Avoiding Technical Support Scams

According to the Better Business Bureau, they’ve received more than 7,000 reports of tech support scams in the past two years. This information will help you to identify a potential scam and provide suggestions to protect you and your account information.

What You Should Know
Tech support scams typically occurs when a third-party contacts you to offer assistance with computer problems or in some cases to sell you a software license. The scammer’s intent is to convince you that your computer has a problem that needs to be resolved quickly.

Scammers may approach you through several channels, including but not limited to:

  • Displaying urgent pop-up messages on your computer, such as:
    • “Your hard drive will be deleted if you close this page.”
    • “WARNING! A virus has been detected, please contact a certified technician for support at: XXX-XXX-XXXX”
  • Calling you directly via telephone, sometimes representing themselves as employees of Microsoft® or Apple®
  • Offering free “security” scans via email or internet pop-up
  • Setting up fake Web sites and sponsoring ad links within search engine results

Often, the scammer’s intent is to collect payment for their “services” or obtain sensitive data such as online banking credentials. Once they’ve convinced you that your computer has a problem, the scammers might:

  • Ask you to permit them to remotely access your computer, which would allow them to affect your computer’s security settings
  • Ask you to visit a site that will download and install malicious software to your computer
  • Ask for credit card or bank account information to bill you for phone services or enroll you in bogus maintenance programs with monthly or annual fees

Prevention Tips
If you are contacted by an unsolicited third-party claiming to be tech support, hang up. Also do not rely on caller ID as verification, as scammers can misrepresent themselves as legitimate companies or a local number.

If you get a pop-up message on your computer indicating that your computer has a problem, do not call any number displayed in the pop-up message or provide remote access to your computer to unknown third-parties. It is recommended to close random popup boxes by clicking on the “x” icon, usually located in the upper right hand corner.

If you believe that your computer has been compromised, contact your manufacturer or a reputable computer service company for support. Use publicly available contact information such as phone numbers or email addresses listed directly on the company’s Web site. Additionally, disconnecting the computer from the internet will prevent unauthorized access until the virus or malware can be removed.

Never share banking information or provide online banking credentials to anyone who contacts you over the phone. Please Note: First Hawaiian Bank will never ask you for personally identifiable information (Social Security Number, PIN, online credentials, etc.…) for marketing offers over the phone.

If You Were Scammed
If you made a payment for phony support services, contact First Hawaiian Bank to put a block on those charges and monitor your statements for fraudulent activity. If you provided bank account information or online credentials, we will work with you to protect your accounts and update your information.

If you provided remote access to an unknown third-party, you should consider updating or installing legitimate security software to scan your computer for malware. Otherwise contact a reputable computer support company for technical assistance.

First Hawaiian Bank will do our best to notify you of potential threats. Like us on Facebook (facebook.com/FirstHawaiianBank) or follow us on Twitter (@FHBHawaii) to get our latest security alerts and bank updates. Review our FHB.com security content to learn more about protecting yourself.


Apple® is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
Microsoft® is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation, registered in the U.S. and other countries.

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