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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

So my mom was saying some guy was calling asking about the computer. He called today and talked to me saying my computer was doing things with out me knowing I laughed and told him I have software that tells me what's going on in the, then he said that it was sent to him from an error report I let him know we don't send those out and he ended the call on me. Then found this site anyone know how they are getting out info to call us

Tell these people you have a Linux box. Most of them won't even know what that means. That should stop the calls.

The number this time was 208-448-0024. Caller was unidentified by caller ID. Heavy Indian/Pakistani accent, but I don't think his name was Bowe. Told me I had malware on my computer, but he didn't know if my computer was even on. What a low-life buncha' crap!

208-448-0024. Heavy Indian accent. Told me I had computer problems. Wanted money. Gave him credit card number, Now there are multiple charges, where did they come from? Why? Not right.

I got a call this morning from an Indian male saying that he was from Microsoft and that I was being hacked at that very moment and that he could help me stop it from happening. I told the man that my computer wasn't even on but he said that the hackers are still trying to get on. I then asked him which computer was being hacked into because their are four laptops in my house and he said he did not know but to get on the one I use more often and he could stop the hacker from any computer. Red flags were popping up for me when he said that he did not know which computer was being hacked into. At this point his voice was sounding irritated and he said to get on my computer because it was important to stop the hacker. I asked if he could just give me the directions and I would write them down and do it myself but he said he would do it for me. I then was walking past my modem/router when I noticed that my internet wasn't even on. My internet has been turning off and on throughout the week. I asked the man if the hackers needed internet to hack my computer and he said yes and I asked if it was still happening at that moment and he said yes. Then I told him that my internet isn't even working. He sounded surprised when I said that and said that he would call back later because it was important to see if any information was taken. Told my family to be careful if someone calls again. Thank goodness my internet wasn't working or I might have done what he asked.

I received calls today. Said his name is David from the Windows Technical Department. called from 985-656-2546 (Name not found) - Louisiana #. I asked for his phone number. Gave me 303-351-7053 and said they are in Springs, CO

I received a call today from a "Chris" with a very heavy Indian accent stating that he was calling from IRED Online Help and Support - certified technicians of Microsoft. He claimed that my computer was sending errors to a Global Error Repository and that they tracked down my computer and phone number by using GPS. He was calling to help me "fix the problem" stating that they were contracted by Microsoft to help with these issues. He stated that he was calling from New York. I didn't fall for it but got the following number from him 347-305-0007. When I did a reverse phone number look-up, the number is traced to "Bandwidth VolP" in New York City, NY with several complaints about this number. The call came from 800-313-0000 with "Unknown Name".

You can file a consumer complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.We appreciate your blog comment because it helps warn other people about this scam, but it’s not a formal complaint. Watch this video to learn more about how to report a scam and why it matters.

Okay so I just got a call from a supposedly lapsupport. Like an idiot i didn't think of it and let them on my computer but didn't give out my credit cards. I dont have any saved information on the computer since it was just fixed and reprogramed but idk if it'll damage my computer. I looked up the number they gave me and sure enough was exactly what the guy said, but i'm still iffy about it.

I recived a call today. I told him that I suspected a scam when he asked me for more personal information and he started to yell at me.To me, that bit of unprofessionalism was a key indicator that they were scammers. I hung up on him and turned all information over to the sheriff incase anyone was victimized.

I MAKE A DEAL WITH ADVERTISING COMP ON LINE AND THEY WHERE SO NICE AT FIRST AND NOW THEY R CHARGING MORE THAN WHAT THEY TOOL ME THE COMPANY IS YP THEY SAID IS YELLOW PAGES AND THEY SAID I CAN'T CANCEL I CAN PAY ALL THAT MONEY

I have been receiving calls from a "WINDOWS" rep claiming there's a problem with my computer. These calls actually started a yr or so ago, but have vamped up within the last month. I let the guy talk. He asked for my ip address (this was the first call), that's when I hung up. I have been receiving calls for about a month now - called id Twin Cities, MN 651-698-4075.
Don't answer this call! All they want is your $$ in whatever form they can get - ssn, account numbers, charges for "fixing" your computer.

