There’s a dangerous imposter scam circulating the small business world, and it’s incredibly important to be aware of it. You’ve most likely gotten a prompt on your computer about a virus being detected before, but in this particular case it might not be what it seems.
Scammers are doing a few key things to make it believable. As for the most convincing piece—they’re saying the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) hired them to help the business root out the virus.
Once the imposters have your computer info, there’s no telling what they might do. Considering the FTC does not hire businesses to do tech support work, this should be the first thing you keep in mind. Here are the details:
The Virus alert
An alert pops up saying “A virus has been detected.” This could easily be your in-house online filters at work. Be sure to reach out to your IT personnel to determine if it’s legitimate.
This is where it gets interesting. The scammers send fake press releases to bolster their credibility. The press releases are said to include details about the FTC hiring them to help businesses deal with the virus.
The FTC has also reported that the scammers will send multiple emails and even call the business offering to help.
Because of the seemingly plausible steps the imposters are taking, this scam isn’t as easy to detect. Just keep in mind the FTC will never hire third party companies to assist in tech support—which makes their news releases nothing but phony.
Here’s what you can do if you’re contacted:
- Reach out to any in-house IT personnel to look at new virus alerts
- If you’re emailed or called by anyone claiming to help with tech support, do not respond.
- Report the scam to the FTC here.