Anatomy of a Phone Call Refund Scam

By Linda Lindquist, Certified Malware Removal Specialist, Keeping Your Computer Healthy

phone** Pay attention – Do not be hacked by calling scammers **

1: The caller claims that you are due a refund for prior tech support, because the company went out of business.

2: The scammer talks his way into your computer in order to have you fill in a refund form.  He has you fill in the amount of the refund, your banking routing and account number and electronically sign the form.  He submits the refund request to your bank.

3: The scammer cries “Oh my gosh!!!  You entered $5550 instead of $550.”  He says he will be fired unless you can correct this mistake.

4: The scammer has you sign into your online banking to confirm the incorrect deposit.  (Note that he is most likely monitoring your keystrokes and now has your sign in credentials).

5:  The scammer requests that you purchase 2 Apple gift cards in the amounts of $2500 each to make up the error, and then call him back.

6: Although you get the gift cards, you get suspicious on the drive back from the Apple store.  When he calls back for the codes on the back of the gift cards, you tell him that you cannot pay him.

7: The scammer previously changed your log on password and added a second SYSKEY password, if you do not pay.  The next time that you shut down your computer, you can no longer sign on, because you do not know the new password.

8: To restore your computer to health:
– You need experienced malware removal specialist to reset your password and get you back into your computer.

  • After you are in, restore to a time before the scammer got in.
  • You also need to reset the password to your online banking account.
  • Run a malware scan with software such as Malwarebytes, which has a robust search database, and quarantine anything that it finds.
  • Provided that you did not scratch the code off the back of the Apple gift card or redeem them, you can take them to Apple for a refund.

This is based on a real, sophisticated scam that is happening now. Do not fall prey to the fake ‘refund for tech support’ phone call Scammers!