I've gotten tons of these calls trying to gain access to my computer. (Always with heavy Indian/middle eastern accent.) Never fell for it, but once I felt like messing with them. When they told me to enter something, I told them I did but nothing happened. They tried to get me to do something else, I told them to wait a second, I had something on the stove I had to check. Set the phone down for 5 minutes, they were still there. Then they told me to do something else, I said I did and still nothing. They hem-hawed around, then wanted me to try something else, I told them my internet connection crashed and I had to run upstairs and reboot. (I live in a 1 story.) Set the phone down for about 10 minutes, came back and they were still there. We went around like this for at least 30 minutes, then I acted like we had a bad connection and hung up. The guy called back!! This time my husband answered the phone, using a fake Indian accent, he messed around with them for a while, then he started laughing at the guy, really p.o.'d the guy off! (But we still get the calls, trying to think of a new way to waste their time!)

Started receiving these calls today, 4 so far, sounds like the same guy, heavy accent. I keep telling him I don't have a computer at all, he hangs up. But keeps calling. Think next time will play with him a little bit, maybe give him an address of someone I don't like...just kidding. Also on do not call list. Don't fall for these guys, one time they are from IT Tech, the next from Microsoft, the next from somewhere else. Wouldn't waste the money to tract them, if they are not calling from overseas, they can usually be traced to the NYC area, they work out of warehouses and move around all the time. You will never catch up to them, ever. Either play with them or tell them you don't own a computer, it's up to how you feel at the moment. And if you do fall for it, and give them credit or bank info, call those companies immediately and report the scam. And I mean IMMEDIATELY before they wipe you out altogether and crash your computer. Microsoft would never, ever call you, nor would any other computer related company. If we could figure out a way to get back at them, put your heads together and let's come up with something!!! The FCC isn't going to do anything for you, but yes, report it anyway.

A very pushy man with a thick Indian accent called our house as well. Said he was from "Windows Technical Support" and that they have been receive MANY error messages and to please turn on your computer. Maybe they called several times before but this was the first time I picked up. Immediately suspicious, I asked who in particular they were trying to talk to. He kept repeating angrily, "the owner of the computer. Go turn on your computer. Just go turn on your computer." I said what computer? We have multiple in the house, didn't tell him that of course. I wanted to tell him we had a Mac and that he was obviously lying. He said the computer was registered under my dad's name which was a total lie because there was no way they could even get that information, mostly because it doesn't work that way. My dad doesn't even own a computer in the house, as if that makes a difference. Not even a minute into the call and the man becomes pushy and very rude. He didn't ask if we wanted help, or that we could refuse, just stated they received and lot of warning messages signaled from the computer. Oh really? Told them they have the wrong number and they became even more defensive. "Ok so you don't want help then we will stop supporting your computer. Windows won't support you anymore and your computer will crash. Is that OK with you? From now on Windows won't support you." I said really, is that so. He STILL wanted me to turn on "the computer." They also kept pretending that they couldn't hear me. Hung up on him because he was just so rude and practically yelling at me, it was obvious that Windows or whoever wouldn't call that suddenly and urgently without permission. If he calls again I'll have some fun and see how angry he can get, as if he didn't deserve it. Did he really expect to fool me with his attitude?

That's my share of how it went down, same story as everyone else. They can easily find your number and then your information like your name, like they did with my dad, or even your address. Then they will call you and set up every lie such as a name, their number, where they are based, etc. so that they have a better chance of seeming authentic and fooling whoever they can. Just don't fall for it, it was obvious from the beginning what their ploy was. The conversation didn't go so far as to me turning on a comouter or giving my financial info, as if I'm that gullible? Granted, for me they called out of nowhere so it was obvious. For anyone else, maybe they were expecting a similar type of call and just had bad timing with it all. Just be careful and don't give out ANY information so easily.

I knew when I looked at caller ID on my 'phone that this was a scam. Hopefully no one falls for this. It helps that they sound like the Microsoft 'help' (or should I say helpless) people who answer when you call with issues. I've learned to only talk to people from the Philippines.

received a call, claiming microsoft tech, humored them a few minutes and then googled the number, they wanted remote access to my computer, then when i hung up the phone they called back not once or twice but 8 times in less then 10 minutes, this is getting really annoying

I get at least one call a week from some company (they all have accents) saying the MS Tech suppost notified them there is an issue with my pc. Since MS can't offer support at this time, they were given my name to offer help. I have been polite but say no every time but they keep calling. Finally this last one I said if they call again I will turn them into the FCC and anyone else. That was yesterday. Not sure it will do any good, but I wish they would leave me alone. They must figure that my age makes me ignorant - but I was a IT person for about 35 years..... They are really become a bloody nuisance.

