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.
To this day, one of the major businesses hackers claim to represent is “antivirus providers”. Hackers know, with the increased dependency on technology, most people have a computer or mobile device that should have antivirus protection on it. Scammers are exploiting this, by calling unexpected victims claiming to be from their “antivirus company”, which they claim is going out of business. Their comments will remain vague, careful not to disclose a company name. Instead, they wait for the victim to respond with something like “Oh, PC Matic?”. And just like that, they have the information they need. Often times, the victim doesn’t think twice that they’ve given the hackers the information they needed to appear to be legitimately from their security solution.
This is exactly what happened to a 67-year-old Arkansas resident. After providing her banking information for the refund, the scammer called back saying the wrong amount was transferred, and she would need to transfer back thousands of dollars. It was then, she realized it was a scam. She immediately hung up and froze her bank accounts.
Don’t be a Victim
First, it is important to know, companies are not going to call every customer offering a refund if they go out of business. Instead, they would likely do a major press release and/or send out a letter or email confirming the company’s doors are closing. Taking the time to notify each customer by phone is not realistic. If you receive a call like this, you’re encouraged to tell them you know it’s a scam. They will likely hang up, and not call again.
Also, do your due diligence and share this information with your friends and family. The more people know the less likely they are to fall victim.
Stay safe out there!