Authorities warn of rise in tech scams

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LINCOLN, Neb. - The Lincoln Police Department is investigating a number of recent technical support scams.

Authorities said the way the scam works is the scammer calls, and something pops up on the victim’s computer or a fake email is received.

The email directs the victim to a fake website, explaining that the computer has been infected with a virus.

The scammers then pretend to be “Technical Support,” and may pretend to work well-known companies such as Microsoft or Apple, police said.

The scammers ask for access to the victim’s computer, and then attempt to install programs that only they have the ability to remove.

They are also able to access other sensitive information, such as passwords, banking, or credit card information.

Authorities added that the scammer will ask to the victim to pay for non-existing problems or pay for removal of the programs they have installed.

Lincoln Police released the following tips to combat the scam:

1. Do not give control of your computer to someone unless YOU initiated the call. Hang up on anyone think may be suspicious.

2. Do not purchase any software or services from an unsolicited call or email. If you are worried about the security of your computer, get advice from a local computer store and make your purchase there.

3. Keep your anti-virus software up to date at all times.

4. Do not provide your personal or financial information, including your online banking password, to anyone claiming to be technical support.

5.Back-up your files regularly. Find yourself a portable hard drive or inexpensive USB drive to back-up your important files. Even backing up files once a year can be a huge piece of mind.

Police also advise that if there is a monetary loss, call the Lincoln Police Department at 402-441-6000. If there is no loss, visit ftc.gov/complaint to report the scam.