Tech experts offer help to avoid online scams - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Tech experts offer help to avoid online scams

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The Federal Trade Commission continues to crack down on scammers posing as tech support experts to get access your personal information online.

Even so, hundreds of people fall victim every day.

People like Linda Harper, who got a call from a tech claiming to be from Microsoft. She granted him access to her computer, and within hours, he stole $2,000 from her account.

"It's been a real disaster," Harper says.

Jonathan Zuck of the Association of Competitive Technology says there are some key things to look for to avoid being a victim.

"The first question you should probably ask someone is for their number and say you'll call them back,” says Zuck. “If they're not willing to give it to you, you know immediately it’s some kind of scam.”

Another red flag is if they ask you for money to fix a problem with their software. Legitimate companies like Microsoft are not going to do that.

And never give up control of your machine.

Zuck says, "The moment they ask for access to your machine, that should be a big red flag for you and you should really know who you're talking to."

The FTC is so concerned about these tech support scams, they created a video to help spot and stop a scam.

"The good news is there's a lot you can do to protect your computer,” the video explains. “One of the most important steps you can take is to install security software from a reliable company and set it to update automatically."

The website,, also recommends using a pop-up blocker and that you avoid opening any email attachment unless you know who it is from.

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