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Best Buy tech support scam
© Liubomyr Vorona | Dreamstime.com
Security & privacy

Don’t fall for this tech support email scam

Setting up a new computer can be challenging unless you know what you are doing. Even then, it might take hours. Some might need a helping hand from a professional, and there are plenty of services to have you up and running in no time. Tap or click here for tech support scams going around right now.

One of these companies is Geek Squad, a subsidiary of Best Buy. So if you have a problem with your gadget, the technicians can take a look and sort it out. Unfortunately, scammers are exploiting the company’s popularity to find new victims.

Read on for the latest scam that wants to steal your money and details.

Here’s the backstory

Phishing emails are one of the most popular ways for cybercriminals to find victims. The emails typically contain malicious links that, when clicked, infect your device with malware or lead you to a site asking for sensitive information that helps them rip you off.

A new phishing scheme is now making the rounds. It incorporates Best Buy’s Geek Squad as a lure. The email claims that your annual Geek Squad security services plan has been renewed at over $400.

The message uses many money-related words, such as “charged,” “transaction,” and “signed document,” to make you subconsciously aware of the financial implications. To drive the point home that you are paying $400+, it says that the plan will be “auto-renewed” and the charge will be “auto deducted from you’re a/c.”

The invoice landed in your inbox, but the email doesn’t appear to contain information you would expect in such correspondence, such as the Customer ID and Order ID. Not only that, but you’ve never signed up for a Geek Squad security plan. So, what do you do?

The thieves behind the email hope you click the included links or call the included phone number to try and resolve this confusing issue. But if you do, they will ask for personal and possibly financial information to commit identity theft or even steal from your bank accounts. So do NOT click the link or make the call!

What you can do about it

If you didn’t spot that it’s a scam from the beginning, there are a few things that you can take note of for the future. First, the email doesn’t address you personally, and the details seem vague at best.

Second, with this email, several fonts and text sizes exist throughout the correspondence. The Best Buy and Geek Squad logos are also the incorrect sizes, or they seem skewed. No professional organization will send out such sloppy messages. This is a huge sign that it’s a scam.

But the biggest red flag is the spelling mistakes and typos, and that “Geek Squad security services” don’t exist. The correct name of the service is Geek Squad Protection, and it doesn’t cost $413 per year. For example, a three-year plan for a laptop valued at $499 is $229.

The email explains that you can call a number if you didn’t authorize the charge, but that will only cause more problems. According to Trend Micro, the instructions vary, but “some ask them to visit a malicious link that will prompt them for personal and financial information, and some ask them to reply to the original email.”

Either way, you should never click on a link, reply to the email or call the number. There are tons of phishing emails circulating looking to rip you off. Here are ways to outsmart the scams:

  • Safeguard your information – Never give out personal data if you don’t know the sender of a text or email or can’t verify their identity. Criminals only need your name, email address and telephone number to rip you off.
  • Always use 2FA – Use two-factor authentication (2FA) for better security whenever available. Tap or click here for details on 2FA.
  • Be wary of links – Pay close attention to the URLs in emails or text messages. Check for slight changes in the letters, any misspellings or suspicious characters.
  • In fact, avoid links and attachments – Don’t click on links and attachments you receive in unsolicited emails.
  • Antivirus is vital – Always have a trusted antivirus program updated and running on all your devices. We recommend our sponsor, TotalAV. Right now, get an annual plan with TotalAV for only $19 at ProtectWithKim.com. That’s over 85% off the regular price!

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