Tech Support Scams: Part 2

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Computer Screen WarningThey’re baaaack!

No, not poltergeists. Scammers. And they want your last penny.

We’ve written before about tech support scams — where a caller claims that your computer has a terrible virus and needs immediate attention. The scammer asks for remote access and then charges you for “fixing” a problem that wasn’t there.

Now, they’re working the phones again, and they claim that if you paid for tech support services, they can get you a refund. We’ve heard about several variations of this scam:

  • They might ask if you were happy with the service. If you say no (and you probably will), they claim they can get you a refund.
  • Or they might say that the company is going out of business and providing refunds to people who already paid.

Once they’ve got you hooked, they claim that they need your bank or credit card account number to process the refund.

They might say that you need to create a Western Union account to receive the money. They may even offer to help you fill out the necessary forms — if you give them remote access to your computer. But instead of transferring money to your account, the scammer withdraws money from your account.

So, what can you do if you paid for bogus tech support services?

  • File a complaint at ftc.gov/complaint.
  • If you paid with a credit card, call your credit card company and ask them to reverse the charges.
  • Hang up on callers who offer a refund in exchange for your bank or credit card account number or a Western Union account.

Comments

I called what I thought was Epson printer support. They asked to get on my computer to determine the problem and fix it. Dumb me let them on, at which point they said they had found the problem in the operating system (Windows 7) and would fix it for $199.99. I said no way, and before I could hang up, they screwed up my computer. Had to use Microsoft disinfectant, Kaspersky virus detection, and malware removal programs. Reloaded Epson software, and solved the problem. Look real carefully and the site address; they used Epson's name in vain.

Ask them to tell you your ip address of the infected PC.
Then go to whatismyipaddress.com and you will
see it is not the same one.
Most wont know what ip address to tell you.
And if they wont give it to you then tell them it cant be my PC then as that info you should know.

i had similar situation for what i thought was kaspersky and have no idea how to get ahold of them!!!!!!!!

Just received the call identifying themselves as a Microsoft Support. He asked for me to open computer. I said I wasn't near computer and asked or his name which he gave as Marshall Smith in Houston TX 239-247-5552. I told him I have 3 computers and asked which one is infected. He stumbled but said the Windows 7 OR XP! He then said it is the computer registered under... and he gave me my name and address!!! Scary stuff which led me to make this report! I called the local Microsoft who had me callcorporate who then had me go on-line to FTC. This is where it led me ... they had no desire to call the number as they do NOT answer individual complaints.

I also received two calls from someone claiming to be from microsoft. When I asked for a number to call him back, he hung up. Two days later someone else called back. I hung up on him. The number on my caller ID was 0 000 000 0000.

Some guy called me claiming to be from Microsoft, and he said that my computer had a virus and was going to crash. I laughed and said 'oh that's great. Tell me which computer out of the three in my house, and I'll go take care of it' he stumbled a little, as if surprised with my answer and then said 'oh, I can solve the issue for you if you open up the medium sized computer' I was impressed that he was able to assume that the three computers were different sizes, unfortunately the 'medium one' was mine.
So I replied with 'It's great and all that you called but, do you know who the owner of the medium one is? I'll answer for you. I'm the owner. And I'm sorry, what's wrong with my computer is not a virus. It's simply old and just needs to be retired.' He got a bit huffy and said ' No, No, I'm positive there is a virus on your computer, if you'll let me just access your computer, I can fix it for you for just a small fee.' So I booted up my computer and said 'Hey sir, what's your name?' 'I'm Derek Lin' 'Derek, RedRover says "hi! I don't trust scammers ~ Acess this computer and you'll make mommy pull out her fourth computer that she didn't tell you about and send you some viruses for being a naughty shameful thing" and hung up on him.
Microsoft would know I have four computers registered. Some idiot scammer wouldn't.

Feb 7th recived call from person who said they were from Microsoft . A fellow going by the name of Danny Chang which was a lie .Turned out they are Microtech Support LLC at 10685-b Hazelhurst Drive no. 14103 Houston Texas 77043. Told me my computer was infected and would crash if i buy and let them install their software . Beleving that i was dealing with a rep from Microsort i aggreed to the plan . Gave cc no. and let them open my computer up so their supposed tech could work on it. Approx 2 hrs later when i went to open my computer up it was all screwed up . My home page was deleted as was my tool bar . The assess to my e-mail was gone and no assess to my face book .This was on Friday afternoon late enough i couldnt call my bank . Called Monday Feb 10th account had all ready been charged . Called the MICROTECH SUPPORT no. 239 247 5552 and the runaround started . I demanded a full refund . That was when a MR.RAY GOMEZ entered into the discussion . He wanted me to e-mail him a list of my complaints which id at ray.gomez.microtec@gmail.com. The total price that they scammed me for at this time is 352.16. After more phone call and lenghty arguing a Mr GREG Roche who said he was from accounting said he would refund me 200.00 dollars and that was the best he could do and I aggreed .He wanted an e-mail from me agreeing to this amount. The e-mail address that he used was bobierglenda@Gmail.com .this was on the Feb the 24th . Today is March the 10th 2014 no refund . I have filed a complaint with Bank and with the BBB of Houston texas also with the National do not call Registry . Also with The Office of the ATTORNEY GENERAL of TEXAS . Also am filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission .And the Washington state office of the Attorney General.Iam 77years old and on a fixed income this 352.16 out of my budget is not to be taken lightly .

I surely understand what you are going through, in Feb 2014 I had a call from a tech support that said my computer showed it was very slow and they could go in for free and fix it. Well, as you know it ended up costing me $269.00 then 2 months later they called me to let me know someone was trying to hack into my aol account....I almost fell for it but then, they wanted another $99.00 I told them I am calling aol and finding out if this is true, which it was not. For the last 3 months I have been getting calls from them from 5 different numbers and one of them is an unknown which I cannot block. I have put in a complaint to the no call register and hope they can stop these people...they just don't give up even when you tell them to stop calling. I absolutely have learned my lesson.

I have at least 15 phone numbers they used. Calling me all times of the day and nite. I am terrified, I could not hardly understand them. "They were threatening and I felt afraid

This keeps happening to me. They get really aggressive because I called them out as low life scammers before they could start their pitch. I was just threatened by one of them whispering "do you want to **** with me?". I called the police and the only thing I could do was block their number. Since they use so many I'll just wait for the next one and block that too. I feel bad for those who aren't savy enough to know it's all a scam.

sorry for all your troubles.. They have called me numerous times…i let them go on and on and then ask them if they are really getting paid to scam people…..

Um, you people DO know that you can simply call your credit card company to dispute any charges, right? What rick have you been under?

FEB 7TH Danny Chang called late afternoon . Represented himself to be with MICROSOFT . The PHONE # 239-247-5552 OR 855-593-3163 if you dialed them would get you MICROTEC SUPPORT LLC in HOUSTON TEXAS . They scammed me for $352.16 .It aint over yet.

today I got call #2 from someone claiming to be from Microsoft, wanting me to open my computer so they could help me fix it. 1st caller(a few weeks ago) was clearly not the Andrew Johnson that his Indian accented voice claimed to be, I dated a Johnson he was Irish as Irish could be. That right there was a red flag, but as he went on with his questions about my computer it became more obvious it was a scam so I hung up. This morning From # 989-738-5495 with the name Gibbons V G on my caller ID a man claiming to be Bob calls with the same pitch. I immediately say Bob ... how original. hey Bob what kind of computer do I have? He answers a laptop, I need to help you with the Intel processor. I respond with ok BOB go get a real job, this is a scam & I'll be reporting this number... he hung up! I've been a victim of identity theft in the past, it's not what I wish upon anyone and I feel bad for whoever gets fooled & taken for with this scam, but it won't be me! Hopefully Some agency will help with this scam.

hi, i feel for this scam and ended up letting them take control of my computer pointing out all the wrong things then finally asked for money, the out come was i refused to give them money told him i was skint, continued to work on the computer then put the phone down on me, consered cause he kept mentioning online banking paypal etc. which i use regullary, so put computer of then latter last nite switchad it on only to start in safe mode really pissed of.
is there nothing that cannot be done about these sad sick individuals!!

Its 2016 and the scam persists. I wasn't fooled but I admit they were slick. Firstly, my phone display said Dell Corporation when it rang. They said hello by my name. They claimed to be from it department and that my computer was sending messages automatically to them saying it had infections. They had my make, model and tag numbers. To me, this points to a stolen database from Dell corporation by some disgruntled employee.

