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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

Today, 1 PM January 9. 2014 , I received phone call from man saying he was from IFIx, a fleet of technicians that work for Microsoft. He said he wanted help me with an error message that I received.

Caller ID 305-390-2488 Marathon FL

I called Microsoft Customer Service.- Shrikar. He said Microsoft does not make phone calls.

Tried to file a complaint www.FTC.gov\complaint but it “froze” twice

Same thing but said they were from helptech.247.com. I don't believe numbers on my caller ID because a scammer or anyone can put in any number they want before the call. You can find out how on the internet. Stayed on the call a long time trying to convince me I needed help. The background noise sounded like a bullpen operation

We keep receiving calls at the office from a man telling us he's from Microsoft and that our computer is at risk from viruses and malware and that he's calling to help us handle that. He was told twice to stop calling. The number he calls from is 866-856-4811. I suspect he is trying to gain access to the computers to hack them.

I have received four calls today from #2030 and 704-325-9110 supposedly from Windows Tech support saying that they were receiving reports of viruses coming from my computer. When I asked name on first call, he said John Smith -- I laughed and said "really?" Asked to speak to his supervisor. And asked for a call back number. Waited. Fianlly hung up. He called back wanting to know why I hung up. Told him I would have my IT person check it out. Hung up. He called back. I repeated same thing. Thanked him and hung up. Shortly thereafter got a call from the 704 number. This time "Kevin" (sounded like same person) was told immediately to put the supervisor on...asked again for call back number --- gave me 704 number. When I asked who I would reach when I called it he said, "This is our email number. You will be calling our email number." !!! Still insisting he was from Windown Tech. When I made the remark that Windows would not be contacting me, he insisted. Finally just hung up again and contacted my IT friend. I have now blocked both numbers --- if anyone calls back, I will tell them that I have reported them to FTC. These people are terrible. Also sounded like there was a room full of people and noise in the background. All accents were Indian.

Just received the same call, Indian accent and all! I told him that nothing was wrong with my computer and I wasn't stupid enough to believe that Windows would be calling me. He hung up.

Yes, this is a scam. The only way for someone other then you to know if your PC is infected is if their software is the infection. However, apparently these people con people into giving them control of their PC's so that they can infect them and/or charge them for "technical support".

Innovative Communication Technology writes their contracts so vague that you will incur add/moves/changes at $120 per hour/$180 for the first hour. They need to be investigated and shut down by the FCC.

I've had about 6 or 7 calls from "Microsoft Techs" and some were named "Tom". They said I had a virus in their broken English. When I finally said that I would call the police and report them, they haven't called now in several months. I told them I knew they were scammers after about the first time they called but never gave any info, I just hung up.

Unfortunately they have gotten too smart. When you ask for a number they give you an 800 Sex Line Number! Who do you report this to? I am getting called 3 times a day!

Tell them you have a Mac or a Linux box and gave up on Microsoft years ago. They will stop calling. They don't know how to answer that

Recd call from 206-555-0100, Microsoft Technical Support. Person with Indian accent said he was with Microsoft Technical Support, then turned over to 2 supervisors.

The 716 242-7165 keeps calling us about a tax crime. BEWARE this number is a scam operation

On Jan 15, 2014, I was contacted on the phone by a heavily Indian-accented man who claimed to be from 'Windows Computer Systems' (named "Jim Livingston" ) He said my computer was getting hit with multiple infections, called 'malware dbs' and he claimed to have the " CLSid#" for my computer. ( I've never heard of this, but he says it is the 'computer license system id--bogus!

He wanted to know if I was the 'main user' of my computer and wanted me to 'open it up' so he could show me the clsid# and the malware.

I asked for a phone number to call him back, he gave me: 302.222.9442.

I also checked the phone number that my phone logged for this call, it was : 0112052800212 at 3:12 pm today.

Obviously this is a fraudulent call, just passing on the info in case it will be helpful to anyone else.
Remember, don't give ANY information to anyone who calls or emails you, check them out first. If they are legitimate, they will not object to your investigating them.
Good luck everyone.

Receiving multiple calls from Hicksville, n.y. . The number is 516-800-0000. Same scam and accents as above. They insist they are from Microsoft and are calling because our computer has received multiple warnings . Heavy accents. They call daily. We no longer answer.

get calls almost every day - sometimes more than once from 516-800-0000 - they hang up when they get my answering machine (except today, male voice said "hello, hello, hello?). Blocking them within *60 didn't work.

Several months ago I received a similar call from a "Microsoft Technician" telling me that my License had expired and my screen would go black within 30 days if I did not renew it. I am told that the license does not expire.

