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

March1 2015 we get a call that comes up unavailable ..guy on the other end claims to be a dell tech and tells us that there is suspicious activity on one of our computers..flag went up when he gave us a service tag that belongs to a laptop that has to be repaired and is inoperable. He gives us a bogus call back number. Anyway ..my husband calls dell and they told us that they cant see suspicious activity on there end. These people called two times after ..they tried to get us to connect to their server via a website ..same guy different name ..don't they realize that they are calling the same people ..only wish I could get there number...this is getting ridicules ....watch out for these schemers

I work at an internet company and one of our clients were unfortunately 'hit' by this same scam. The caller ID read 'NYTECH' with number as (613) 402-9184. The guy that called said he was calling from Microsoft Security Tech Support, phone num (214) 856-8767. Asked for remote access, got it, said he found all kinds of viruses, etc., for this fee I can fix it all for you, she gave the CC info and he charged her card...he said ok stay off your computer for the next hour so that I can fix and clean up your computer. Something had a question for him and decides to call him back, no answer, she unplugs the computer, he calls her and says they will not be able to fix it unless she keeps it plugged in and on. She ended up giving him the password for her email, her cell phone number, etc. A day later, everything has to be changed and bank accounts stopped...... Everyone, please think about it...... Knowing how complex computers can be, there could be a thousand different things going on with it, why in the world would a big group like Microsoft have their techs calling people offering to fix problems, when you all know how hard it is to get anyone on the phone when you have questions otherwise! I just feel so bad for this entire situation. Just be careful, if it sounds like a scam, if you have any question at all, get a contact number, call your bank or anyone for advice before giving out any information!!!

Received 2 calls yesterday and one this morning claiming they were Microsoft Techs and they are receiving reports from my computer that may have a virus or a Chinese Hacker problem ask me to go to my computer I did not I asked how they got my telephone number and he said when I registered my computer I entered it Well I just got a new computer 2 weeks ago and I did not register it yet so I thought this was strange I asked him for my name and he had my last name and said my zip code was xxxxx and it was not the correct zip so I just hung up then this morning I answered my phone and it was some saying he was from Windows Support I told him I have reported these calls to the Polise Department and he said ok and hung up... Just a warning to ALL do not give them any personal information and do not let them get into your computer this scam has been going on for many years...

I have been called 3 times in the last 2 days. The men are aggressive and have wrong information about names and computers and will not take NO for an answer. My mom, had a problem with a phone scam and has since died and we disconnected her phone. She was receiving 5 to 6 calls a day, even after she bought their program and gave info. I have been defiant with them and have asked to be taken off their call list. They yell at you and force you to talk and want you to give answers. If you answer and say NO, they will call right back and badger you after you hang up. I have now blocked them on my phone. They have consistently used this number 855 210 3300. My right are being violated and I do not want to receive threatening and demanding calls from this number.

Please report your experience at ftc.gov/complaint. Your complaints help the FTC and other law enforcement agencies bring scam artists to justice. We cannot address complaints if they are submitted through the blog comments.

I received call from 1-800-220-8851 to log into my computer right away because of Windows virus. I said I couldn't do it right now and asked for phone number. I believed it was a scam and appears so by these Posts.

I received eight phone calls today. One from and Indian women with a thick accent when I asked who she was with she hung up. The rest were from an Indian man again with a thick accent. Said someone wad trying to hack my computer then said Microsoft gathered data from my computer saying I had a problem with my computer and I needed to get it fixed. I told Microsoft does not make phone calls he then stated Microsoft hired the company he works for based out of Dallas called geek something I couldn't understand him very well. I think he said geeksphere. He spouted out an IP address and said that my computer was registered to that IP address. Wanted me to get on my computer and he would guide me through what I needed to do to fix it. I told him was a liar and that I would not get on my computer for him. He stated hE would be accessing my computer that would just be telling me what to do to fix it.when I refuse he got very angry and raised his voice. I told him Microsoft does not do that he kept talking wouldn't let me speak I finally Hastings yell at him and tell him there was nothing wrong with my computer and I was not going to get on it and do anything for hi which made him more angry and I finally to him not ever ------- call me again. Then he hung up on me. Scum bags!!!! I hate them try getting a real job and earning your money like the rest of us instead of stealing from other people.

