NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Tennesseans are increasingly falling victim to what the Better Business Bureau refers to as tech support scams. A Bellevue man caught on to one just in time.

“He said, ‘I’m from Comcast Xfinity, and are you having internet problems?’ Well, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t have some kind of internet problem.” Robert Potts said at first, it sounded legitimate. “’If you go to your computer, I can fix that.’ It sounded really official.” But, it didn’t take long for him to become suspicious of a caller claiming to be with Comcast.

“’Push the Windows key and push R,’ and I did, and a search bar popped up and he said, ‘Type in MS Config.’”

Ultimately, the caller asked for remote access to Potts’ computer. “And that’s when I started getting a little concerned,” he said. “He goes, ‘Oh no, it’s OK, it’s OK. You can trust me.’ And I said, ‘No, I think I’m going to call Comcast.”

Potts said Comcast immediately identified the call as a scam, one which the BBB calls a tech support scam. Here are tips for consumers they sent News4:

Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you know it is the representative of a computer support team you initiated contacted with.

Legitimate tech support companies don’t call unsolicited. A popular way for thieves to get in touch with victims is through cold calls. The callers often claim to be from a tech company. Scammers do and they can spoof official looking phone numbers, so don’t trust Caller ID.

Look out for warning screens: Nearly half of tech support scams begin with an alert on the victim’s computer screen. This pop up will have a phone number to call for help. Instead, shutdown the computer and restart it.

Be wary of sponsored links. When searching online for tech support, look out for sponsored ads at the top of the results list. Many of these links lead to businesses that scam consumers.

Avoid clicking on links in unfamiliar emails. Scammers also use email to reach victims. These messages point consumers to scam websites that launch pop-ups with the fake warnings and phone numbers.

If you are a victim of a tech support scam:

Contact the bank immediately.

Take the laptop, tablet, or computer that was infected to a trusted local business and have it checked out.

Remove any software that authorized remote access to the device.

Change all of the passwords used to access bank accounts, social media and other websites that contain personal information.

File a report with BBB Scam Tracker and with law enforcement authorities, such as the FTC is now with you on the go! Get the latest news updates and video, 4WARN weather forecast, weather radar, special investigative reports, sports headlines and much more from News4 Nashville.

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