I received the same call from these poeple today.I couldn't make out what he was saying, the person had a very HEAVY accent...# 866-856-4811... So BEWARE OF THIS NUMBER...

I also received one of these calls today. Mine was from "James" from the windows tech dep't, phone #: 303 731 3398. When I told him I couldn't get to my computer, the call ended. I then called Dell and they checked out my computer.. and guess what-no hacking, just another scam! Be careful!

Same problem as VonB5. Getting multiple calls from Hicksville NY 516-800-0000 telling me that they are from Microsoft and my computer is not secure. When I asked them not to call, they said, "What are you going to do if I do?"

THERE IS A FOREIGNER CALLING SAYING THAT THEY ARE FROM MICROSOFT TECH SERVICES AND THAT YOUR COMPUTER IS INFECTED WITH MANY VIRUSES. WHEN I SAID I HAVE ANTIVIRUS PROTECTION, HE SAID IT'S NOT COMPATIBLE WITH MY OPERATING SYSTEM AND COULD NOT TELL ME WHAT ANTI VIRUS I HAVE. DO NOT LET THEM HAVE ACCESS TO YOUR COMPUTER. THE GUY (SOUNDED LIKE FROM INDIA) KEPT CALLING BACK AFTER I REPEATEDLY TOLD HIM TO STOP CALLING UNTIL I ASKED FOR A SUPERVISOR. HE HUNG UP AND HASN'T CALLED BACK SINCE. I CALLED MICROSOFT AND THEY CONFIRMED IT WAS A SCAM.

Received a called from 818-813-6174, a person named "Robert Gibson" has strong India accent and said he was calling from Windows Service team, because they detected my computer was hacked by someone and he was there trying to help to fix the issue. He asked me to turn on my computer to be guided by his instruction. I replied I did not know how to change the computer setting and the person asked who else in my family can do it. I did not give out any information and after searching online, find out there were numerous scam complaints from the same scammer.

Just hung up on someone calling from 866-833-7088. Wanted me to turn on my computer so he could fix a problem. Very heavy accent, sounded Indian. I told him he was scamming me and hung up.

I had one of these calls yesterday and the phone number that came up on my caller ID was 31313 clever. A heavy accent perhaps India, I asked him to stop calling me and he said "NO".

I had a call similar to all of the above comments, except I had an email earlier supposedly from paypal, but with a different extension. About 30 minutes after forwarding it to both the FTC and ATT, the phone call came in but with the number 416-364-1111. The person sounded male, possible from India. He first asked if the person answering the phone was so-and-so (my husband's name) then husband handed me the phone. The person said he was from Smart Tech, wiht Windows, and he was very aggressive and pushy, and kept asking me for a number over and over. I told him that he had called me and he needed to tell me the number. He rattled off about 20 numbers and insisted that I get him on my computer so he could get rid of all the viruses that were downloading. He said his company was notified of the problem. He got really annoyed with me because I kept asking him questions about how he got my phone number, computer information, etc. I just hung up and quickly recorded his phone number and contacted the FTC, ATT and the Texas Attorney General's office. I also called tech support for my computer (a # I knew was legitimate) and had them run a virus check on my computer since the email and phone call issues were within minutes of each other.

I also reported the incident to local TV stateions so they could alert consumers, hopefully.

Today, January 23, 2014 we received many calls harassing us despite my perseverance in saying I would be reporting this scam. They claimed to be from a group called Micro Tech, the two males I spoke with had East Indian accents. They claimed my computer was sending error reports relating to microsoft and later in trying to substantiate their claims said I downloaded some software that had viruses and that g-mail would be blocking me. They spouted off our names and address to my husband first and he acknowledged this and then when i spoke, our phone number was given. Other than that, we emphatically tried to stop their calls but they kept calling back. When my husband answered they gave a name of a person with this number for me to call back 239-247-5552 and the original number the calls came from was 1-855-210-3300. The latter number rings and no introductory welcome and is silent... a real bogus. The other number is manned by some else from India who refers to the other guy (Joshua or something) and he sounds SO nice. Nevertheless, I was harsh in response. After hanging up, our phone rang over and over and finally went into voicemail with poor Joshua saying he'd be happy to help. Golly... sounded like he had a gun to his head! Then later in the afternoon, we received another call. Bogus, a scam and harassing!

Similar call, heavily accented, several calls about my computer and Microsoft system, said I don't have windows. # used 212-077-1180 with no name. Also received several similar calls about my recent surgery or illness. Can barely understand what they are saying. And nothing they mention is even accurate. And I am also on the do not call list.