I have been getting these calls for about two years, after I cussed them out about a dozen times, it stopped for awhile. Their BACK! I know I got 3 calls yesterday. All from diff. numbers. I turn around and call it back, and lo and behold it's been disconected! I'm going to buy a whistle or can of that air to scar bears with and start blowing that into my phone. It's driving me nuts! ERRRRRR!

Second Michigan call from "Paul of Windows". This one at 7:15am ET! Woke me out of a sound sleep. I wasn't very polite. Too bad that there is no effective way of letting the public know of these scams. But shouldn't we use a little more common sense about these calls?

A friend got hit with the Window Tech scam. Payment is now being done through paypal, so the CC company cannot reverse charge. My friend did not have a paypal account, so they were emailed a form with information to fill out and a paypal account was opened for the person using that infromation.

I received a call like this today. Played along for a while. They then asked me to push the "Windows" button and I asked them where I could find that on my Macintosh. Then I hung up. Obviously they are catching people on this-- please tell everyone you know about this scam.

208-448-0024 just called me. Caller ID is great. Why answer the unknown especially when they don't leave a message. Raspberries to them....

my friend gave me videos to edit on my Dell computer and every time i click on one it instantly turns black and has no sound. why is this?

We received a call yesterday from a fine gentleman with a think Indian accent who informed us that our computer has been sending him messages that it needs to be fixed. i said that I was experiencing difficulty understanding him because it sounded as if he was calling from Bangalore. "NO, SIR!" He responded in a manner that suggested that revealed far too much protestation. "I am calling from Sweetwater, Texas", he informed me. That seemed reasonable because I have difficulty understanding Governor Perry. I inquired as to whether he had met the governor. "Yes, sir ... Guboner Prerrwy stops by our office at least one a week." I offered him my condolences and thanking him for his concern. "But your computer?" he interjected. "Which one?", I inquired. "You have more than one computer?" he asked as if he had never heard of such a thing. "Yes, which one is the loud mouth. I'll bring it down to Sweetwater the next time I discuss which three Federal agencies need to be eliminated with the governor." At the sound of the words, "Federal agencies" he abruptly ended my amusement.

I have given up getting annoyed by these calls and now make a game as to how long I can keep these crooks going around in circles trying to gain remote access to my computer.
By starting out really dumb..."my computer is turned off, let me turn it on"..(I then play a sound file of Window's 95 starting up!)then it usually goes to "bring up your desktop" to which I answer "My computer is on my desk top... what is that key with a flag? I have two of them"... this really lulls them into thinking they have a real live one...
It is a challenge to see how many levels they will move you up the chain of command. NEVER EVER give them any information about your computer or give them "remote access". Just keep repeating you are afraid you will get a virus and they will reply since they are not the administrative users they can't hurt your system.... that point alone is worth eating up a lot of time and laughs!

We have been receiving these calls for months now. Yesterday, these jerks called the house 3 times. 3!!! I don't have their number, so cannot put in a complaint. We do not have caller ID, nor was I willing to talk to this guy long enough to ask for his number. I don't see how a complaint will do anything, anyway. These people are not in the US.

989-683-2639 is the latest "Windows tech" # Kingston, MI...If you call it back, it is no longer in service...SCAM BIG TIME....

205-280-0212 has called 3 times the past 2 days, 2 times today and the caller id says "Ada Green". Clearly know this is a scam & reported the number today. He needs to stop harassing me.

I got a call today from someone from "Computer Technical Security Services." They claimed my computer was sending reports regarding windows updates. Wanted to sell me their services to "fix" the problem. I can't believe how unethical they are. I traced them back to their "corporate" company and filed a complaint with BBB. Not sure what else to do. I can only imagine the naive souls they have gotten money out of to fix their non-existent computer problems. It's shameless.

My Mom got involved with this Microsoft "Indian Scams" a couple of years ago.
She was scamed with fraudulent tech support using the alias "Calls to Geeks". They mailed a disc from an address in Delaware U.S.A. {which was crap}. She has been inundated with calls from these idiots. They can skype their # so it looks like it is coming from with in the U.S.A. She even got a call with her caller I.D. showing her own #. I spoke to them on several occasions & on one call I let them have it and was told to F*%k off & this was the most decent thing.
I started researching as what to do.
Her # is on the National & Fl. do not call list.
We submitted complaints to each.Heard nothing in response.
Called Verizon her land line company, were told to buy a phone that would block their #'s. Doesn't do any good they call from so many #'s.
We called local law enforcement after one frightening call she got stating some one was coming to her house. They made a report, no follow up.
April 2013 we finally reported this to the FBI online scam department. We provided them with the address, phone # & name of the business from with in the U.S.that had received mom's credit card payment & mailed the bogus disc.
Please note we were NOT looking to get the $ spent back. We want these people to, at the least, quit calling ! !
No follow up was ever done.
The calls did slack off during the year, but have started again with 1 to 2 calls daily. When she does answer she tells them right off that she has no cmpt. & they are NOT from Microsoft. With which they hang up.
If any one has a proven way to stop these calls I would love to know, as the Do Not Call registeries nor the F.B.I. offers ANY help ! !

Got a phone call on my landline phone by someone from "Windows Support Center" claiming my pc was sending Microsoft messages that my pc was infected.
It was obviously from a call center, sounded official, after his official sounding explanantion. I LET THEM HAVE ACCESS to the pc. This is where I kick myself. No surprise they found all sorts of dangerous files that need to be removed. Oh it will be $399.00 to have my pc cleaned of all viruses etc. One time payment-good for life. Afterward I looked at the caller ID. It showed their phone number as 347-518-1811, call from LINDA CHANG. No I did not pay/yes my pc is now at the shop to see what damage was done. My daughter was victimized by the FBI scam. That locked her laptop so she could not use it. Pc repair shop had to take care of that too.

I am so glad we can ask a question o line and find that soooo many people have received the very same call that I JUST got! A man with a heavy Indian accent called my home number twice! Then said his name was Scott Williams- was my first clue. He said that he was from Microsoft and that they had been sending messages all week that my computer was infected and my personal info was going out all over the internet! He said they didn't send it to my email but messages as I was online in a warning. I was able to get him off the line by saying I was cooking dinner. So he gave me two phone #s to call back 206-452-5449 and 206-462-5049. Imagine the surprise these guys got when I called them and asked if this was Microsoft??? They were Skype phone numbers, and neither one knew any Scott Williams with an Indian accent....hmmmm, dodged that bullet!

I have been getting these calls for months and ignore them. But yesterday I decided to find out what this was all about. Evidently, errors on my computer were ruining all of Windows and that my computer would shut down any minute and that I wouldn't be able to reboot it ever again. He wanted me to press some keys on the keyboard and I told him I wasn't going to do it without talking to my computer fixer guy. The tech told me that I was an "idiot," wasting his time and that he hoped I would "burn in bloody hell." I can't wait until they call me again.

Had a call from one of these guys last week. He wouldn't hang up on me, no matter how much I harassed him about how he's not really in New Jersey, and whatever else. Since he wouldn't hang up on me, which was my goal, I put the phone on speaker and watched the World Cup with him on the line...

On July 2, 2014 I also got one of these calls. Loud call center, guy with Indian-type accent. He was from "Windows Technical Support", and said they were calling "all Windows users" with information about a virus that can't be detected by antivirus programs. I was pretty sure Microsoft wouldn't be calling "all windows users", so I knew it was a scam. When I told him that, no, I would NOT turn on my computer for him because I'm not an idiot, he was not happy. I hung up. I use an old-fashioned answering machine, and seldom answer the phone, so it was just a fluke that I actually got the call - I was expecting a call from someone, so picked up. That'll teach me!

After skimming thru all of the other comments - seems I'm in good company. I've been getting calls since May 2014 from the M/S techs - I've tried: which computer is causing you the problem?, playing along like I'm stupid, & when they called the other nite I said ok just a minute I have to go get my computer - I put the phone down on the counter & continued to eat my supper - after about 3 min. I could hear the guy saying hello, hello, then he hung up. It's their dime for the call - let it cost them $$ - last nite my hub answered - I believe the "tech" will be hard of hearing for awhile - he used his outdoor voice while talking to him. Next time I'm going to tell them I have to get my mom - that could take awhile...

My brother received a very similar call. The only issue is, he believes them. I'm sitting here with no idea what to do. Initially I was sketched out by the fact that Microsoft could call you and tell if your computer was sending information that it had issues/problems to Microsoft. After doing research, I discovered that Microsoft doesn't make phone calls like this. Presenting this info to my brother, he doesn't believe me. I even had the chance to warn him before he entered information. If at that moment he had allowed me to act, I would have been able to system restore, and change all passwords within an hour. As it stands, I have no idea what is going to happen. When it blows up in his face, I won't be sorry. What's worst of all, is I primarily use that computer for a bunch of personal things. In the event that some of my stuff is compromised, hell is to be risen.

Has anyone had any dealings a company charging you as 'JM Service'?

We have been getting a large number of calls and emails from fake groups and company rep.
We hang up on them and a fake Microsoft Tech Support was one of them asking to setup remote on our server!

I am so scared yesterday I had the same thing happen . I don't know much about computers but the Indian man has gotten into my computer because I believed I had lots of infections in my computer. He told me local and foreign hackers are trying to get into my computer and they have succeeded . I don't know what to do!! I gave him my name and my email address. He asked for money but I said I didn't have any . So he said we will call tomorrow. I don't know all that he has accessed because before he called I had lot of windows opened. I'm scared he can steal my identity because he can find it in my computer. I didn't realize something was wrong until three hours later . He knew my name already and I wish I never answered. He said he was from Microsoft and his name was Matt. Kept saying not to worry he wi fix everything!! Me being stupid just let it all happened in front of my eyes... Any advice how can I fix all this plz!!

Somebody called me today 7/8/2014 at 2:45 pm EM. She introduced cording herself as Stella from Microsoft. According to her, the reason of the call was the error report from my PC. after I suggested her to mail me the problem assuming that the have my contact information since they had my phone, she stopped the conversation. Was it a scam?

Pretty much yes!

Got a call today (7/09/14) from a person claiming to be Shawn Watson with a company called Prosafe Technology. Would not give a number for me to call back. Reported this to the FTC. .

I plan on getting a horn to blast in their ear, sure hope the scam-company has good ear insurance.

Got a call from "Jason Frank" with We Support Windows, claiming the My computer was downloading lots of bad files and sending them error messages. This guy had an Indian accent and was quite insistant. At one point he said the these files are "hurting this country". - It all smelled wrong. I took his phone number (253) 243-1407 and his "ID" W1304. and told him I'd look this up and call him back. I then found this and other sites with the same scam story. Odd thing the web address he gave me is live, don't know if they are part of the scam or just the name these scammers are using.

All the details in this blog comment would make a great consumer complaint. You can file one with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at www.ftc.gov/complaint.

I got a call yesterday from "Frank at Microsoft." I immediately hung up. My computer had a virus one time and I did call Microsoft. I got a Canadian Microsoft, supposedly. They took control of my computer and "fixed it." They wanted to put me on a plan. I said "no." I get sporadic calls from supposedly this same company saying they need to fix my computer. No way. I have Webroot. Also, I get messages from "Adobe" urging me to download the latest version. I never do. Then in a day or so, I get errors. Yahoo has become the worst site of errors.

They are still at it. Today 7/9/2014. Second call in two days from "Out of Area" on caller ID. They use a mass dialer so, a delay before the operator comes on and tells you "they have detected a virus on your computer". I paused for a minute and asked if he could tell me the MAC ID of my computer. He hung up. Now if he did know my MAC ID I would be in serious trouble! But in any event, it just proves they are scamming and calling folks at random. Next time I will string them along and tell them my computer hasn't worked for months and ask him how to plug it in, turn it on, adjust the monitor etc,.

These jerks called me st 4:39 a.m. To tell me my "windows were infected"
I asked if she knew it was four f@$%#ing forty in the f%*+¥ ing morning? She then proceeded to yell at me that my computer was infected...I hung up!
My 71 year old father was scammed by these people, so I knew not to fall for it!

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