FBI Cyber Alert: Tech Support Scams Steal Cash or Precious Metals

Tech Support ScamThe US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has issued an alert that scammers are tricking victims into converting their savings into cash or precious metals, then sending couriers to pick up the items for safekeeping.

The scammers then steal the goods and cut contact with the victims. The FBI says victims lost more than $55 million to these scams between May and December 2023.

“Scammers pose as tech support or US government officials,” the Bureau says. “Scammers sometimes use a multi-layered approach, posing, in succession, as a technology company, a financial institution, and a US government official.

Scammers inform victims their financial accounts were hacked or are at risk of being hacked, and, as a result, their funds need to be protected. Scammers instruct victims to liquidate their assets into cash and/or purchase gold, silver, or other precious metals. Sometimes, scammers instruct victims to wire funds to a metal dealer who will ship the precious metals to victims' homes....Once victims obtain the cash and/or precious metals, the scammers send couriers to retrieve the items at victims' homes or public locations.”

The FBI offers the following advice to help users avoid falling for these types of scams:

  • “The US Government and legitimate businesses will never request you purchase gold or other precious metals."
  • “Protect your personal information. Never disclose your home address or agree to meet with unknown individuals to deliver cash or precious metals."
  • “Do not click on unsolicited pop-ups on your computer, links sent via text messages, or email links and attachments."
  • “Do not contact unknown telephone numbers provided in pop-ups, texts, or emails."
  • “Do not download software at the request of unknown individuals who contact you."
  • “Do not allow unknown individuals access to your computer.”

KnowBe4 enables 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.

BleepingComputer has the story.

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