I went along for a bit to see where they wanted to lead me. They had me open my event viewer, as if I didn't know what this was. I went along. They pointed to the error messages and, here's the punch line: do you see all the error messages sir? I smiled to myself and said yes so he replies: Tell me sir, do you think all these errors are good for your computer (hahaha) I almost fell to the floor laughing. He went on to say open a command prompt for me. I told him to go to hell. 3 seconds later i heard a dial tone. I laugh but at the same time i am dumbfounded at how slick they are and how easy it could be for a non tech savvy person (95% of users never looked at the event viewer)to go through with their entrapment. I later read that they take control, insert an .exe that only lets you view their webpage and nothing else works.

I spoke with Dell and they would not admit it on the phone but they acknowledged their database may have been compromised as I started receiving these call right after I went on to the Dell website to do self check up om my computer. They sent me an email an I know have an open ticket with Dell because of the scammers. I receive about 5-6 calls a day on a bad day, 1 call on a good day. Last call when I answered I said Hello Thank you for calling the Federal Trade Commission how can I hello you ? The guy hung up :) Another time I told them I owned a Mac.

I have been getting calls from the all zeros number for a month. Finally picked up and got the same story: heavy Indian accent, says my computer has been hacked and he's from Microsoft tech support here to save the day. He wanted me to get on my computer but I wouldn't. I asked for a number to call back. I got 855-539-4928 as the call back number. Will try the *57 and reporting it next time, as I'm certain there will be a next time I'm called by these scum.

I received a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft. He had a heavy Indian accent. I asked him to remove my number from the list and not to call again. He claimed that my computer contacted him and that it had a serious virus. I again asked him to remove me from the call list and then hung up. This was yesterday. This morning at 3:30am I was awaken by a loud voice saying "warning, warning you computer is losing data I jumped out of bed and tried to shut down the computer. There we're pop ups all over the screen and I couldn't shut down. Finally had to push the power button. I don't know if the call and the computer freaking out are related but it does seem odd. I'm taking the computer to a repair shop to get rid of the virus

I got this same call last night. Glad I hung up on him. He was very aggressive to wanting me to get on my computer.

I got this same call today! I fell for it! He said his name was Peter from Microsoft and that my computer was sending them error report messages and that he needed access to my computer to fix it. I fell for because he knew my registration I.D # and knew the exact error messages I was getting..Im so upset, worried, and mad!! I reported it to the FTC. But now what will happen he already had access to my computer!! Ugh...

They didn't call ME, I placed a call to Google Help because I wasn't able to use the google chrome page for two weeks. I got this heavy accidented Indian, I gave him control, too. put up fake file list that showed I was being hacked by foreigners and 6 were waiting. I'm out $399.99 by echeck and have to go get new bank acct. very inconvenient and wondering if I am going to have identity stolen. You aren't alone. I never thought of turning off computer, too dazed, but I see wouldn't have helped. They did fix conflict in antivirus programm. good luck

How did you unblock your computer

Hi, (also from MT, if you happen to have used that username because you are!) Anyway, I'm curious about what happened... just had an incident with Google last night. Was your computer o.k?

For the last 4 MONTHS I have rec'd calls from 'Windows Tech Support'. I filed w/ FTC and Do Not Call Registry on 2/10/14, added additional #'s 5/10/14, and again today. I receive from 5 up to 15 calls per week! I did a reverse look-up on the phone #'s and most all are land lines! With this many calls/harassment at the very least, why isn't anything being done? If I can find them online, it doesn't do any good reporting/filing if I am still suffering after this long! 15 calls in one week is average...so why hasn't law enforcement (?) went and knocked on their door??

I feel the same way. I keep getting these annoying phone calls from a land line in NY. If a valid # comes up on called id, why can't the phone company or someone block it? These calls are annoying. I KNOW they are a scam, so no problem there.

Was it a man with a heavy indian accent claiming your computer was sending out error messages?

Yes - Just had this call tonight, and last night..I'm living with my elderly parents, so am very protective of them...I lost my patience and ordered him to stop calling, and he got confrontational, asking me if I was a technician, so i hung up on him.

We get about the same -- 15 calls per week. The telephone company says they can not do anything to block these calls. I think this is b.s. Thinking of just canceling our land line.