I am from Central Illinois and just got a call from these scammers 5 minutes ago. They are from India with a very bad phone connection. They said they received an error message from my computer. I told the jerks to lose my number or I would contact the authorities. They either want remote access to your computer to infect it or they want to do something to your computer so they can charge your credit card or steal your identity. I wasn't buying it one bit, my computer is fine and if it wasn't I have people to call!!!

The moment that you tell them not to call you back and they do it is considered to be harassment! If you are continuing to get these calls, call your phone provider and advise them that you are being harassed! Most providers will allow you to change your phone number for free if you are being harassed! Especially if you tell them that you have reported the harassment!

The company "AskMateLLC" is a total scam. I am so freaked out that I actually called the number my computer "said" told me call after my Safari browser "crashed". The had me sign up for "Join me.com" an online screen sharing thing, and I feel so stupid-- I had no idea this existed. I let them into my computer, they saw passwords, etc. I am so bummed out. Going to take this poor laptop to the Apple Store and have them just go through my computer and make sure it is safe. Spoke w 3 guys (could have all been the same guy) with heavy Indian accents. Disgusting, disgraceful criminals. Whatever, do what you are going to do, ASKMATE the thing that created you IS WATCHING.

I might have to change my phone number, now, as they keep calling me. They hire this perky sounding woman "Angela" to do their dirty work. Ew. Wow, I wonder what's in store for parasites like ASKMATE LLC. What goes around ALWAYS comes around… you think you're so smart. How pitiful.

Every time I have called AT&T for their UVerse box turning red light from green, they claim I need a support which they can "run a line check" I refuse, I end up telling them I have screen shots and video tape the lights blinking, everytime I call when you say you will "run a test" or ask me to log into my AT&T account.. . The lights go green. A few days ALWAYS following my complaints to AT&T, I too get an "INDIAN decent accent" phone call claiming they are from Microsoft tech suppport.
I LIE to them and argue even tell them I don't own a computer . I don't have the phone numbers now but did report them on other pscam reporting web sites. FTC needs to FOLLOW the trail.. iit will go back to AT&T !!!! AT&T is the only one who can remotley accesss our account and "tweak the settings" creating FALSE customer complaints that our computers are infected, lines need tech support, etc.
ALL TO MAKE A DOLLAR OFF YOU! THEY ARE CREATING JOBS MAKING PROFITS!!! Folks Google AT&T and how they remotely access and can "fix " your computer!!!! HOW many are you are their customers??? FTC FOLLOW OUR LEADS and BUST THEM!!!!

Re-re-iterating what other folks have said....never EVER give out personal information or credit card info to people that call you out of the blue. They may know a lot about you because of your Facebook account or becase they bought in to some junk mail list. It doesn't matter.

One thing you can do is make their scam less cost effective by keeping them on the phone as long as you can, scamming them back. And incidentally keeping them too busy to go scam somebody else who is not smart enough to do the right thing. If someone calls you looking for information, saying they are from your credit card company or Microsoft or Google or some other hopefully reputable organization, ask what office they are at and then go look up the number someplace else and call them back if you think that is important. Certainly don't take the number that they gave you.

We have been getting these calls continuously for about the last year, alternatively claiming to be from Google or Microsoft or Symantec or Kaspersky or some other security company. They obviously do not pay any attention to the Do Not Call list. So do the best you can by fighting fire with fire. Good luck

I also feel that Microsoft is itself a scam. I have Webroot and will never subscribe to Microsoft again.

June 27, 2015. Got a phone call from 938-020-6225 (via caller ID) from a guy with a slight Indian accent claiming to be from "ADS Software Solutions." Gave his name as Sam Edward and return phone # 818-572-0443. Claimed to want to fix a security problem because I have a wifi connection. Started to ask me what browser I use. He insisted he was there to help me. I got off the phone to do some checking and I won't be calling back. While he sounded sincere and professional, I just don't trust this unsolicited "help."

Has anyone else ever wondered why we can't just push a button on these, every so smart, phones and record the call. It would be handy for everyday calls and very useful in these scamming situations.

Got an error 303 message today when I was accessing akc website. A British woman's voice came on and told me to call the support number immediately to prevent operating system to crash and not to make purchases online because a virus had compromised computer security. It looked like Microsoft warning, the number was (866) 306-5294. I called it and the guy with a heavy Indian accent wants access to my computer and asks me what antivirus I use. I told him and he told me it want working. I checked it and it was and I told him I felt uncomfortable giving him control of my computer. He says "I don't need this!" And hung up. Good riddance. I felt it was a scam but was pretty flustered. Glad I looked here, I feel better about it now. Glad I didn't give more info.

Everyone, just say you either do not own a computer or you run Linux. They hang up on you and stop calling back

My grandmother called a "Microsoft certified" company, per the web. In 5 day's they stole over $ 8,000 dollars. They even purposely over refunded her some $ 2, 500 on the first day to get her to send a Western Union check to them. She did. They called back the next day and said they owe her more money but needed her bank info to make the refund. Sadly she gave the info. Her bank said " sorry". She is 83 and obviously not as sharp as she was.

I would like to add this important information to my previous post. My grandmother used the " Microsoft" web site. She then clicked on " tech support" and the number given was the one she called. I do not know if this site was a " phishing" site or not. I will contact Microsoft on Monday and fill them in.

I started receiving daily calls from someone with a thick accent (possibly Indian based on my call center work experience). He insisted on speaking with my family member about a virus on his Dell. He knew that type of dell and the person's email address. It happened that the Dell was being used by me so I knew he was lying. He wanted information to fix the alleged virus, he was trying to steal confidential information by gaining access.

I told him I'd take a message numerous times, he refused and wouldn't give a number. I tried hanging up over and over but he just kept calling a few times daily hoping to get the person he was asking for saying that it was 'urgent' due to this virus. Yesterday, a different person called and I yelled "Fraud, fraud, liar!' and heard laughing in the background. They keep calling. Since this is a scam from another country, telling them that you are on the 'do not call list' in the beginning doesn't work.

I just want people to be aware so you don't have your identity stolen.

this is good

I'm on the NDNC list and Fl DNC and my answering machine announcement states such. I've been receiving calls repeatedly from a #on caller ID is all zeros; they never left a message. Today I picked up b/c someone was sick and trying to sleep. They said they were from Windows Services and that they were getting reports of unusual activity on my AOL account and someone was hacking into my computer. I told them I thought I had the service with someone. They then repeated they were from Windows and was trying to help me. I got talked into giving them access to my computer and they ran this list of what they said were the times someone tried to hack into my computer. [over 700]They then said that I only had hardware protection and started quoting prices for the other software to protect my computer. I told them I already paid for such services and I would have to call them. They said they would call me back in 10 min. I called my company and was informed that windows NEVER calls and that it was a scam. While they were checking my computer (which took more than the 10 min) the "windows" people began trying to hack into my computer. Dumb me giving out permission to go into my computer. The scammers got blocked by my original service. They called while my people were working on my computer and identified themselves as my people and began the routine about someone hacking my computer and wanting to get access; I definitely knew that this was another attempt at a scam. Later, I got another call from "windows" with the same spiel which I promptly told them I wasn't near my computer and if I could get their # to call them back since the caller ID showed zeros.
They gave a C/B# 0f 866 662-2747. If you call the # all you get is "your call is very important to us, please stay on the line for the next available agent" the message keeps repeating every so often but no one ever came in the line.

aug 18 2015,there back and i fell flat in to it my screen was flasing microsoft i need to call this no. ammidetly,,the only way to get it off the screen was with task manager they told me to call a no. well i wrote it down ,for three days this happened i looked in my computer and it seemed fine ,well curiousidy ,did i spell that right,got hold of me and i called one of the two no. i got a indian man claiming i got a virus next thing you know he is working the mouse and takin me around and showin me my fire wall is off whitch it shouldnt have been and other security features off that i check weekly, are fine,not now they wernt,he went on an on how he will help pertect me, then he said i had a trojan then he took me to show me the wenipica or what ever definition ,finally he said i had 2 choices ,aske me my zipcode and said you live in modesto you can take your computer and any other you have in the house to a tec,and hell have it for a few days and fix it for 299.00 or you can have an online tec fix it for 199.00 ,i said im broke then he puts a place for me to put my name and address for me on my screen, im thinkin am i this fkn stupid, and said ,almost then i said man im broke i just got out the pin aint got a job no money and barley have service to be on line he said well can i afford 99.00 ,i said no ,he said we can put it on my creditcard and pay next month,i told him i wont have money next month ,he said thats ok you canjust do it anyway ,dont wory about it ,i couldnt believe what he was sayin or i didnt understand him ,i kept sayin what ,what i dont understand you ,finally i said il call you back when my brothergets home he has the credit card,then he said i dont believe you your lieing,wow i lauged and said what ,your lieing you just dont want your computer fixed ,i said what ever dude ,then he mumbled something my mouse was back in my control and my screen flashed couple times he mumbled something else and was gone,o and earlier i tried system restore and it would only give me to the 17 ,i didnt notice that was yesterday when this happen so i went back in after the confersation to system restore and again it tried to give me only 17th finally i got it to push me back to the 12th, and restored it ,i dout vit was far enough, dont know if there still around but the messages stoped,maybe i lucked out by tellin him how broke i was ,they dont want poor people so i mess up ,lettin him in but did i save face by not givin him my credit card no, or is he still here

I have just fallen for this scam to the tune of £189. Indian accented 'Justin' Paul claimed my computer had contacted them as windows support for the operating system ended in February and my computer was about to shut itself down & then not work gain. I foolishly gave him access to computer & he showed me that this was in fact the case (checked it out separately, that at least is real) and showed me that it had several thousand malware and similar issues - even though I have protection. He knew what my computer was, showed my a very credible website . Overall he was very credible - now I'm worried that I've been scammed and I'm wondering what to do?

  • If you paid for bogus tech support services or software with a credit card, call your credit card company to reverse the charges.
  • If you think someone may have gotten access to your personal or financial information, learn how to lower your risk for identity theft.
  • Get rid of malware the fraudster may have installed. Download legitimate security software and delete anything that it finds as a problem.
  • Change any passwords that you gave out. If you use the same passwords for other accounts, change those too.

The FTC’s website has more information about how to spot and stop tech support scams.

You can report the scammer to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

Got 3rd call in 2 months from Microsoft today. Brian Johnson, claimed to be in Bloomington In. HUGE Pakistani accent. 1-800-492-3960. Offered to fix my virus problems. I told him computer was working OK. He suggested I google it, I told him I would, and then call him right back. We both knew it was a fraud and that I would never call back.

1) Call then back repeatedly. Just like they call you. They can't scam anyone else if you are caolling them.
2) Tell them you have none of those god foraaken devices in your house.
3) Have your attourney call them for a little chat.
4) Have the local sherrif call them.

These all work for a little while and let you have some fun at their expense. Don't pretend to be a cop ... that against the law. Just bug them all day.

These lose had me until he asked me my bank information I hung up on him after telling him I don't feel comfortable giving nor typing that over my computer while he is on the other end of it, I closed my lab top , then he called and said your computer is locked you can't use it.... smh... it's true so what do I do now?

If you think your computer has been affected by malware, update your security software, and then scan your computer. Delete anything it identifies as a problem. You may have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

If you can’t fix the problem on your own, see if your computer manufacturer or internet service provider offer free tech support. If they don't, look for a company that offers tech support for a fee.

This FTC article about malware has more information.

If I had a dime for every fake call I've been getting recently, I'd be rich by now. I got the same call and went along with the Indian accent guy but when he wanted me to install TeamViewer to gain access to my computer, I told him my antivirus wouldn't allow it and he told me to disable the antivirus. Told him i'd call him back but reported this incident, once again to the FTC complaint form of which I think is a waste of my TAX PAYERS $$$ becaue my phone continues to ring!!!

I did not receive a phone call, but my laptop screen turned blue and said it was at risk for a virus and it pretty much froze. I couldn't even shut it down. A pop up window came up that looked like a normal warning window that your computer gives you and it had a number to call for help. I called and asked many questions to take away my caution. The guys name was Sunny Goyle supposedly and worked for a third party company that Apple hired. Everything he said to me at the time sounded legit. I let him into my computer where he showed me what was wrong with it then proceeded to tell me that I needed to buy a newer Apple protection plan. It all seemed legit since he went and showed me on the apple website. I told him I simply couldn't do that right now and he tried to sell something else at a cheaper price but by then I had realized it was all a scam. Now I am worried as to what all information was taken from my computer. I didn't see him transfer any documents but know that they can be very sneaky. I didn't give any card information but I'm mostly afraid for my personal documents with very important information. I don't know what to do now besides change all my passwords. Can anyone give me some advice?

If you think your computer has been affected by malware, update your security software, and then scan your computer. Delete anything it identifies as a problem. You may have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

If you can’t fix the problem on your own, see if your computer manufacturer or internet service provider offer free tech support. If they don't, look for a company that offers tech support for a fee.

This FTC article about malware has more information.

 

SOSPCCare.com will try to steal your money claiming they are a 3rd party support heads up do not call anyone or listen to anyone calling you saying there is something wrong with your computer they want to make you buy overpriced garbage software. This happened to my mother in law I called and he told me he was from Michigan and gave me an address in Illinois.... clearly was not american and prove it by being uneducated of the states.

so good

The guy sounded like he was from India, said he was from Dell support. I was okay with him until he suggested I download a program that would allow him to see my machine, not happening!!!! I got rid of him before he could get to the price. Idiots!

just today i got a scary popup telling me that urgent action was needed to save my computer from a "trojan virus". I should call a number listed on the notice. the Indian woman who answered, Patricia Gomez, (how do they come up with these names!?) said she could fix my computer, no problem. When I said that if I had a virus then I would take my computer to the windows store. The she said that the virus would infect every computer on my network which scared me since some of them are work computers.
I asked her if she worked for Microsoft and she said "we provide tech support for Microsoft". I asked her if this was going to cost money but she kept postponing the answer which made me believe that she was using a script which many overseas customer support workers do.
Finally she told me a ridiculous price structure which started a $99 for one time service and ended with $499 for "lifetime" support. I told her I wasn't buying her sales pitch and she got very offended. Hostile. So I said goodbye and hung up.

I later researched the scam and discovered this page. Sorry we all had to go through this.

Love these calls! It's quality time with my kids while teaching important life lessons! Last night we received a call from "Microsoft Tech Support" letting us know that he was able to see on our computer that we had a terrible virus and we needed to get that computer and give him the info he's requesting to "fix" it. He was put on speaker and I went around the table with each kid asking if it was ours (we each have our own). He said yes to all of them LOL. When it came my turn, I asked which one and he kept arguing with me telling me it was my "personal" one. I asked him again, which one, my Mac or my Dell and again he said my "personal" pc... I asked him if he could verify my IP address. He yelled at me that he didn't have to give me my IP address and that I just had to trust him that he is looking at my computer...he then DEMANDED I put my husband on the phone ROFL. I told him sure, let me put you on hold so I can call Microsoft, my husbands there at work right now, which is not true, but it did get the scammer to call me a ***** and hang up on me.

I get these calls all the time. I usually don't pick them up but sometimes do just to mess with the caller. I got one last night around 9PM. The Indian guy asked for me by name and I told him there was no one here by that name but he had reached an FBI agent. He still went on an on about my computer sending messages to him that it was hacked by Russians. I kept telling him I was with the FBI and to put me on the do not call list. He was relentless going on about my bank account and everything else that the Russians had access to. I kept the dope on the phone for almost 45 minutes. By the end of the conversation he sounded like he was crying. He said he was 22 years old and only made $9,000.00 a year and his boss made him call me. He went on saying if I didn't allow him to "fix"my computer he was going to be fired. He was still sobbing and pleading with me to let him fix it when I finally hung up. I wish I recorded the call.

