MoneyDont Waste Your Money

Actions

Geek Squad renewal notice in your inbox? Here's what it really is

An email claims your credit card will be billed $400
frustrated young business man
Posted at 6:00 AM, Sep 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-19 06:20:54-04

Many of us have so many subscriptions -- to Netflix, magazines, and smartphone protection plans -- it's tough to remember them all.

Scammers are now taking advantage of that, hoping to get us to "renew" a costly subscription we don't have.

Heather Wolfe is a parent who works in the IT computer business, so she is as savvy as they come.

But the other day, she was almost fooled.

"I got an email," she said, "and it said you are renewing your subscription, and I said I don't remember ever having a subscription."

The very official-looking notice said she was being charged $400 to renew her Geek Squad Security Services from Best Buy.

She called the number.

"I don't want to renew it," she said, "I don't have it. What computer is it for?"

The man on the phone, however, said she could cancel... if she let him download a program onto her laptop.

"He said I had to run something on my own computer to open a ticket to cancel it."

Luckily - she said no, which is a good thing because it is a scam.

GEEK SQUAD SCAM.jpg
Geek Squad scam email

But these are so easy to fall for that's because many of us are so busy and because we have so many subscriptions, we can't keep track of them all.

Scammers use popular company names

Cyber-security expert and host of the popular podcast "What the Hack," Adam Levin says scammers regularly impersonate tech support from companies such as Apple, Microsoft, McAfee, or Norton.

"Just don’t assume that every time you get a renewal notice that that’s the real deal," he said.

They target people randomly, he says, because just about everyone uses their products and services.

"They have a better than even shot that they’re going to get somebody that’s gonna fall for it," he said, "and so many people do fall for it."

Best Buy, the owner of the Geek Squad service, warns about the scam in its customer forum, saying: "they don’t appear to be associated with Best Buy or Geek Squad in any way."

Heather Wolfe admits it was a close call.

"If I would have logged in," she said, "they would have had access to my computer. My credit cards are saved in there."

Bottom line: Never respond to an unexpected call, text, or email with a credit or debit card number.

Do some checking first so you don't waste your money.

__________________________

Don't Waste Your Money" is a registered trademark of Scripps Media, Inc. ("Scripps").

Like" John Matarese Money on Facebook

Follow John on Instagram @johnmataresemoney

Follow John on Twitter (@JohnMatarese)

For more consumer news and money-saving advice, go to www.dontwasteyourmoney.com.