Bruning Warns Nebraskans About Tech Support Scam


Attorney General JonBruning issued an alert Thursday for Nebraskans to be wary of scams related tocomputer tech support.

The Attorney General's Office Mediation Center hasreceived more than 10 reports this week regarding scam phone calls from thosefalsely claiming to represent Microsoft in order to gain access to sensitiveinformation stored on victims' computers.

"Tech support scammerspose as legitimate business representatives to turn the victims' desire forsecurity against them," said Bruning. "You can't know who is on the other endof unsolicited phone calls, regardless of what they claim. Nebraskans shouldnever provide access to personal or business computers to people they don'tknow."

Here's how the scamworks:

  • Consumers receive phone calls fromindividuals posing to be with Microsoft or another legitimate support group(Dell, McAfee, Norton).
  • Scammers claim an imminent securitythreat has been detected with the consumers' computer.
  • Callers may direct consumers to utilityareas of their computers (such as the system log) to demonstrate how thecomputer is infected.
  • Scammers request to "verify" consumerinformation so they can help correct the problem.
  • The caller offers software available fordownload or offers to directly update the consumer's current system.
  • Consumers may be routed to dummywebsites that allow scammers to remotely access their computers.
  • Once the scammer gains access to theconsumer's computer, they can either install fraudulent software directly ormay request bank account information to charge for installing fraudulentsecurity "upgrades."
  • Tech support scammers can then usepersonal information gained from the transaction to perpetrate identity theftor make fraudulent charges to the victims' accounts.

This week, the FederalTrade Commission launched an international crackdown on this type of scam,mostly based in India. According to the FTC, the bulk of these calls are madefrom telemarketing facilities utilizing 130 different phone numbers and 80different web addresses.

If you or someone youknow has been targeted by a tech support scam, file a complaint with theAttorney General's Office at (800) 727-6432 or

For more information on this and other scams, contact the Federal TradeCommission online at www.ftccomplaintassistant.govor call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).

Courtesy- Attorney General Jon Bruning