PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Scams are a growing business for criminals and have been for some time.
Now, the Better Business Bureau is providing a new tool that can help keep consumers from being scammed.
Matthew Webster was working on his computer when he received a pop-up claiming his laptop had a virus and he needed to call tech support.
“I couldn’t do anything with my computer. My computer was locked up,” Webster said.
Webster called and through a series of clicks, gave the person on the other end remote control of his computer.
“It’s kind of scary that they could get access to my computer,” he said.
When they tried to sell him anti-virus software, he realized it was a scam and shut down his machine.
“We see a whole lot of scams related to tech support,” Scam Tracker Project Manager Emma Fletcher said.
Fletcher uses reports like Webster’s for a new system called Scam Tracker.
The program documents thousands of reported rip-offs nationwide.
There’s everything from credit card and charity scams to fake lotteries.
Consumers can click on the map to see what specific scams are happening in their area.
Better Business Bureau President Mary Power said if you get a suspicious email or phone call, you can search to see if others have to.
“Scams have been around forever, but with the advent of technology, they’ve exploded and we’re now using technology to catch the scammers,” Power said.
Information reported to the site is shared with law enforcement.
Webster hopes the information he shared will keep others from getting scammed.