Occasionally, our clients notify us about phone calls they’ve received from scam artists claiming to be computer techs associated with VinTech. These scammers say that they’ve detected viruses or other malware on your computer to trick you into giving them remote access or paying for software you don’t need. But the purpose behind their scheme isn’t to protect your computer; it’s to make money. VinTech does not make unsolicited phone calls to request personal or financial information, or to fix your computer. Treat all unsolicited phone calls with skepticism and don’t give out any personal information.
To look at the magnitude of the problem, we want to share a statement from an e-mail we recently received from ComEd. This well-known electricity provider sent this e-mail to their clients warning them of scams. The statement read:
“Watch out for scams. For your protection, never provide your social security or personal information to anyone you are not familiar with over the phone, never send money to another entity other than ComEd, and never pay using a payment account provided to you by an unknown individual”. This well-known company is over 100 years old, yet scam artists use its name to steal client’s confidential information.
With these 9 helpful tips, not only can you avoid telephone rip-offs but doorstep cons as well. Follow these tips to avoid becoming a victim:
- If a sales person knocks and you feel uncomfortable opening your door, simply do not open it. This is perfectly acceptable and expected since you did not inquire about their service.
- If you do open the door, do not allow them inside you house. Is he\she being pushy? Be very cautious, this is a tactic to survey your valuable possessions and return later to steal them.
- Authenticate the person calling or knocking your door. Ask for their full name and credentials.
- Confirm the Company they represent. Never heard of it? Cannot find it online? It’s possible it doesn’t exist.
- Never provide personal information over the phone. Ask the caller to have your merchant call you directly; you need to speak with someone that you often deal with in regards to your account.
- Reputable Source. A quick check with the BBB (Better Business Bureau) provides a detailed business report. This trusted source will help you determine if the business is legitimate.
- Call the company to verify they sent this person to your home. It is uncommon for businesses to send an employee without contacting you first.
- Choose a Local Company. It is best to hire a company that uses their own employees. Some large security companies subcontract their work; if they can’t clearly identify them, why should you trust them?
- Contracts. Do not allow the sales person to pressure you. If they insist on you signing a contract, tell them you would like to review the contract before signing.
All your service providers should be trustworthy, but you must be especially careful when choosing a security provider. Having a Home Security system can give you peace of mind but only when you trust the people installing it.