Tech Support / Gift Card Scam

How to protect yourself against a growing form of fraud.

Have you ever received a phone call or pop-up window claiming your computer is either infected, or in need of a critical update? The scammer will usually claim to be from a reputable company, such as Dell, Apple or Microsoft. Sometimes they will simply claim that your computer has a problem and urgently needs to be fixed. Other times, they might try to convince you that you have overpaid and are owed a refund.

No matter the details of the scam, they will typically ask you to use an untraceable method of payment for their "services" or supposed refund. Sometimes, they will ask you to grant them remote access to your computer. 

Here's how to avoid this scam:

  • Be wary of unsolicited calls. Legitimate tech companies don’t make unsolicited calls to their customers. This is a popular scam tactic.
  • Never grant a stranger remote access to your computer. Scammers can steal your personal information and install malware that is used to commit identity theft.
  • Beware of anyone asking for untraceable payments. Scammers often ask for payment by wire transfer, gift card, or pre-paid debit cards. Legitimate companies do not ask to be paid in this way.

From the FTC, regarding the gift card/tech support scam:

Tech support scammers sometimes make false claims that they are associated with legitimate computer companies to make you believe them. The person who calls, or who gives you a toll-free number to call, is a scammer who wants to steal your money. If you give someone control of your computer, they can install malicious software that can help them steal your personal information. And anyone who asks you to pay for anything – including tech support services – with a gift card is scamming you. No legitimate company will ever ask you to pay with a gift card. If someone wants you to pay with a gift card, please tell the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

If you have any questions or concerns about fraud or identity theft, call The Bank of Delmarva at 410-548-7892 or 800-787-4542 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday.