BBB Warns of New Online Scam

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.-- Stephanie Garland, with the Springfield Better Business Bureau, says lately the complaint inbox has been filled with stories of close calls and sometimes losses. 

"Many times these people get taken for 200, 300, 500 dollars, maybe more,” she says. "We have a lot of consumers who say this has happened to them in the Springfield area."

"They called my wife's phone and said my computer is infected," wrote one victim. 

Typically each story starts with a phone call.

"A man name Jake Martin called and said our computer was locked up and that April 6, 2017 I bought software to unlock the computer. (I had not done this)," another victim wrote in. 

"Received a call from a person with a foreign accent claiming they had received reports from my computer indicating there were problems," wrote another victim.

Though sometimes Garland says it starts with an online pop-up ad. 

"The screen of death pops-up and says you need to call this number immediately," says Garland. 

Either way, the next step is always a person claiming to be tech support, attempting to access your info. 

"I was told I was entitled to a refund of 195 dollars and 99 cents and I was told it could be direct deposited into my bank account," one of those victims continued. 

"The caller attempted to get me to go to at which point he would remotely control my computer," another explained.

"This is happening a lot to millennials,” Garland says. 

So here's what she says to do if you even think one of these phony tech support systems has contacted you or taken over your device. 

"Take a step back,” she says. “Completely unplug your computer for 5 minutes. Get back on to look up the number find out if it's legitimate, you can also call Apple, Dell, Microsoft because they're seeing lots of these scams and they'll know exactly what you're talking about."

While she couldn't say which one, Garland says most of the victims were targeted after ordering on a cosmetic website.

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