Sophisticated New Tech Support Scam Targets Schwab Clients

Sophisticated New Tech Support Scam Targets Schwab Clients

by Laurie Barrett on May 16, 2023

Please be aware of a new scam campaign combining computer pop-up messages and phone calls. 

This advanced scheme combines elements of electronic tech support scams with impersonations of real personnel at the Federal Reserve and Schwab to attempt to obtain your assets and sensitive data.

The scam works as follows:

1.  You receive a pop-up message appearing to be from either Microsoft or Apple warning that your computer has been compromised.

2.  The pop-up instructs you to call a provided "tech support" number that of course connects you to a fraudster.

3.  After speaking with the fraudsters, you will be contacted by someone claiming to work for Schwab as a "security officer", who informs you that your Schwab account is "compromised".  In order to protect you, the Schwab employee impersonator tells you that you must transfer your funds into an account in "federal custody", and your money will be returned in three business days, once your account has been "encrypted" for safety.

4.  Once you follow these instructions, your money disappears.

To make the story believable, you will receive personalized paper letters in the mail that purport to be from the Federal Reserve, referencing the real name and titles of genuine Schwab personnel, tech company employees, and FDIC analysts who are supposedly the individuals contacting you by phone.  The letter encourages you to verify each person's identity through their LinkedIn profiles, making the scam even more convincing.

In the face of this intense threat landscape, please review the steps you can take to protect yourself:

  • Do not click on links or call based on instructions from a computer pop-up.
  • Always verify the phone numbers for tech support providers independently.
  • Never grant remote access to your Schwab accounts to anyone.
  • Seascape Capital will always verify requests verbally with you.
  • Report any concerns of suspicious activity to Seascape Capital and Schwab immediately.