and unblocking restricted content, had the following quick and useful tips to share on spotting scam emails:
“You should hang up as soon as a caller says that your device has an issue. Do not give scammers any time to stay on the line. Any tech support call or email that you do not expect coming is a scam (even if the number looks legitimate and is local). Also, if you get to see a pop-up alert to connect with tech support, ignore it.”
How the scammer can get into your bank
It may sound easier to detect, but most folks have fallen victim and been left with negative bank statements. The process is straightforward and effortless.
The moment you click on the email’s link, scammers will want to help you get your refund faster.
They first give you an option to install a tool that will help them connect to your device. For instance, they’ll tell you to install something like AnyDesk, TeamViewer, or any related tool that will offer similar access.
Once the connection is set, it’s possible that they can even have some unattended access to connect to your device and control it whenever it’s on.
The next step is letting you log into the bank’s website to help “initiate the refund.” You’ll be almost there to let your funds slip away. To look legitimate, they may probably ask you to note the total amount in the account to ensure that you have the value in mind.
The big thing happens!
Once they have access, they get you out of the grid by using the remote access software. Your screen is blacked (whereby they claim it makes the connection “secure), and you’ll never see what’s going on.
Unfortunately, no money’s being transferred; instead, they’ll raise your checking balance by transferring money between your accounts. For instance, if they promised a refund of $400, they might transfer $4,400 instead.
They can even go ahead to edit the website’s HTML to deceive that they indeed sent the money between the accounts from the refund department.
The refund scam happens
At that point, you’ll have your screen back and will ask that you confirm receiving the payment. Obviously, you’ll get the overpaid money and notify them; they’d seem surprised and tell you to send the extra money. In fact, you may be asked to keep a little of the funds for generosity.
You’ll definitely ask how to refund their money, and that’s where you should be scared if you still believe them up to this point. The issue is that they claim not to follow the same route but instead pay in gift cards.
Once you go ahead to purchase the gift card, they ask for the claim codes, and once done, they take the codes and redeem them immediately.
The reason for gift cards is simple; they don’t want to leave traces to be tracked.
Stay ahead, and don’t get scammed
Basically, scammers usually take advantage of technically inclined folks, and just like tech support scams, refunds scams come with little layers for the confusion. The best thing you can do is always stay updated and informed. If you never ordered a service or are to expecting any tech support call, you don’t have to fall into a trap.
Moreover, never sign in to your personal accounts when it’s unnecessary, primarily when directed by someone you don’t know. Besides, you don’t have to buy a gift when paying for a service; it’s a scam!
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