I have been receiving similar calls from an individual with a heavy accent stating that he is with Windows Tech Support. Caller id shows the telephone # as 205-280-0212.

I have received about four of these calls over the last year. Always the same story and always a person with a distinct South Asia Indian accent. I have learned that they are easy to get rid of by telling them they must have dialed a wrong number because your computer is an Apple Macintosh - not a Microsoft Windows machine.

I just received a call from a women (Indian) who claimed to be working for MicroTech. She said that they were getting error messages from my computer as they monitor such data as a service. Microsoft was just a manufacturer she said and does not call people about such things. She asked if I noticed my computer taking longer to start up and indicated that was because an "online infection" was taking my private information. And, because it was not a "virus", my virus protection software was being bypassed. I asked her a lot of questions, and she kept saying she would have those same questions too. She was going to take me thru a step by step process to show me what was going on in my computer. She even said that I did not need to be connected to the internet for her to show me. I figured I would be setting up a disaster that would initiate the next time I did connect. I told her that and asked for a company phone number so I could check it out first. She was hesitant and then kept giving me numbers with not enough digits. She then said something like "You are breaking up" and we were disconnected. (She was a bit bossy and kept wanting to just show me on my computer what she was talking about regarding the "infections"). I hit *69 after the call and the message said it was "out of the area" or marked "private" - no help there.

Just complained to the FTC. Scammer calling from New York number 212-777-3456. I am no fool so I knew exactly what was up when he told me he was calling from Microsoft tech support.

I had a call from them a couple of years ago. I told them it was funny that my computer was having problems since I did not even own a computer. They started stammering then said Sorry we must have wrong number. They hung up promptly. I have had a few more calls over the years.

Got a call from 212-077-1180 from a guy saying he was tech and got my phone # because I was a registered windows user. He need me go my computer and remove two files that would cause machine to crash and lose all data on hard drive. I questioned him how he got my number since on do not call and he should not contact me. I did not know who he was and I would contact Microsoft directly if I needed too, he proceeded to tell me Microsoft would charge me $900 to help me but he wouldn't. I told him I was not turning on my machine with him on the phone. He then proceeded it get more aggravated and started cussing me out. Besides informing me I was a dumb a## he also used some f words. Scam!!! Beware.

the number they are now using is 434-808-0070.
Same Indian Accent

I received one of these calls last week, with the caller saying I had some melicious malware on my computer. He wanted me to turn my computer on so that he could download some software on it. He also had an accent and said he was from Microsoft when I asked where he was from, I hung up. That number was 212-713-2122!

They have a new one. Answered a call and was told that the person was an agent with HOMELAND Security agency and that my computer was sending out threats. They needed to access my computer remotely and remove the program or they would come and arrest me and my family and remove all the computer equipment in my house. I was suppose to turn on the computer and open up a certain program. I hung up. No agents ever came to arrest me. Wonder why. Called the local police and gave them a phone number. They called back a day later and said the number was a telemarketing sales office and no one there knew anything about the call. Yea - right

I received a call from a person with an accent, who said he was from Windows, telling me I had some melicious malware on my computer, and I needed to turn my computer on so that he may download some software to remove the virus. The number he was calling from was 212-713-2122. I hung up on him.

For over 8 months now I have been contacted by a company named Angel Tech, claiming to be a subcontract of Microsoft.
This person claimed I had contacted them about a problem with my computer. I had not contacted anyone about a computer.
I had told them that I was sorry and I did not know where they had gotten their information, but we did not own a computer.
This company still calls back everyday. Their most newest call is for a refund of money I never paid.

Had the same type of call tonight. The more questions I asked the madder they got. I hung up twice but they called back, and were mad I had hung up. They said their company was help tech 24/7. When they told me the website to download the remote access program, I read that main page that said it was a scam and to not allow access. The website was www.ammyy.com. They have Indian accents and are very pushy about doing what they ask. The number they called from was 212-077-4568. When I asked for a number to call back to verify if it was legitimate they gave an 800 number. 1-800-935-0714. Said his name was Patrick Sanders. I asked if this was a windows problem then why was Microsoft not taking care of it like they do other issues?? He said it was an email problem. When I said no thanks I wasn't doing it and that we would be investigating further and if I needed their service I'd call them back they hung up on me.

Received another call and decided to ask a few questions. It seemed to iritate the person with a heave indian accent. They claimed to be from Cyber Securities. A certified Microsoft technician. Stating that teir company was hired by Microsoft to fix infected computers that had been hacked and infected with a virus. I told him I was eating dinner and when I got a chance to turn on my computer I would call him back. He gave me this #866-999-1502 and kept talking insisting I turn on my computer. I just hung up on him and he called back 3 times. Irritating!!!!!!

