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Even worse, it could freeze her computer and basically hold it hostage unless she pays ransom. Not only would she be out a few hundred bucks - at a minimum - but with access to her computer, the scammer could have installed malware that could track her keystrokes, making it easy to gain her account logins and passwords. Don’t answer the telephone unless you know the caller. All rights reserved (About Us).

A quick search online finds thousands of scams that use the Geek Squad name. Best Buy’s “Geek Squad,” the retailer’s computer fix-it service, is one business that’s commonly the target of con artists. Subscribe to NJ.com », Karin Price Mueller | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com. Just never give anyone your personal information over the phone, and never, ever give someone control of your computer unless you know they’re the real deal. Then the scammer could promise a fix, but for a large fee. Registration on or use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement, Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement, and Your California Privacy Rights (each updated 1/1/20).


It is meant to offer you coverage after the warranty period ends on your equipment. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. It’s pretty common for scammers to impersonate legitimate companies or government agencies in an attempt to steal your money. The woman did the right thing by refusing the caller’s requests. In order for them to “fix” it, you have to pay. If your small business doesn’t have IT support on staff, you can use Geek Squad (a service run by Best Buy) for help with software installation, computer setup and repair, and other tech support issues. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Advance Local. Follow her on Twitter @KPMueller. It looked into the woman’s experience and said the scam call the woman received was “in no way connected to her recent legitimate Geek Squad appointment.”. Or the scammer could have created problems on her machine that didn’t exist before. “I refused to turn on the computer and follow his instructions.”. Geek Squad pricing ranges between $39.99 to $329.99 per individual service and $24.99 to $49.99 per user per month for a service plan. The cost was $79.99 and she paid over the phone.

The calls she received were even creepier than a typical scam because she had actually set up an appointment with the real Geek Squad the day before.

Geek Squad Protection Plan. We're here to help. Once you let them in, they can steal your information, put malware on your computer otherwise freeze it up. Instead, she called the real Geek Squad to report the call, and she checked her credit card and no wrong charges had been made. Your support helps us cover local news. © 2020 Advance Local Media LLC. If you’re not sure whether the message was the real thing, call the actual company or agency with a phone number you find independently. We reached out to Best Buy, which like most companies was aware that its name is used by scammers, to see what advice it had for consumers. View Geek Squad’s Plans. She said she threatened to go to the police if he didn’t remove the charge. Then there are the callers who claim to be Microsoft, Windows or another tech company. I refused.”. They can always leave a message and if it’s the real thing, you can return the call. Mueller is also the founder of NJMoneyHelp.com. The best advice? But before the tech arrived, the woman got a message. A technician was scheduled to come to her home to fix a printer issue. “I do not know how scammer got my info, unless the Geek Squad has a crook on their staff,” she said. Each user can have multiple devices. You’ll also be sent to jail if you don’t pay penalties for missing jury duty. Someone claiming to be the Geek Squad said her credit card was charged $399 for “computer services.”, “The call came again and I spoke to a real person who said he was from Geek Squad,” she said. In other cases, the caller says the Geek Squad detected a problem on your computer and they request access. Had she fallen for it, she and her computer could have been in for a world of hurt. “His response was, `Go ahead, call the police,’” she said. Geek Squad, the best-known tech-support service, boasts deep resources and U.S.-based agents. Find Bamboozled on Facebook. Geek Squad ® Services. Note to readers: if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission. GeekSquad Protection Plan covers computers, tablets, eReaders, TVs, drones, and more. In some cases, the fake Geek Squad caller says the company wants to give you a refund for work you had done a while back.

The IRS says if you don’t pay your overdue taxes immediately, there will be a warrant for your arrest. You can extend that warranty for up to 5 years on items purchased at Best Buy. “He had a heavy Indian accent and refused to remove the charge unless I went on the computer and followed his instructions. The company added the Geek Squad only takes payment over the phone at the time a customer schedules an appointment, and it will not scan a computer remotely without permission from the owner.
Then they ask for your banking or credit card information.

“Definitely no coincidence.”. And for access to your computer. Stay informed and sign up for NJMoneyHelp.com’s weekly e-newsletter. We offer an unmatched level of support, with Geek Squad Agents ready to help you 24/7 online, on the phone, in store or in your home. They’ve found a virus on your computer and they want to eradicate it. A 79-year-old Bamboozled reader recently got the call, and she wanted to warn others. For a fee. Its $9.99-a-month plan is also the least expensive you'll find among competing services. Best Buy’s “Geek Squad,” the retailer’s computer fix-it service, is one business that’s commonly the target of con artists. Reach Karin Price Mueller at Bamboozled@NJAdvanceMedia.com.

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