Century Link ‘Tech Support Scam’ reported in Southern Arizona

March 07, 2014

Better Business Bureau Serving Southern Arizona is warning of phone calls from scammers claiming to be with Century Link technical support, which prompt consumers to visit a website that downloads a virus onto their computers.

A Rio Rico consumer told BBB that he received a call from someone claiming to be with Century Link who told him that his anti-virus software was out of date, and directed him to a website that downloaded a virus on his computer. The next day the consumer said he received another call demanding that he pay for the “software update.”

The consumer told BBB that his caller ID showed that the calls came from a 520 phone number, but that the caller spoke with what the consumer described as a heavy foreign accent.

BBB advises that it’s common practice for scam artists to use Internet-dialers to place phone calls, enabling them to make any phone number they wish to appear on the recipient’s caller ID. This practice is commonly called “spoofing.”

The scam, referred to as a “technical support scam,” has been used in the past by scam artists claiming they were from Microsoft. BBB reminds consumers that companies will never call them at home to alert them to a virus on their computers or prompt them to upgrade their anti-virus software.

By infecting a computer with a virus, scam artists hope to extort money from their victims, and use personal information gleaned from the computer for the purpose of identity theft.

BBB offers these tips to consumers who receive suspicious tech support phone calls:

  • Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you can confirm that it is a legitimate representative of a computer support team with whom you are already a customer.
  • Never provide your credit card or financial information to someone claiming to be from tech support.
  • Take the Caller's information down and report it to your local authorities or the FTC.

If you did allow a caller access to your computer:

  • Change the passwords for your computer; email and online banking/credit card accounts.
  • Be sure to run a virus scan.
  • Consider placing a fraud alert on your credit report if you shared personal and banking information with the scammer.

For more consumer news or to find a Southern Arizona business you can trust, visit www.bbb.org/tucson