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Indiana AG warns of 'unsubscribe' scam targeting Hoosiers

The scam works by emailing someone telling them they must unsubscribe from free-trial services in order to avoid charges.
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INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Attorney General's Office is warning of an "unsubscribe" scam targeting Hoosiers. 

The scam works by emailing someone telling them they must unsubscribe from free-trial services in order to avoid charges. The email then instructs people to phone a call center. 

Operators at the call centers direct callers to a fake company website and lead them through a series of online steps that installs dangerous malware onto the victims’ computer systems. The scammers may ask callers to download a spreadsheet and follow other instructions. 

The method gets around email security that might detect a malware link by having people go to the site directly and actively download links.

When callers say they do not remember 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.

In some cases, the scammers will just directly call people without first sending an email.

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

The scammers work by pretending they are trying to help and then the AG's office said people are more likely to fall for a scam if they are the ones taking initiative and making the calls.

At the end of the call, scammers assure the victim they will not be charged. Meanwhile, the malware installed can give the scammers remote access to the victim's computer or even install ransomware.

If you suspect that your computer has been compromised by a hacker, you should:

  1. Quarantine your device by unplugging from the network and disabling Wi-Fi. As long as you’re connected to the internet, the hackers may be accessing your device.
  2. Change your passwords. Make your passwords longer — ideally at least 12 characters.
  3. Let your family and friends know that your device or email may have been hacked so that if they notice anything suspicious appearing to come from you, they don’t fall prey to a scam themselves.
  4. Scan your device for any malware, deleting anything suspicious, and restart your device.
  5. To be better prepared for such events, install security software from a company you trust and set it to update automatically. Use a password manager to keep track of your passwords.

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