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Six tips to help avoid tech support scams

With so much of our lives spent online, tech support scams are unfortunately becoming more common.

These scams involve deceptive individuals who pretend to represent a technology, software, or anti-virus company you may know and trust.

The scammers may claim that your device is “infected with a virus,” or that you’ve made an unexpected payment, and they want to “return your money.”

Don’t fall for these tricks. Their real objective is to steal your money or your private information.

Here’s what to do to help stay safe:

Tip 1: Use caution with all unexpected communications.

Tech support scams often begin with an unsolicited call, email, or text message.

If you receive a message from someone you didn't reach out to first, it’s okay to hang up the call or close the message. 

Avoid using phone numbers that came with the message, clicking on links, or downloading attachments.

To verify the communication is legitimate, go to the website of the organization and contact them using their official, published phone number.

Wells Fargo customers are encouraged to call the phone number listed on or on the back of your card. You can also sign on to Wells Fargo Online® to view your current alerts. 

Tip 2: Don’t rely on caller ID.

Don’t assume that a call is authentic simply because of what appears on your phone screen.

Caller ID can be manipulated so that calls appear to be from a legitimate company.

When in doubt, hang up and contact the company directly to verify the situation. If the individual keeps calling you back, that’s another scam warning sign. 

Tip 3: Ignore pop-up messages that demand you call tech support.

While online, you may encounter pop-up messages that claim that your device is compromised by a virus. 

These pop-up messages are often fake, and they may urge you to call a “tech support” number immediately. 

Close these pop-up messages and avoid calling these numbers. Remember that legitimate companies will not use aggressive tactics.

Tip 4: Never allow remote control of your computer.

Scammers may request third-party remote access of your computer under the pretense of “fixing an issue” or sending you a “refund.”

This allows the scammer to see and control your computer screen and have access to your files.

Never grant remote control access to anyone you don't know and trust completely.  If you give a scammer control of your computer, they may steal personal information or trick you into sending them money.

Tip 5: Know how scammers prefer to be paid.

Tech support scammers may ask you to send them money using methods that can’t be easily traced or retrieved.

They may request payment using gift cards, wire transfers, payment apps, or cryptocurrency. 

Any request for immediate payment using these methods is a red flag.

Tip 6: Don’t be pressured to act.

If someone tries to pressure you into taking immediate action and discourages you from hanging up, these are warning signs that you’re communicating with a scammer.

Hang up the call or close the message and take matters into your own hands.

It is not rude to cut off these types of unexpected communications — it is wise.  

If you believe you’ve fallen victim to a tech support scam that involves your Wells Fargo account, contact us immediately.