Best Buy/Geek Squad Impersonation Scams Surged in 2023

Best Buy/Geek Squad Impersonation ScamsThe US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has found that Best Buy, and its tech support subsidiary Geek Squad, were the most commonly impersonated brands by scammers in 2023. 

The FTC received 52,000 reports about scammers impersonating these brands last year. Amazon and PayPal were the third and fourth most impersonated brands, respectively.

The FTC also found that consumers lost the most money to scams impersonating Microsoft and Publishers Clearing House, with $60 million lost to Microsoft impersonation scams and $49 million to Publishers Clearing House impersonation scams.

“The scammers impersonating these businesses work in very different ways,” the FTC said in a report. “For example, phony Geek Squad emails tell you that a computer service you never signed up for is about to renew – to the tune of several hundred dollars."

"Microsoft impersonation scams start with a fake security pop-up warning on your computer with a number to call for ‘help.’ And calls from the fake Publishers Clearing House say you’ll have to pay fees to collect your (fake) sweepstakes winnings.”

The FTC offers the following advice to help people avoid falling for these scams:

  • “Stop and check it out. Before you do anything else, talk with someone you trust. Anyone who’s rushing you into sending money, buying gift cards, or investing in cryptocurrency is almost certainly a scammer
  • Never click on links or respond to unexpected messages, and never trust caller ID. If you think a story might be legit, contact the company or agency using a phone number or website you know is real
  • Don’t pay anyone who demands that you pay by gift card, cryptocurrency, money transfer, or payment app. Only scammers say there’s only one way to pay”

KnowBe4 empowers your workforce to make smarter security decisions every day. Over 65,000 organizations worldwide trust the KnowBe4 platform to strengthen their security culture and reduce human risk.

The FTC has the story.

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