Keeping on top of the latest scams

In a recent post by Andrew Johnson from the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Consumer and Business Information, we get explanation of one of the latest scams.

It’s really just a new wrinkle in the old tech-support scam-the one where the scammers gain access to your computer by promising to “fix” a computer problem that doesn’t actually exist. According to Johnson, the FTC is hearing reports that people are getting calls from someone claiming to be from the Global Privacy Enforcement Network. They claim that your email account has been hacked and is sending fraudulent messages. They say they’ll have to take legal action against you, unless you let them fix the problem right away.

If you raise questions, the scammers turn up the pressure – but they’ve also given out phone numbers of actual Federal Trade Commission staff (who have been surprised to get calls). The scammers also have sent people to the actual website for the Global Privacy Enforcement Network. (It’s a real thing: it’s an organization that helps governments work together on cross-border privacy cooperation.)

Here are few things to remember if you get any kind of tech-support call, no matter who they say they are:

  • Don’t give control of your computer to anyone who calls you offering to “fix” your computer.
  • Never give out or confirm your financial or sensitive information to anyone who contacts you.
  • Getting pressure to act immediately? That’s a sure sign of a scam. Hang up.
  • If you have concerns, contact your security software company directly. Use contact information you know is right, not what the caller gives you.

For more on identity theft protection and best practices, please visit

by Judith