Dell Computers Continue to be Target of Scam Calls

What’s Happening?

Thanks to the excellent reporting of Dan Goodin at ArsTechnica, we now know that more than 30 months after it was first reported in January 2016, Dell computer owners are continuing to receive scam phone calls attempting to extract money from unknowing customers. Most disturbingly, these scam callers know the name, phone number, email address, and PC serial number of the owner so many people have fallen victim to this scam.

These callers contact computer owners claiming to be from Dell’s Premier Support and that they have noticed something that needs fixed. The goal then is to extract money for “driver update” or “virus removal” services while installing additional harmful software. This type of scam is not new, but the inclusion of personal information, supposedly known only to Dell, leads many to believe that Dell’s customer data was either leaked or stolen. Dell has not acknowledged this possibility.

What Should I Do?

As an owner of any computer, not just one from Dell, you should be vigilant with whom you allow to access it; physically or remotely. Regarding this specific scam, keep the following in mind:

  • Employees of Dell (Microsoft, HP, etc…) will not call you on an unsolicited basis to provide you with technical support.
    • Be skeptical, even if you are provided with personal information as confirmation!
  • If you did put in a request for service, verify the caller’s claim against a ticket number that you likely received via email.
    • If you are still in doubt, hang up, look up the service company’s phone number, and call them back directly.
  • Ask questions. Scammers will often give up quickly if they think you are likely to figure out what is happening.
  • Spread the word! If you receive a call like this, warn your colleagues, friends, and family of what to look out for.

 


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