A reader has a question about some strange phone calls he’s been receiving:

“For the last 2-3 weeks, I’ve been getting calls telling me to call a number. They say they want to give me a refund from a computer maintenance company that is going out of business. They mention Microsoft & Apple. I keep hanging up on them because I think it is a hoax. I was gone for 4 hours & when I got back there were 3 messages on my answering machine. What do you think of this?”

I think this is a scam. Actually, it’s a SCAM!!!!!!!!  Simply calling it a scam in normal type isn’t enough.

It’s no ordinary scam. This is a specialized type of scam designed to target people who have already been victimized by scammers. They hope to get in touch with people who’ve fallen victims to previous scams and would like a chance to get their money back. So they suck them back in with promises of retrieving the money they’ve already lost. This isn’t just limited to tech-support scams either. There are folks out there who have lost thousands to scammers and then turned around and lost thousands more to folks (often the same scammers) who promise to get the money back.

Fortunately, the reader was able to spot some red flags.  The first question you should ask yourself is: Did I pay for some type of tech support plan that I was unsatisfied with?  Because refunds are randomly issued to people. Anyone who actually had a real refund to issue would already have all of your information. They could just issue the refund.

And no company is going to call you three times in one day to pester you about getting a refund. When refunds or settlements are really issued, customers have to get in touch with the company, not the other way around.

If you get one of these calls, immediately hang up and click here to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.