A Macon computer store is warning Central Georgia of a scam they say is targeting elderly computer users.
Quality Computer Systems says in the last week they've gotten 20 calls and complaints about the scam after it's taken people's money and information.
Brad Spiegel, who owns Quality Computer Systems, says this scam is costing people hundreds of dollars.
“The lowest right now with the scam is around $200, now that's $200 every two weeks because they seem to get re-infected every two weeks, which is awfully convenient for the people who are disinfecting them and the most is $695,” Spiegel said in his store.
Spiegel explained it starts with a pop-up that tells you there's a virus, warranty, or firewall problem.
Then it asks you to call an 800 number for technical support that you have to pay for.
“They're creating clever ways to do it, whether it is showing the manufacturer's name up on the screen with error codes, whether they are showing a picture of an error off another machine making it look like it's your machine, or walking you through stuff where there are errors where normally there are errors in a machine,” Spiegel said.
Spiegel says once you agree to pay for the help they'll ask to access your computer remotely. Then he says there's no stopping them from information on your computer.
Kelvin Collins at the Central Georgia Better Business Bureau says you should always know who you're calling.
“Anytime that you have to give someone access to your computer, make sure that it's a call where you initiated the call. Now if you're calling a company that you know, they might be able to do some remote repairs for your computer,” Collins said.
The BBB says tech support scams have existed for years and normally target senior citizens and others known to be less computer-savvy.
Collins also said requests for unusual forms of payment should be a red flag.
Spiegel and Collins say a reputable IT company or service will never call you out of the blue because of a problem or use a pop-up that asks you to call them.
If you think you're a victim of this scam and gave remote access to your computer, Spiegel and Collins say you need to take it to a professional to have it safely cleared because antivirus software might not catch what the scammers left behind
Quality Computer Systems says they normally get about 5 to 6 scam calls a month, but within the last week there have been 20 making them think the scammers are targeting Central Georgia computers.