Did they mess up any other programs through your wifi? Such as xbox or other laptops?

Did they mess anything else up? Such as other wireless devices? Or did it just stick to your lap top?

I received a call yesterday from a gentleman with a thick Indian accent. I said that I was having trouble understanding him so he spoke with greater volume and with less clarity. I told him that his volume was a problem because it sounded as if he was calling from Bangalore. "NO, SIR!", he exclaimed. "I am calling from Sweetwater, Texas." I have trouble understanding the governor of Texas so it seemed to be somewhat credible. He told me that my computer had been sending him messages. I inquired, "Which one?" He said,"You mean you have more than one computer in your house?", as if he had never heard of such a thing. "Yes," I answered, "We have nine." I could still only understand every fifth word from this gentleman so the conversation ended as I politely thanked him for his concern as I wished him a good evening as it was about 9 am central daylight time here.

I hope you have had better success than I have. I am thinking of changing my number to an unlisted one. They haven't got any money from me but the calls drive me nuts. 4 & 5 times a day, sometimes more. You would think they would try a different line of work. Seems they would slip up and get a person who would know how to screw up their computer. Oh, love your username.

Hey. I live with my mum. We are getting sometimes 8 calls a day for the last 2 weeks. They are relentless. I have reported it to my provider but I actually doubt they can do anything. It is frustrating. I was very calm and laughed at first but now I swear very loudly at them. I hope it works out for you. These people are a disgrace

I received a call from someone with an Indian accent so thick that I could barely understand him but he did say that my computer ip was sending them a warning. I couldn't understand the company he was from so he finally asked if I had a computer so I said no and the calls have stopped. I'm an IT major. Ha!

I told them i didnt have computer and they are still calling 4-5 times a day. I have told then take us off call list. Still calling. Now they are telling us they are trying to help us with ID theft. I dont know what to do. They use different phone numbers. Have reported them to national no call too. Multiple times.

FYI I googled Canon copier support and had the same thing happen. Started talking about my ISP account and Intrrnational fraud attempts on my account. Sounded like a boiler room in India
Both of their service centers are US based, no internationals

I googled to find McAfee's tech support number, called it, and got "Edward," a scammer. He spoke with a heavy foreign accent. I gave him access to my computers. He uninstalled licensed McAfee antivirus and reinstalled his own, for which he needed my credit card number, which I stupidly gave him. I asked when the software license would expire, and he said, "9/11." I knew then. I immediately canceled my credit card. He left behind worms and viruses. During the year after this encounter, my telescammer calls have increased to about 100 calls a month due I believe to "Edward" placing my phone number on telescamming lists. LOOK VERY CLOSELY AT EVERY SITE ADDRESS. The scammers use a very similar address to legitimate ones and have toll free numbers.

i too was called by these scammers and they asked me to sit in front of my computer type windows & r at the same time then type 6 letters and hit enter and all these yellow trianglels with question marks with the results showing 22,000 errors. I cant remember what the 6 letters were can anyone help me. i did figure out after about 15 minutes it was a scam then i found this site. Thanks in advance if anyone remembers what i entered.

Wow, this just happened to me. I purchased Canon Printer and called the tech support number that was on one of the booklets in box and got a foreigner (what a suprise), she told me my tablet was like a 'mansion without doors', and I had this and that wrong with my brand new tablet. She told me Canon could take care of it for 199.99$. No Thanks. My tablet is ruined. I'm going back to the NON WIRELESS WORLD. I write letters or train pigeons for communication.

It happened to me too. Got a call 1-3-15 from Martin telling me he had a work order from to check my computer, there seems to be problems reported that he needs to fix. Since my computer was slow getting loaded and I had been on the Dell/Microsoft side to find help I thought they asked Martin to check out the problem. I let him on my computer and I don't know how he did it so fast, but he told me my license is expired, got 7 Trojans and had a lot of Hackers from all over the world on there. He also told me that I was not protected and I need to install Windows essential protection and when I get my refund, I will pay only $499.00 for a lifetime of protection. I told him no, it was free on the Microsoft side, he told me 'nothing is free'. He wanted my to go out and buy a "green dot money" card so he could install it before he works on my comp. I told him to work on it before I get the card , but he said he work while I go to the store.He sounded professional at first,but when he asked me did I get the card while he was cleaning my comp. and I told him "no" I knew something was not right then he asked for my age with his heavy accent and I would not tell him. The fact that he said I was not protected when I new better and the Trojans. All he wanted me to do is have him install the MEP for $499. He called 3x now asking to install it, even told me he'll give me $100.00 off, told him not to call me. OH, could not get in my comp. since yesterday and under care off a Dell Tech. Martin called again this morn and told me my comp is locked and it will continue to have problems since I did not get the Microsoft protection. How does he know my computer is locked right now? Will it end with them?

