An Old Scam Gains More Traction…

For over a year, hackers have been running a scam offering refunds for companies that were “going out of business”.  In reality, none of these companies were really shutting down.  Instead, hackers were using this as an excuse to gain the personal banking information of victims, so they could “process” the refund.

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There have been several reports lately regarding phone calls people have been receiving from individuals claiming to work for “a security company” who is going out of business.  Therefore, they’re claiming this company owes the individual a refund.  Although, we all know, there is no refund.  They simply want your credit card information so they can commit fraud.

These scammers typically call from a 1-800 number or an “unknown” number.  The scammer who called one customer, played along with whatever antivirus company they mentioned.  He said their security provider is going out of business, and they had to process a refund.  He asked for their credit card information multiple times, and got frustrated with the questions they was asking.  Here’s a basic synopsis of the phone call:

Customer: I’m sorry, who are you with?

Scammer: Your security provider.

Customer: Which one?

Scammer: The security company is going out of business, and they have hired us to process the refunds.  We will need your payment information to credit the account.

Customer: But what security provider are you talking about?  My house, my computer??

Scammer: Your computer.  What is the payment information, so we can issue the credit?

Customer: Oh, my computer.  McAfee?

Scammer: Yes.

Customer: What?! McAfee is going out of business.  That is incredibly surprising.  I would think I would’ve seen this on the news or something.  When did they begin this process?  How long will I be protected?

Scammer: I need your card information to process the refund.  You’ll be getting over $300 back.

Customer: Really?!?!  WOW!! That’s amazing — considering I don’t use McAfee, nor have I ever paid them a dime.  So, tell me really — what did you need that credit card information for?

–They hung up.

As you read above, they’re incredibly evasive and go out of their way not to answer the questions you ask.  Honestly, from a scamming perspective, it’s smart.  The less they say, the less likely they are to provide the wrong information.

If someone is less familiar with these types of scams, it is entirely possible they tell the scammers their antivirus company name without thinking about it.  Like how I mentioned McAfee, but knew it was a scam.

If anyone has received a call like this, please share your story below in the comments section.  The more we talk about this, the more aware people will become.

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