These people called several times today. They are calling from caller ID Private Number. They must be getting to the bottom of the list on people they can call. Its a shame the FTC hasn't caught them by now.

I recently got this call, and I kept asking questions. I got some interesting response. First I asked what company, They said Geek Squad, and the service they recently gave me is now unavailable and they want to give me back 299.99 and they had to because the government is making them. Why I find this interesting is recently I applied for a Best Buy credit card and bought a new laptop. The fact they knew this makes me wonder if they are getting the information from Best Buy or the Credit card I applied for. Moral of the story, please be careful with your information especially giving it out to companies.

I just had one call with the same song, second verse, my computer needs attention. I ask if he was capable of removing my name and number from his internal call list and he starting talking again about my computer problems, I said, I take that as a No, and hung up. It is really annoying!

I have gotten 15 calls in the last 2 days from a No Caller ID number. I finally answered it because sometimes my doctor's office comes across that way. A man with a heavy Indian accent said he was from G Mail support and there is a problem with my gmail account. I told him it was fine and he was a scammer. He assured me he wasn't and went of to explain the problem with my gmail in detail. I let him go for a while, then said today is a holiday in the states (he wished me Happy Thanksgiving), said I wsan't doing this, and please take me off the list. I then hung up. It's been 2 hours since the last call.

Now when they call I press one and say this number has been transferred tot he State Attorney General Office. You have become a nuisance and we are tracing your IP at this time. Slam Dial tone slowly getting less calls. from Rachela and Microsoft

Also had a man with a heavy Indian accent claiming he was from Windows and wanted to help fix a problem on my computer. I told him he was a scammer and he insisted he wasn't. I told him I appreciated he was trying to earn a living but the damage he is causing others will one day have to be answered for and I hung up.
He called me back (caller ID blocked) and told me I was an evil man and then hung up on me.

THY FRAUDED ME OUT OF $5400 CLAIMING TO OFFER REFUND. SO DISAPPOINTED THAT OUR COUNTRY IS HELPLESS AGAINST THESE SOB'S.

Just received a similar call from 404-642-7676 Georgia. This is the 3rd or 4th call that I have received in the past few months. Now they say they are from Rhinestone security and the Microsoft Windows Dept. He told me in a broken accent that my computer has been hacked from a source outside the IS. So I asked him if he was so so smart to let me know what my IP address is. After I asked twice he said your IP is 704252. LOL. What an idiot, everybody knows that is not an IP address, not even close. But, by calling me the way he did, they accidentally gave me theirs. Now it's hack time! LOL.

Instead of HACKING, please send reports to police/law enforcement, along with evidence, so we can STOP THESE SCAMS and CRIMINALS!!!

HACKING is NOT the answer.

What I dont understand, is I thought I was calling a legit phone support line for microsoft. Parents bought new dell, took it home to download microoft office (they dont have inernet) error code came up 1606 "unsecured network" said call Microsoft help line, I did. Even though intuitively I knew I shouldn't have to call for a simple dowmload. The same situation as described happened, I went as far as allowing him access, ended up kicking him off computer. My question.
Is where is the hole for the scammers? Does the new laptop from Dell already come infected? The Microsoft office software provded? Can laptop and software be recouped?

I GOT 7 OF THESE CALLS TODAY, I FELL FOR THIS ONCE BEFORE! IM SICK OF THE CALLS, HOW CAN I REPORT THEM AND WHO DO I REPORT THEM TO> WHAT IS THIS?????????? •CAPTCHA session reuse attack detected. •Please enter a username.

Mark Lewis 866-460-3621 (heavy Indian accent) was able to scam $200 from my 78 year old grandmother (until I called and disputed the charges with Discover card) Mark continued to call my Grandmother and I and tell us to please call the credit card company and tell them that we were happy with the service, he went to the extent of begging and offering to refund everything and keep the product (tip off of total scam again). He was with a generic company like Tech Support Inc.

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