Attorney General Todd Rokita warns Hoosiers of new ‘unsubscribe’ scams – WBIW

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INDIANA – Even typically savvy consumers are falling victim to a new scam in which they are emailed that they must unsubscribe from free-trial services in order to avoid charges on credit card accounts, Attorney General Todd Rokita warned today.

The new scam is distinctive from others because the email instructs recipients to phone a call center for more information rather than providing links in the text of the message itself. (In some variations of this scam, the fraudsters may phone consumers rather than email them and leave callback numbers.)

Operators at the call center direct callers to a fake company website and lead them through a series of online steps that install dangerous malware onto the victims’ computer systems.

Todd Rokita

“Scammers are constantly becoming more clever and cunning in their tactics,” Attorney General Rokita said. “Our office is committed to making sure Hoosiers are aware and prepared to avoid these kinds of traps.”

Victims are less likely to suspect scams when they are the ones taking the initiative to gather more information, Attorney General Rokita said — such as having to phone a call center.

Further, email messages that contain malware links are often detected by computer security applications. The attackers in this case avoid such detection by leading victims to those links over the phone.

During the conversations, the scammers may ask callers to download a spreadsheet and follow other instructions. When callers say they do not recall ever signing up for any free trial offers, operators often explain that it appears someone else signed up for the offers using the callers’ information.

“The paradox is that these scammers pretend to be helping protect their victims,” Attorney General Rokita said. “In reality, they are preying upon them.”

At the end of the calls, the operators assure callers that nothing will be charged to their credit card accounts. By that time, the unsuspecting victims already have downloaded malware onto their computers that may enable the scammers to remotely control the victims’ computer systems or install ransomware.

Anyone receiving emails such as those described…