Beware: Refund and Tech Assistance Frauds on the Rise

Recently, consumers have reported an increase in scammy refunds and tech support frauds. Scammers are gaining benefits from the ongoing economical crisis and using it to their advantage by tricking people into supplying confidential data and money.

Refund deceptions involve fraudsters posing as representatives from well-known companies and telling consumers that they are entitled to a refund. The tricksters then ask for personal information, such as bank account numbers and Social Security digits, to process the refund.

The tech support scam involves scammers acting to be representatives from technology companies and offering to fix computer problems. They then request remote access to the customer's computer, which can result in the installation of viruses or the theft of sensitive information.

Both scams often start with a phone call or an email that appears to be from a legitimate source. The scammers use persuasive tactics, such as threatening to shut down a consumer's computer or accusing them of a crime, to get what they want.

Besides this, Avast, an internet security platform, observed a surge in tech assistance programs, particularly in the United States, Brazil, Japan, Canada, and France. These frequently begin with a pop-up window warning users about a purported malware infestation. Once more, it prompts them to dial a number and establish a remote connection to their computer. As a result, money is taken from their bank account or cryptocurrency wallet, and personal data is gathered.

Additionally, the company discovered a 437% increment in the Redline stealer, a type of tech misuse that spreads through pirated software and services and steals information from browsers and crypto wallets, as well as a 37% increase in the global distribution of the Arkei information stealer, which steals data from browsers' autofill forms, passwords, and other sources.

In addition, to avoid falling victim to these scams, consumers should be wary of unsolicited phone calls and emails. They should never provide personal knowledge or payment to someone who contacts them out of the blue. Consumers should also be cautious when opening attachments or clicking on links in emails, as these could be sources of malware.

Consumers who believe they may have been targeted by a scam should report it to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and their local police division. They should also change any passwords they may have given to the scammers and monitor their bank accounts for suspicious activity.

Consumers can protect themselves from refund and tech support scams by being attentive and taking precautions. By staying notified and protecting their personal information, consumers can reduce their risk of falling victim to these scams.

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