Court tells tech support scammers to pay up

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A U.S. District Court recently ordered the operators of several international tech support scams to pay more than $5.1 million for convincing people that their computers were riddled with viruses and then charging for bogus support services.

We’ve written before about tech support scammers. They call and claim to work for well-known companies like Microsoft, Norton or McAfee. They say your computer is infected with malware and then ask for remote access so they can “fix” it. Or they place ads in online search results to trick you into calling them.

You might have gotten a call like this:

A 2012 FTC crackdown on tech support scams led to the recent court order. Unfortunately, new scammers pop up quickly. If you get an urgent call from someone who wants remote access to your computer, hang up and report it at ftc.gov/complaint.

Comments

I really believe that we should report these calls and try to put a stop to it happening to other people that are not aware of it. Join in stop or catch them or sit back and do nothing. I will do my best to helping them get caught or at least have public awareness of this.

My husband and I have been scammed and he lives right here in town I can provide documents pictures and names to anyone who can help me get them incarcerated I recently applied for financial aid to go back to school and the patterens are starting all over again please help or give me some advice

This same thing has happened to me. They got me and I had to change bank account and even the bank. This needs to be STOPPED!!!

Any body hear anything about Omni-Tech

The phone company offers call intercept but at Additional cost to the consumer. I suggested we have a way to trace these thypes of calls without being charged for them, and yes ever since number porting was allowed this problem began to grow. It amazes me how somone can get arrested for calling their x-girlfriend One time and these callers Harrass and STEAL every day ALL day and npthing happens to them. America is getting like london with scammer games.

I've had my share of bogus calls on my worksite phone. They usually hang up quickly when they realize they have called a certain number assigned to a cemetery.

just received a call from an individual who identified himself as Eric Wilson and provided 516-252-1070 as a call back number. said his company detected a virus on our computer and that it was causing problems on the network. he then instructed us to go to our computer and he would provide instruction to correct the problem. this call was received by my wife. suspecting a scam right away, she asked for his name and call back number and told him we would get back in touch.

While it may be somewhat comforting to know the FTC is aware of these calls, what can be done to eliminate them? Like others, I've had my phone on the do not call registry for years and these scammers call multiple times per day, every day. Recently they have resorted to profanity when I calmly tell them to stop calling me & I know their call is fraudulent. It is harrassment & I want them stopped.

I have had these folks call me, but it has been a few months. Funny thing is, I don't use Microsoft products for my computing needs. Now it's Rachel from Cardholder services calling again after some hiatus.

they are still at it - they call unsolicited and try to scare you into buying protection services - they use a few tel numbers and the same number is associated with a few sites all linked to Big Rosk and the call originate in India - when you call back the number never works - it is just to make it look real - the number they give to me is 347 321 4173. This is fraud and if you do a search many other people have lost a lot of money to the scammers. They have also used it seems - 347-321-8983. I have reported this with info to ICANN
thanks

Appartently the lawsuit didn't do crap. I'm still getting calls from these scumbags. I've already filed to reports against them with the FTC. Guess I will need to get my own lawyer now

Tony, don't waste your time or money. Your lawyer will not take this on a contingency, and you will not want to pay his retainer - no one works for free.

This crap is a reality of life these days, (when spoofing phone numbers is NOT against the law!)

If you want to do a little bit of good, report this to the FTC at 877-382-3757

I have been receiving 4 calls a day from win support pc solution claiming my computer is infected with viruses and they want access to my computer. I blocked one number and now they call from a different one. FTC got the next call.

I was scammed of approximately $500.00, recently, by win support pc solutions and another group who claimed to be Microsoft. I notified my Visa, bank, police, BBB, FTC & Western Union but have had no luck in getting back any money

Alright now I have been assailed for the last year or so with the exact same instances mentioned in each and every blog on this web page. I have been called with a phone number like ()0 & recently today a 555 number with a V8111000 type of number over it on my TIMEWARNER caller ID as well... One morning I caught my girlfriend getting ready to do exactly what they were going to tell her. I am a computer science student and pretty much know to an extent what and where to look for something wrong even before that I did just not as well as I do now. They call with a very noisy background, you can barely hear them and are extremely rude (after you are of course). So the moral of the story is to not entertain them at all, when using VOIP call equipment the person on the receiving end o the phone does not have to pick up the phone for them to install anything in order to get into your computer... So if you do at least unplug your router immediately then entertain them as long as you can in order to get as much information from them as you can to report it to the FTC/this site.. I already have an issue with a group using that new tech attached to GOOGLE glasses so I definitely DO NOT need this garbage getting in my way at-all-what-so-ever!!!! BE CAREFUL EVERYONE

