14 News Special Report: Support Scammers - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

14 News Special Report: Support Scammers

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Tech support schemes are one of the newest cons the Feds are cracking down on these days.  

Their Facebook page is colorful, inspirational and popular, too, with more than 170,000 followers.  It's also vulnerable to hackers, who replaced wholesome posts on the  "Sisters in Christ" fan page with adult content. 
Worried about the site's reputation, Teresa Citro searched online for "Facebook Phone Tech Support" and found several numbers.  She called the first one that popped up. The person who answered said that for $129, they would rescue their page from the hackers and keep them out. 

"They also were supposedly putting on some kind of a device so that we couldn't be hacked again," said Teresa.

It turns out that Teresa wasn't talking to Facebook.  In fact, the social networking giant doesn't even offer phone tech support.  Facebook told us, "This was undoubtedly a scam."  The federal government said they've received thousands of complaints about similar schemes.

"The goal is to get consumers to pay hundreds of dollars for unnecessary computer repair services," said FTC Chief Atty Robbin.

The Federal Trade Commission recently launched a major tech support scam crackdown, filing complaints against several companies based mostly in India.  The commission said scammers rely on two different schemes.  They either cold-call you, claiming to be major companies like Microsoft, Norton, Mcafee and Dell, or they lure you into calling fake online tech support listings. 

In both instances, the scammers try to convince you to give them remote access to your computer.  Once in, they try to sell you repair services, or scare you by telling you it's riddled with viruses and Malware. 
Teresa disputed the $129 fee and reported the phone listing to the search engine she used, Ask.com    "Ask" told us: "Once a problematic listing is brought to our attention, we immediately remove it and black list the advertiser."   

If you've been ripped off by a tech support scam, be sure to report it to the FTC.  Click here for more information.

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