Scammers are impersonating Geek Squad employees to get your money

Is your computer running at a snail’s pace? Before you drop a chunk of cash on a new one, clear out some space from the hard drive. Tap or click here to remove the clutter that’s slowing you down.

Sometimes the problem runs deeper than that. Your computer might not even turn on, or it’s performing erratically. That’s when you may need to reach out for help.

Best Buy’s Geek Squad offers services ranging from computer repair to TV installation. The popularity of the service makes it a ripe target for scammers. Be very careful if you get a message or pop-up from Geek Squad out of the blue.

Here’s the backstory

Cybercriminals wield the Geek Squad name in various scams, knowing that some people will take the bait. Crooks often impersonate well-known brands and services as a form of social engineering. You trust these names, so you’re likelier to fall for a trick.

Scammers can contact you via phone call, text, email or even a pop-up on your computer. Here are five Geek Squad scams that you need to watch out for.

RELATED: Tech support scam targets PC users — Here’s what to look for

1. Phishing emails

Phishing scams are among the most common criminal campaigns, and email makes for a perfect delivery system. Crooks can send thousands of messages at once, and even a tiny percentage of success can net them big bucks.

Let’s say you get an email claiming that your annual Geek Squad security services plan has been renewed at $400 or more. But wait, you didn’t have a subscription to begin with!

The message uses eye-catching words, such as “charged,” “transaction” and “payment mode,” among others. It goes on to say that the renewal charge will be deducted from your account. The message could look something like this.

The thieves behind the email hope you click the included links or call the included phone number to try and resolve this confusing issue. But if you do, they will ask for personal and possibly financial information to commit identity theft or even steal from your bank accounts. So do NOT…