As part of this scam, cybercriminals use publicly available phone directories to ascertain computer users' names and other personal information when they call, according to
"If you receive a call like this, hang up the phone immediately," Attorney General Madigan said. "Legitimate companies will not initiate a call to you and ask you for personal information. This is an outright scam."
Madigan also offered the following tips to avoid falling victim to this scam:
* Never give your password out on the phone, and never provide your credit card or financial information to someone who calls and claims to be from a technical support service.
* Do not expect caller ID will verify a legitimate caller. Scammers "spoof" phone numbers, meaning they use technology to appear to be calling from a legitimate source.
* If a caller pressures you to buy software or requests any other upfront payment, immediately hang up. If you're worried about your computer's security, call your security software company directly for more information.
* Put your phone number on the National Do Not Call Registry, and report illegal calls made to your phone number.
* If you think you might have been a victim of this scam, Attorney General Madigan suggested
* Update or download legitimate security software applications to scan your computer. Delete anything identified as a problem.
* Change your passwords.
* If you paid for bogus services with a credit card, call your credit card provider using the toll-free number on the back of your card and report the unauthorized charges.
* Review your banking statements for other unauthorized charges.
* Call Attorney General Madigan's Identity Theft Hotline (1-866-999-5630), which is staffed by a team of experts who provide one-on-one assistance to help consumers report identity thefts to law enforcement and financial institutions, repair their credit, and prevent future problems.
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