Just got a call 6:45 in the am - windows tech support - guy said his name was Andrew - heavy accent probably India - gave me two phone numbers to call back - first gave me international number - 12892700738 - I said I wanted a u.s. number gave me 8889971653 - just so you have the info.........

Filed more details with FTC: I recognized the following SCAM, so I recorded the following phone call to a wave file to send to you. An unsolicited call to my landline in (SE) Ga, on 1/29/2014 about 5:15pm, from caller ID: 119-9928, a man with VERY heavy accent and broken English (like from India?) said his name is Rick Johnson from InfoTech Solutions in "Birgina Newport News", and they detected my computer was having problems, and he could help me with it. Told him I AM having computer problems but was on my way out the door to eat with a friend, so could I call him back? He said I could call him back at 315-715-8454. Said there would be no charge for the tech support, but admitted a one time charge of either 199 point 99 dolla (sic), 299.99, or 399.99 dolla for the software to fix my problem, depending on what it needed. I haven't called to check that number.

Does anyone know about a company named Prime Tech #877-769-2427? My dad claims they fixed his computer and they are legit, but they told him he needed to pay with his bank account number instead of his credit card. I told him he had been scammed and needs to put a stop on his account and he doesn't believe me. Any recommendations?

Rick, that's crap! Why couldn't they use a credit card number? I think your dad has been scammed. Tell him to cancel is bank account and re-open a new one. And report Prime Tech to your dad's bank.

Got calls from the ammyy scam clowns twice on the Feb 1. After the last one they called back with enough expetives to blush anyone. ammyy.com should have a link to a reverse honeypot for suspect installs that does a reverse malware install on these criminal's machines, like stuxnet or something.

Just Received A SusPicious Call. Man Identified Himself As Microsoft Tech SUpport. he Was Insistent I Go To My Computer Immediately As Hackers Had Access And They Were Sending Out Lots Of Traffic. I Was Not Comfortable WithThe Request. I Asked For His Name And A Call Back Number. He Had A Heavy Foreign Accent, But Said His Name Was Leo Mark. The Number He Have Mr Was 866-999-1542. LOoking Up The Number, It Appears To Be A Car Dealership? The Whole Thing Was Weird. Thank Goodness Other Consumers Have Reported This Scam. Please Be Careful.

The same thing happened to me a week-and-a-half ago and like an idiot, I fell for it. Some Indian guy claiming to be from Windows said they got an alert that my computer had viruses and they needed to fix it so my computer will then be working fine. I told him to give me his phone number and a website, which he did. I called back and of course got him again. The website looked legit, so, continuing with my idiocy, I let him have remote access and paid $160.00. Today, some other Indian named Robert called from "Windows" (yeah, right), and said they have been notified that there are a lot of error and warning messages coming up on my computer. When he told me what to check, voila! They were there! He said for $250.00 he can fix those. I needed to reinstate my certificates b/c they had expired. Which of course he showed me too. He said he was from the Certification Dept., which is a different dept. than the guy from a week-and-a-half ago. Of course. I told him that I'd need to call him back. "Oh no, you need to do this right now. It will be too late if you call me back! Your hard drive will crash and you will lose everything. You might as well throw your computer out!" I told him too bad, I can't afford that money and I will have to get back to him. He proceeded to call me every three to five minutes for HOURS!!!! Of course since I was an idiot a week-and-a-half ago, I couldn't get my $160.00 back, but at least everything's ok. I had a good anti-virus, malaware, etc. program installed. So don't fall for any of these "Microsoft Windows" crap. It's all a scam!

I to fell for the scam, The web site was for global connect cloud and the man was David. He is continuing to call at least 5 times a day and I finally told him today that if he called again that I was going to report him to the FBI. I was foolish to have fallen for the scam but I have a very good anti-virus, malaware program and changed all my passwords.

Just got a call from a strong Indian accent telling me my computer was infected and sending out messages. I asked how he knew that, he said he was from Microsoft Windows Tech support. When I had him repeat a couple times because I couldn't understand the accent, a new less Indian voice came on the phone and started the same commands, to hit the window key and type in "eventvwr". I then said, can you give me your name and phone number, he ignored me. I asked again for name and phone number and he hung up on me. I could hear multiple other Indian voices in the background doing the same thing almost like a big call center. Shew, glad I didn't fall for this one. HELP GOVT???

Oh and of course, I did *57 and looked at caller ID and the number was unknown and could not be traced.

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