August 26, 2020
LANSING – While the Michigan Department of Attorney General has not seen an uptick in complaints of tech-savvy scammers, recent media coverage of an Apple iPhone scam highlights the need to remind Michiganders again to be cautious of tech-support scams.
Attorney General Dana Nessel is reminding residents to beware of bad actors who may be posing as employees offering tech support for major companies like Apple or Microsoft.
A recent media report indicated a Michigan woman was contacted by a scammer who told her that her mobile device required a security update and that he could assist with the process. The victim followed the caller’s instructions and unknowingly gave him remote access to her phone, and he then transferred $1,000 from the victim’s bank account, according to police.
Some tech-support scams may begin with a phone call from a real person, while others may be initiated with a robocall. The Attorney General’s office has an example of such a call on its website.
“Whether the call is coming from a live person or a robocall, Michiganders must be cautious whenever contacted by unsolicited callers, particularly when those individuals are seeking access to your personal devices, like a smartphone, tablet or computer,” Nessel said. “As more people are working and attending school from home, we are relying more heavily than before on our electronic devices. Scammers are crafty, and they are constantly identifying new ways to attempt to steal personal information, so Michiganders must be on the lookout for anything that seems suspicious.”
Those who are contacted by an unsolicited caller or receive an email from an unknown source offering tech support and seeking remote access to a computer or other electronic device should hang up the phone or delete the email.
Scammers will often try to instill fear in their targets and present a sense of urgency to their request. However, independently verifying the source of the call or email before responding to any request being made will help targets avoid falling victim to the scam.
Complaints of tech support scams, robocall and other consumer protection-related issues can be filed online with the Michigan Department of Attorney General. Unwanted calls can also be reported to the Federal Trade Commission online or by calling 877-FTC-HELP (877-382-4357).