EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. (November 29, 2023) – In a digital age where connectivity is king, our High-Tech Crimes Detectives are issuing a stark warning: internet scams are on the rise, and the numbers are staggering. In 2022 alone, reported fraud losses breached the $10 billion mark, with a particular bullseye on seniors aged 65 and above. In 2022, total losses reported to the IC3 by elderly victims increased 84% from 2021.
Tech Support Scam: A Notorious Culprit
Among the myriad scams infiltrating the online realm, the Tech Support Scam stands out as a notorious player. The modus operandi typically involves fake pop-ups masquerading as urgent warnings, claiming your computer is infected with a myriad of issues. Falling prey to this scam can have dire consequences, as scammers may seize control of your computer, pilfering sensitive data in the process.
The Devil’s in the Details: What to Watch For
El Dorado County Sheriff detectives emphasize the need for vigilance. One key piece of advice: avoid making calls to numbers provided in pop-up messages. Doing so may inadvertently connect you to the very scammers aiming to exploit your vulnerability. It’s crucial to remember that reputable tech giants such as Microsoft and Apple do not engage in unsolicited calls. They certainly won’t demand your personal or financial information out of the blue, and they absolutely won’t ask for payment in cryptocurrency or gift cards.
Red Flags to Keep in Mind
Legitimate computer warnings rarely, if ever, include phone numbers. So, if a pop-up insists you dial a certain number to address an alleged issue, that’s a glaring red flag. In the digital realm, unsolicited calls demanding immediate action should set off alarm bells.
El Dorado County Sheriff detectives stress that knowledge is your best defense. Arm yourself with the awareness that companies like Microsoft and Apple operate with a strict policy against unsolicited calls. Their legitimate communication channels do not involve sudden demands for sensitive information or cryptocurrency payments.