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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

I received a call today from someone stating that they were from Microsoft and that my computer had contacted them about numerous viruses. When i questioned him about why the computer would "contact" him he became defensive and repeated the same info i asked the question which one sent the message and he said it did not matter they all use the same internet so to open one of them any one of them. I hung up on him and then he proceeded to call back i send it to voicemail several times and his calls continued i finally picked up and asked that he please not call my anymore and remove me from the call list. At this point be became very aggressive with his tone and began to go on about how it is his job to fix computers and that i need to give him the info he is asking for so he can do his job and "save" my computer i again asked him to not call and as i attempted to talk he talked over me i repeated myself and hung up. Now i know this is a scam and could tell from the beginning it was but they are aggressive and harassing so please if they contact you do not be sucked into what they are telling you they are saying what they think they must so they can get you to give them what they are looking for.

In the last couple weeks I have received several calls from "Andy" (with the thick Indian accent) claiming to be with Microsoft. The number from caller ID is an Owensboro, KY number (270)688-8540. He told me my computer was showing "error" pop-ups. I told him that it wasn't. He tried to argue with me. I told him that I would have my son look at it because he is an IT person, and hung up on him. He has call back several times and I let it go to voice mail.
Today, feeling "froggy" I answered it. He told me that he had called me 5 times to get me to fix the problem. He told me to hit Ctrl-r. I told him NO I would not give him control of my computer. He got very angry and said he didn't want control of it he wanted to fix my problem. I told him to call me back tomorrow, because I was going to contact Microsoft and verify with them before I done anything. He HUNG UP on me...go figure! I called the number back and guess what...This number has been disconnected and is no longer in service. I hope he calls back tomorrow. I'm gonna mess with his head and when I'm finished, I have a whistle just for him!

Ya gotta love stupid!!!

Today I got a phonecallfrom an unknown American number and the number showing on the screen changed from number to Illinois. A man with an Oriental voice told me he was from a tech,dept. of Windows and started warning me for a hackersproblem that they wanted to solve. Ik kindly thanked him for the information and hung up. Phoned my thelephne company to ask them how somebody unknown in my telephone agenda can show Illinois, They are investicating. An hour later another call, this time with New York showing up, both callnubers started with 71 so they are now active in Europe and probably as they both spoke English look for unspanish names like mine. The third call 2 hours later, also from New York, I just said, this is the 3 call, thank you and a I heard a sexy female voice say Goobye and hung up. I just went on internet to see if I could find anything like this happening, hoaxes etc. and am so glad to have found this and be reaffirmed that I was right in not trusting it. I agree with somebody before saying that if you have a Microsoft problem you yourself will do the phoning. In my case I would have first consulted the man who sold me this computer as I live in a small village. Thanks for all the information and good luck in stopping these criminals.

I get 1 to 2 calls per day from people with Indian accents and various anglo names saying my computer has been attacked. When I tell them Microsoft does not contact people, he says I am right, but 80,000 computers have been lost and it is urgent they speak to me. I hang up. I have threatened to call the FCC and report them, then they hang up. There are many numbers they call from including "unidentified". How can I prevent this from recurring??

So i got a call from a "Unknown Caller" so i answered it and it was a random person who said there name was Frank Chadford and he said my computer was infected with a bunch of viruses and he told me he would fix it for cheap, so like a dumb person i am i said ok. I waited until he was finished and he said all done now pay me 500$ and i said WHAT?!?! NO WAY! than he did the worse thing ever. He deleted all my files and crashed my pc. So i wanted payback! what did i do? I tracked him back and called him as a unknown caller and told him Oh My Gosh you are getting credit card fraud under your name. His response was "What the heck? can you help me?" I said "I will fix but i need your credit card info in order to change your security settings" ... he gave me the info. I charged his credit card 1500$... that showed him and my response was "maybe you shouldnt have done it to me" The End

New microsoft technician fraud numbers. 1-269-429-8630, 429-3431, 429-42-60, 429-5000, 429-7071. If you get scamed & gave them your credit card info. Please call your CC company, your bank, SSI office. Put a lock on your accounts. It cost me $216 lesson. They will hit your accounts untill your money is gone.

YEP THEY ARE TRYING AGAIN.......INDIAN ACCENT SAYING MY COMPUTER HAS BEEN HACKED, I TOLD THEM I DIDN'T BELIEVE THEMN AND THOUGHT THEY WERE A FRAUD. LINE THEN WAS SILENT AND I HUNG UP.

I fell for it! :( I gave the scammers remote access to my computer and now I'm worried about identity theft! What should I do? My social security number was in my files. I'm worried they have it!

Hi, Vanessa,

I'm sorry to hear about your experience with these tech support scammers. If you're concerned they have your Social Security number, you may want to place a credit freeze on your credit report. That will make it more difficult for scammers to open new credit in your name.

You'll definitely want to order your free credit report from annualcreditreport.com. Your entitled to one free report each year from each of the three nationwide credit bureaus. If you find any accounts you don't recognize on your credit report, visit ftc.gov/idtheft to find out what to do.

PHONE call ST Joe MI 610 269 429 8630. They said someone was trying to hack my computer. Gave me a number which has no significance to me at all. I was transferred 3 times because I kept asking questions. NO WAY. Apple does not call a user to say, oh, BTW, you are being hacked and we can fix it. RIGHT SURE. Once I told them I am very careful and i have had no security problems, then they tried to sell me MACKEEPER. NO way. They plan to call back on monday. HUH! CAN someone shut these people down?? @ charles. YES. same MI number.

I got a call from someone saying they were from tech 24/7 and that my email address was being used for illegal activity. I had been scammed once before and started asking questions like what email address, what is this company, what's the company phone number and how they were even able to get a hold of me. When they couldn't answer, I hung up and haven't heard back since. One thing I've learned is that no tech support will ever call you about anything wrong with your computer, that is not apart of their jobs, do not trust anyone who calls you outta the blue with claims like viruses and illegal activity chances are they're just trying to get your money. Hope this helps someone out there.

Still active as of November 6 2014. Rcvd a call from 212-864-5134. Caller ID said Ana M Aramburo. I asked for company name and how computer could be sending error messages. Reply was non specific. When I asked how they got my phone number since my computer would not have that info I got a long pause then disconnect.

now what?

Received two telephones calls from supposedly Microsoft Windows Tech Support, (855) 539-4928, Ext 1006, Rep Roger. Provided me with a very long computer of manufacturer serial number 888DCA6..... Roger advised that someone from another state was using logged into my computer using my internet resources. When I inquired as to what they were selling, he stated nothing. I hung up the telephone and the same guy called back two hours later. WTH!

Iyogi is a scammer tech support.

DHave had numerous calls purporting the be Microsoft Help Desk, Telstra, (a provider) and others which I just soy no thank you and hang up.

Lot of scamming going on

It is too long of a blog

interesting I will be on the alert

i am very nervous about all this.

YOU HAVE BEEN VERY HELPFUL

is someone going to get back to me

I just received that same call from the Indian speaking guy named James Smith FIRST FROM A NUMBER THAT SAYS W ON MY CELL THEN GAVE ME # 1-888-663-3215 who works for Windows technical dept trying to get me to download Team viewer PROGRAM NOPE like I didn't know what that was .Its a site that connects them to remotely access your computer .Don't do it stay away and hang up if you an issue with computer get a professional Computer person to check or fix it may cost you a little but better than loosing money and who knows who gets access to your accounts and Identity.The whole thing is a SCAM

okay, but how do I know i'm not being scammed right now ?

OKAY, BUT NOT BEING COMPUTER LITERATE, HOW DO I KNOW I'M NOT BEING SCAMMED RIGHT NOW ?

Are you there Technician ? Ready to fix my computer ?

Is This a scam!!

Yes, you can read more details about this scam in our article about tech support scams

I cannot wait for them to call back!! I almost want to have a crap computer with nothing on it to see what they do. I got this call a little while ago and it was hilarious! hopefully they will call back as I am always in need of a good laugh.

Been getting these calls for days. Told them to stop calling and was told he would call back every f***ing day!!!!!! Very professional!!!!!

I am also suffering through a spate of calls from this Indian guy with a thick accent that's hard to understand. I really wish the government would get these guys. Next time I get a call I'm going to tell them I don't have any computers, and see if they will stop harrassing me. If not, I'll just put down the phone and walk away. It's a land line and it's their dime every time they place a call to my number.

Hi, I live in Switzerland and today (30 minutes ago) i received a call from a number located in Michigan. The girl said that she was a Microsoft Tech and that my pc was infected. Havung studied IT, I shut down my router and told them that my pc was broken and to call after i format. Now they are calling me back every 5 minutes!

LAST WEEK: I had a problem my antivirus software gave a problem message but did not what kind of problem. I called support and the rep reset my password. I gave her remote access to check the system. She said I had numerous "Microsoft Errors" "caused when a Microsoft Update, turned on Windows Defender" (thereby allow malware into my system.) She quoted several prices in the $200 range (based on length of warranty etc) to have their "computer engineers" repair the damage. I DECLINED but had my local computer repairman come check the system. TODAY: I got a call from "Edward Johnson" with a HEAVY accent, similar to Indian/Pakistani who said he was with "Microsoft" and was a Technician. When I ask which location he (tho it sounded more female) said ++ "Salt Lake City, California" ++ and they were getting many error reports from my IP address. His accent was so thick that I ask to talk to someone else. "Senior Tech - Richard Parker" came on the line. Similar accent but understandable. While saying they would never take remote control of my system without my permission, he asked me to press the "Windows Key" on the lower left of the keyboard along with the letter "R" - then he wanted me to type www.support.me (Yup - he was trying to get me to give him access while saying he wouldn't.)

I suspect that the (real) Virus Software Technician I spoke with LAST WEEK, who works for a anti virus/malware company - generally considered "reputable" - provided my name/phone number to these scammers, probably as a "side income source" to her regular job.

Caller ID showed the call coming from 979 823 4079, but "Richard Parker" said their number was 952 467 6389.

I had read about these scams before. We've been getting these calls several times a day, starting early in the morning. I finally answered one today and recognized the scam. When I called the guy on it, he simply went on with his script and kept talking ... told him to stop talking and never call again ... he kept talking. I finally said "shut up!" and he said, "No, YOU shut up" and was abusive and threatening. I ended up hanging up on him. Don't know whether they will call back again; these people don't seem to get the message too well. Fortunately we can call screen and not answer if they do call back.

had an instance of this bullying as well -- I also read a post here that noted in this country we do have ways to find and stop this crap from happening. and those-who-could do absolutely squat instead --

The Tech Martin said he was from Burlington, DE
1-800- 844-1175

Indian guy same thing. Claimed he called on behalf of VITA a Microsoft agent. I asked for a call back number. 786-600-1265. His name was Henry. They sound very convincing. Told him I would call him back and hung up and found this blog.

"Jack" from "Windows Tech Support" called me today from 219-667-5432 telling me all about the "malicious and corrupt files on my computer". Jack, with a heavy Indian/Pakistani accent, told me that if I was sitting at my computer and online, he would walk me through the process of finding and getting rid of these files.

I asked Jack several times for his number "in case we get disconnected" and he finally gave me 315-215-3520. I asked for the name of his company; "Thousand Pieces Solutions", he said. I asked where that was; "California". "That's funny Jack," I said, "that's not a California area code that I know of!" He didn't have much to say about that. Neither did I as I hung up.

I have also been receiving calls from a new york # and an unidentified 000-000-0000 #'s informing me my computer has been sending error reports to micro tech and the middle eastern voice is in California and wants to help me eliminate the threats and viruses on my computer. I was polite and declined the service. I would just like to piont out two facts. 1) America ie: the FBI and CIA Depts. has the technology to find and properly shut this down. 2) Americans did not have this much scam issues all with middle eastern accents until Citibank and other credit agencies decided to put an end to customer service and subcontract their customer service depts. to misc. foregin cohorts. Now I regularly get calls from middle eastern voices trying to ship me $100.00 gift card, free cruises and fix my computer all scams wanting credit card or bank account information. What has happened to our government agencies forgetting to look out for it's people. Also why on earth would anyone approve of Americans personal identification information to be shipped out of this country. Hello government you have allowed the identity of your people to be traded on foreign soil for the sole purposes on illegal use and to terrorize your citizens and country. bad choice what idiots said yes that's a good idea?

This just happened to me where the caller with a unique accent tried to show me on my laptop that I had malware. I hung up on him before he went further. He has tried to call me 2 times since in less than 5 minutes while I did not answer. His phone number shows up "unavailable."

I had to call Norton yesterday because my computer went nuts when I logged in Norton was up and stuck stupid me clicked on it then it reset and Norton was gone. Here we go I called Norton’s help line first of all you can’t understand a freaking thing they say clearly. I know they do it on purpose. They have to this way will be the stupid ones because they have all the control. Any ways another stupid move is letting them into your system. He did a check on it and like 20 mins later he came back and said it would cost me $349 to fix it. Yikes I said nooo of course he got very angry. I hung up on him and brought to my computer guy .How do you get support when the support is scamming you?

Unfortunately I fell for this same scam. I was contacted on Wed. Jan. 2015.I asked him from the statt was he selling anything and he said no. He said he was a level 5 windows employee. He went into my computer to fix something in the event area on my computer. When I told him I needed to talk with my husband, he said he would call back the next day. He did not. After my initial conversation with him,i turned my computer on and it would not work. I need to bring in to be fixed. So, today he called back. I told him he ruined my computer and he said that he did that because I did not pay.
I told him there was nothing wrong with my computer until he touched it. He said for $200 he would fix it. I told him he was a scam.He hung up on me. He called me from a magic jack phone number.#1.339.227.8708.
I am so made at myself!!!

I think alot of this is due to so many companies, outsourcing tech support to India... A Legitimate HP tech who was of course Indian,(I had called Hp tech support to help me fix a laptop I had fix ), tried to sell us a new computer, at a lower price than he claimed HP would fix it for.. he didn't get much further with me, but I think these people are doing some moonlighting over there, "scamming"...

i never received a call. i got a huge warning popup that froze my computer, and had an alarm going off. it terrified me. it gave me a number to call. the techs on the other side entered my comp by remote access, and reinstalled a new operating system. i gave them 500.00. i do not know how to discern if i was scammed.

also, the name of the company is etechassistant.com, and the security they provide is 'smart tech security solutions.' can someone out there advise?

Today February 09, 2015 I received a call from 209-631-2059, Modesto CA from a guy with a very thick Indian accent)of "Microsoft Windows Support". Claiming to be a technician from Microsoft Windows. stating that my computer is infected and that Microsoft is getting warning signals from my computer. He supposed to be calling me back tomorrow. He's in for a surprise. Hang up on these people.

I can't believe how many reports & how long this has been going on!
I've received 2 calls in 2 days. Strong accent. Says they are from the world wide Web server department / verification department of Windows. They say my computer is sending out lots of errors. They read a long number that's supposed to be my computer license number. I haven't checked its accuracy. What concerns me most today was them knowing my name and address. If that license number is also correct then i will be a bit freaked out, & i dont freak easily.
Phone number on CID today was 1-777-777-7779. They reluctantly gave me a callback number of 800-214-6165, but assured me I could not reach them with that number as they are strictly an outbound call center.
I really hate scammers!

I have a better one yet for all of you. I tell them that I do not own a computer. However, I do own an abacus and that my next door neighbor us Fred and Wilma Flintstone on one side and Barney and Betty Rubble on the other side. That confuses the hell out of them. I then hang up the phone.

These are coming in on the landline but not cell -- and now it's at 5 o'clock in the morning. I just hang up on them (first it was "Alex" somebody a few times; this morning it was "Angela"). I'm sure they know just what time it is here. Theoretically (hope it's just that) they could keep calling all night. There's got to be some way to get rid of them?

Live in California. Got one of these calls today. Private number. Heavy Indian-like accent. Didn't fall for it. Posting to keep thread going in hopes that our neglectful government will one day address these issues.

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