Attorney General Todd Rokita is warning Hoosiers of a new scam that tricks people into downloading malware onto their computer systems. He says even typically savvy consumers are falling victim to this one.
Scammers are sending emails that say the recipient must unsubscribe from free-trial services in order to avoid charges on their credit card accounts. This scam is distinctive from others because the email does not ask the user to click any links. Instead, the recipient is asked to phone a call center for more information.
Operators at the call centers then direct callers to a fake company website and lead them through a series of online steps that installs dangerous malware onto the victims’ computer systems.
Anyone receiving emails like the above should refrain from calling the phone numbers provided and should not navigate any websites provided over the phone.
Instead, you should call your credit card companies and explain the nature of the email you received. In the off chance the email is legitimate, instruct your credit card companies not to accept the charges.
If you suspect that your computer has been compromised by a hacker, you should:
- Quarantine your device by unplugging from the network and disabling Wi-Fi. As long as you’re connected to the internet, the hackers may be accessing your device.
- Change your passwords. Make your passwords longer — ideally at least 12 characters.
- Let your family and friends know that your device or email may have been hacked so that if they notice anything suspicious appearing to come from you, they don’t fall prey to a scam themselves.
- Scan your device for any malware, deleting anything suspicious, and restart your device.
- To be better prepared for such events, install security software from a company you trust and set it to update automatically. Use a password manager to keep track of your passwords.
Report any scam attempts you encounter to the Consumer Protection Division of the Indiana Attorney General’s Office, which works every day to safeguard the rights of Hoosiers. Visit IndianaConsumer.com for more information.