If you've ever tried to get computer help over the phone, you know how hard it can be to talk to a real person. Now scammers are taking advantage of that, making it difficult to know if your tech support is the real deal.

The group Sisters in Christ has a big following on Facebook. More than 170,000 fans click through for their religious messages. But that changed when hackers took over and turned the page into an adult site.

We just immediately panicked, said Teresa Citro, a member of Sisters in Christ.

Citro said the group searched the Internet for a Facebook tech support phone number.
They called the first one that popped up and were told it would cost $129 to rescue their page.

They also were supposedly putting on some kind of a device so that we couldn't be hacked again, explained Citro.

It turns out the group wasn't talking to Facebook. In fact, the social networking site doesn't even offer phone tech support. Instead they'd been hit by con artists.

The goal is to get consumers to pay hundreds of dollars for unnecessary computer repair services, said Colleen Robbin, an attorney with the Federal Trade Commission.

The FTC has filed complaints against several companies connected to these scams. It says the bad guys work in two ways: they'll cold call you claiming to be with a well known company like Microsoft or post fake online tech support listings. Either way they just want remote access to your computer.

I never expected that I wasn't speaking to Facebook because they answered the phone call with 'This is Facebook technical support, said Citro.

Bottom line - don't use a search engine to find a company's phone number. Instead, go to their website directly to find the information and never give control of your computer to a third party.

Read or Share this story: