SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Scammers are pulling out all the stops these days online to either try to steal your personal information or rip you off.
One way they're doing it is through tech support scams, which are on the rise.
An e-mail showed up in the inbox of many Raycom employees that looked real enough. It's purportedly from Microsoft. It claims there have been unsuccessful login attempts, and that you need to click on a link to verify that you are the real user of the account. It's a common scam.
"They are everywhere. Everyone gets these phishing scams almost every day in their junk mail. The junk mail filters out 80-90 percent of them, but everyone will see them," said Keith Fletcher, Speros.
Keith Fletcher is the COO of Speros, a business technology service. He says these tech support scams have been exploding, and one reason is that anti-virus efforts have improved.
"So, the scammers are enlisting the actual users to get them to either install software or get them to sign into a fake site to collect user id's and passwords so that they can then obviously steal stuff," Fletcher said.
Microsoft says it received more than 150,000 reports of tech scams last year alone - sometimes phishing scams - but scammers also often display fake error pop-up messages on websites you visit that try to trick you into calling a technical support hotline. Don't. Microsoft says it will never put up a phone number in an error or warning message.
To protect yourself, Microsoft says: Don't click links or install applications unless you are sure you can trust the sender. Download software only from official vendor websites or the Microsoft store. Don't call the number in pop-ups, and do not trust unsolicited calls. Never provide any personal information.
"But, it really is up to you to be alert and to pay attention to what is coming in and not accidentally give away the keys to your kingdom," Fletcher said.
Don't be a victim.