BBB issues warning about 'tech support' scam

There's a warning out about the evolution of the so-called "tech support" scam.

The Better Business Bureau says there are new ways thieves are going after your money and your identity.

"This is an emergency call to notify you that the license key on your Microsoft Windows is expired" -- you may have heard calls like this before where there's something wrong with your computer.

“When you get a call from a robotic voice, that usually is the tip-off to the rip-off,” said Steve Bernas of the BBB.

Bernas with the Better Business Bureau says phone calls from tech support scammers aren't new. But according to a report issued Monday by the BBB, these scams have become more sophisticated, showing up in pop-up ads -- on your computer, in your email, in a search engine, and yes, on the phone.

“It is a fraud that preys on people like you and me, threatening to hold hostage your computers, your phones, your tablets,” Bernas said.

The scammers start out saying there's something wrong with one of your devices, and they can help fix it.

Yonah Klem from Naperville is one of the victims.

“We could see on the screen, allegedly from inside our computer, that damage had already been done, and more was waiting,” Klem said.

She says the person on the phone told her she had to pay $1,000 in order to fix her computer.

The new report says consumers are losing tens of millions of dollars a year to these scams, and an estimated 90-percent of people who get these calls don't report them.

Todd Kossow with the Federal Trade Commission says while the government has put a number of these companies out of business, they aren't going away.

So if you see a scam online - in your email - or you get a call - don't click on any links or call a phone number on that message.

Never give remote access to anyone you don't know.

And if you want to help shut down the companies - report the scam - even if you didn't fall victim.

The BBB FTC, and FBI all want to hear from you.