We called AT&T to have our number changed from stalkers and sales calls they said it would take two weeks and the Indian wanted to get his "manager on the line" they were trying to sell us 2 iPhone 6 for .99cents with a first time contract (we were wondering why this was seeming weird) we are a long term customer also the Indian man was confused about getting our number changed. Been having problems a long time ... Also computer problems . The number NEVER has been changed. Just had AT&T come and they put all new boxes including modem and did so because our phone is working but not by att service. I just today received another 247 technology phone call?? And to top it off my IPad disabled and I cannot connect my PC to the new IP address said it's connected but just keeps searching .. I've had it with this stuff. I'm scared my pw doc has been retrieved. with nothing in sync having a hard time protecting my information and emails etc... Please get these invaders .....

I have discovered how to get rid of these computer HP virus scammers!!!
Got so tired of them calling daily to tell me my HP had a very serious virus, which humored me because i have a MAC, which I told them but they continued to call daily with same HP virus scam. I decided to become obnoxious to them so the next time they called i answered by saying "Oh my gosh, what will I do? I'm just so lucky you called." This flustered the first caller enough she hung up on me but they are persistent so when they called again the next day I did it again "Oh my goodness what will I do I'm just so lucky you called what do you need, my credit card, social security number and all my passwords?" This is all being said in a southern lady sarcastic tone of voice but that caller hung up on me too. Its now been a few weeks with no more calls!!! They are prepared for indecisiveness, rejections etc but CRAZY lady excited to hear from them they have not prepared for YET! Fluster the heck out of them and they won't call back! I'm now going to do this to all callers and if the call actually ends up being legitimate then they will have to figure a different way to let me know whatever it is I need to know. Good Luck and Fluster on

lol i had the same call he used the name max after he crashed my computer by locking it (yes i let him remote host me like a dummy but he sounded legit he had some info of my computer) anyway after this he called again sevaral weeks later i said hi max i want u to know i have a very unigue set of skills and i will find you and when i do its gonna be ugly do u here me max he said u don't need to find me.. i said i do max and that computer of mine you hacked when u open the rite file theres some things in there that will tell me where your at lol haven't heard from them since but i immediatly restored the computer as it was new and changed pass words on everything papal ect so far nothing has been stolen 7/31/15

Just received a call on my cell phone (unknown #) stating that there were viruses on my computer.. Funny thing- I don't own a Windows computer!! I told him I knew nothing about the computer, however I did know about the SCAM.. i could barely understand what he was saying but he was telling me that I DO have a Windows computer, and to please allow him to do his job.. It's a shame that these call centers cannot be shut down.. Quite a bit of an annoyance!!

After VOLUMINOUS calls (been a few years now) I purchased an air horn from a sporting goods store, and when they call and start their spiel, I blast them! I still get calls but not as frequently AND I get at least a little retaliatory satisfaction.

they know where i live though...what do i do?

yes indeed its scam. It appears that they put the bug themselves only to fix it $199 service one year, $299.99 for 3 years upto 3 pc and $449.99 for 5 years. They wanted to get into my computer, but knew better for the message coming up on my laptop adds to urgently call them. Amazing they can function in the great United States. God bless America for easy money.

I just did the same thing, not sure how bad it is yet. Epson needs to help with this. Worse part is the printer problem was because I bought new cartridges from Epson that were no good

Got a call yesterday from HP support. The guy had a very thick middle Eastern accent and said his name was Mike Jones. He said my computer was infected with multiple viruses and I needed to be in front of my computer to give him the serial number, etc. He was extremely threatening. I was completely amused and kept him on the line for about 15 minutes. I made fun of him and told him he was a thief. Lol. Oh....and the call came in as a "private number".

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