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How the Geek Squad Scam Works (Don't Fall for This)by@marcusleary
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9,222 reads

How the Geek Squad Scam Works (Don't Fall for This)

by Marcus LearyAugust 9th, 2023
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Who would have thought that one of the most pervasive scams on the internet would involve the infamous Geek Squad? The Geek Squad scam is specifically designed to trick you into giving up personal information so the scammer can empty as much of your bank account as possible. This scam can trick anyone unless you know what signs to look for. This post will show you all the dirty tricks used in this scam, so you don’t have to be another victim.

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Who would have thought that one of the most pervasive scams on the internet would involve the infamous Geek Squad?


The Geek Squad scam is specifically designed to trick you into giving up personal information so the scammer can empty as much of your bank account as possible.


This scam can trick anyone unless you know what signs to look for. This post will show you all the dirty tricks used in this scam, so you don’t have to be another victim.

What is Geek Squad?

If you happen to be a “person in your advance years” wondering why you got a random email from something called “The Geek Squad,” here’s a quick rundown of what this company is.


The Geek Squad is a subsidiary of Best Buy that focuses on tech support and hardware repair. Basically, it’s a group of helpful nerds that can save you a whole lot of time by fixing your devices.

Does Geek Squad Have A Subscription Service?

Yes, Geek Squad does, in fact, have an annual subscription service.


For $199.99 per year, you can purchase Geek Squad’s Total Tech Support, a 24/7 unlimited technology support service. This service can save you a lot of money if you constantly have problems with your computer or devices.


Unfortunately, this money-saving service is attracting a lot of scammers. These scams are working on victims of all ages, and people are getting tired of it.


The scam involves tricking people into thinking that Geek Squad took money out of their accounts.

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How the Geek Squad Scam Works

The Geek Squad email scam centers around renewing their unlimited tech service. There are different versions of this scam, but they’ll usually look something like this:


  1. The victim receives an email from the “Geek Squad” claiming that their subscription will be renewed automatically.
  2. The price for the renewal is around $400, which is twice the amount it should be.
  3. A link or a phone number is provided at the end of the email, with an urgent message to click or call if there are any problems with the price.
  4. If the victim clicks the link, malicious malware is downloaded to their computer, with the goal of stealing their identity/sensitive information.
  5. If the victim calls the number, the victim is instructed to download software to fix the problem, which adds malware to the system.

If you’ve been fooled by one of these emails, don’t feel bad about it.


Scammers do an excellent job at making these emails look real by adding official logos, promotional banners, renewal dates, and other order details. Here are two quick examples:


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How to Quickly Identify a Geek Squad Email Scam

No fake email from “Geek Squad” looks the same, but there are similarities between all of them.


Once you know what to look for, you’ll never be fooled again.


Here are three Geek Squad email examples to best explain how to avoid this scam.

Geek Squad Renewal Scam Example #1

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This example looks very professional at first glance, and it’s easy to see why some people might get tricked.


But with a closer look, there are some immediate red flags here.

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If this email was really from Geek Squad, it would address the reader directly with their name. This opening is generic, and the “c” in “customer” needs to be capitalized.

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There needs to be a space between “placed” and “membership.”

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The service that Geek Squad provides is not a “malware account.” “Malware” is used here as a buzz term to add legitimacy to the email.

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Account” is abbreviated for some reason. This is a big slip-up from the scammer, as a real company would be more professional.

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Here’s a big one that will be present for most of these fake emails. Scammers like to create a sense of urgency so the victim doesn’t have time to think about what they’re doing.


Phrases like “within the next 24 hours” create that sense of urgency. Geek Squad, like most companies, give their customers up to 7 days to cancel their subscriptions.


Also, in this example, “the” is missing in the phrase, and “hrs” would normally be spelled out as “hours” if this was real.

Geek Squad Renewal Scam Example #2

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Here’s an example that should be an obvious fake for most people. But let me break this down to show how often the same red flags show up in these fake emails.


First, let me get the elephant in the room out of the way.


The amount of typos in this email is mind-boggling.


Not only that, but the text is constantly switching to random capital letters, bold text, and underlines. I won’t cover every typo in this email, as we’ll be here all day. Instead, here are the big red flags you’ll come across often:


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The email should say it’s from Geek Squad itself, not a random person. \

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Not only does this email not address the recipient of the email, but “Hey True Self” is just plain weird. This email is not from a native English speaker.

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This one is a little different from a basic typo. Grammar issues are usually a red flag, as professional companies hire professional copywriters to produce these emails. In this case, “thanks” and “since” should be capitalized. A mistake even the worst copywriter would catch.


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Here’s one that’s easy to miss. The format of this date is correct in some places in the world, but in America and other countries, the month should come before the day.


If there’s a date on the email, make sure it’s in the format of your country.

Geek Squad Renewal Scam Example #3

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Here’s the toughest example in the bunch.


Not only does this email look professional, but the text itself is almost impeccable compared to other fake emails. Still, the red flags are blaring.

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The chances of a real company charging you without adequate warning are very low. Also, the grammar in this first line is a little off. Plus, the word “today” is used twice in the same sentence, which is not the best writing.

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Here’s that sense of urgency again. If this email were real, you would get more than 24 hours. \

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This is probably the most prominent typo in the email. This sentence needs a few more words to make it more cohesive.

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The fake phone number is in red, which is supposed to grab your attention, but a real company is unlikely to try something so amateur.

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The service is called Total Tech Support.

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At the end of the email, there’s a call to action for the reader to call the number again. This is a desperate attempt to add more urgency. It’s sad, really.

Tips For Dealing With The Geek Squad Email Scam

Receiving one of these fake Geek Squad renewal scam emails is not the end of the world. Here’s what to do if you receive one:


  1. Ask yourself if you’ve visited or purchased anything at Best Buy recently. If not, then it doesn’t make sense for Geek Squad to contact you.
  2. Check the currency. If the currency doesn’t match the part of the world you live in, then you probably don’t have anything to worry about.
  3. Check your credit card or bank account to see if any charges have been made. This will give you peace of mind once you see that nothing has been taken out.
  4. Don't send personal information through email or text (bank account, credit card, date of birth). If the email was really from Geek Squad, they would already have that information.
  5. Don’t click on any links.
  6. Don’t call any phone numbers in the email.


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Advice From Best Buy After Getting Scammed

This scam is so big that Best Buy had to address the problem themselves.


Best Buy’s official advice to victims of this scam is to report the email to local law enforcement, as well as the FTC and the internet crime complaint center.


Best Buy also suggests that victims change any passwords that scammers may have gotten hold of and check their bank or credit card company for unauthorized purchases.


Conclusion

In the near future, scammers will use AI to write fake emails, eliminating easy-to-catch typos from the equation.


But don’t worry. You can still avoid the Geek Squad Scam by looking for the red flags that will always be there, such as an impersonal greeting, strange date formats, or a warning designed to promote a sense of urgency.


Just remember not to call the phone number, click on any links or give out your personal information.