I've received calls from this semeSter Indian women multiple times. Today was my computer getting hacked and last week I won Grant money from the government. COMPLETE FRAUD and the B doesn't even get worried when you threaten to report them. If you receiving calls from this number pls., file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commision. They maintain the National Do Not Call List and will investigate these A-Holes that are trying to take advantage of people. HERE's the link - if you don't trust the link just Google National Do Not Call List. Then please file a complaint! Let's stop these jerks!

A man (of India Accent) called me on Wed. afternoon, on August 13, 2014, and claimed he was calling from “Microsoft”; that his computer server in White Plains, N.Y., showed there were over a thousand error messages identified on my computer over the past two weeks and that “Microsoft” also detected a "hacker from Mexico" on my computer.

By coincidence, I told him the Geek Squad of Best Buy Stores fixed my computer a week earlier. His supervisor took over the telephone call (of Africa Accent),and said he needed to check matters inside my computer on an urgent basis. He got into my computer via Teamviewer. Prior to that he asked me to complete several MS Windows commands before he entered my compute. I believe he asked for the MS Windows registry number too.

The following day (Thurs.), Microsoft Corporation had me on the phone for “four+ hours and $149.00” to take off the “Highjack Brower,” Spyware,” and “Windows backend issues” caused by these telemarketers from “Symantic Solution” as he claimed. After a computer scan lasting fifteen minutes, he tried to sell me 'trustworthy' security packages. I became suspicious and he politely exited the phone conversation. I called the police and filed a report before calling Microsoft Corporation the following day. I also placed my name on the "Federal Trade Commission's" Do Not Call Registry ... Be wary, be cautious. This telemarketing scam lasted a full day to correct; all day folks, all day.

I just received the same call. I asked where he was calling from and he said California (Indian accent) and I asked for a call back number 1-567-244-4822 (ask for support assistant 1035. The number on my caller ID said Directory Assistance 215-555-9874. Thanks for taking the time to post your message. I'm sure others will find it quite helpful

August 19, 2014: You are welcome! We consumers can pull together to stop these unscrupulous scammers (those workers who are oblivious to or contemptuous of what is right or honorable). It is shameful to make a living like this. I had to call a Microsoft Tech Representative today to fix my computer. Luckily, it took 30 minutes this time.

In addition to filing a previous police report, I also reported the scam to the MS Tech Representative and a MS Manager will be alerted.

Remember, consumers can place their names on the "FTC No Call List" to avoid future marketing calls. It takes 31 days to kick in. Live honest; stay strong.

Same thing but I didn't pay. They got control of my computer though. What can I do now?

Symantec is a reputable company.No one from there or any virus software company, operating system like Microsoft, or any other software company is going to call you or anyone, even if you use their products, and your computer is loaded with viruses. They just do not do that.

I recently have been getting phone calls from a 'company' called PTI or PSI services requesting that i or my attorney call back because there has been a complaint against my social security number or other identifying numbers...come on people get a real job!!!!!

Once again a phone call from a non english speaking woman trying to tell me my computer is infected. can you stop these people it has happened before. the number is 6029045457

I received a call from someone claiming to be with Microsoft who could barely speak English. He claimed my computer was subject to hackers. When I questioned him, he sent me through some steps and showed me where a list where security certificates were not "authorized" etc. I still began to question him. He offered to give me his supervisor and I asked "how do I know that he isn't some guy in a cubicle behind me". When I kept asking HOW he knew I had a virus and was being hacked, he kept saying "because I am telling you Ma'am." The more he persisted, the more anxious he became and began to raise his voice. When I asked for the phone number for Microsoft to verify who he was, he gave me a 866 number. When I asked if that was Microsoft's number, he admitted it was HIS office number. When I persisted I needed Microsoft's phone number, he became MORE anxious, I HUNG UP! I called my local computer tech repair store and they said it is a SCAM. Idiots!

8-27-2014

DO NOT BELIEVE ANYONE CALLING YOU REGARDING ERROR MESSAGES SENT FROM YOUR COMPUTER OR MALWARE/VIRUSES

I have received about 5 calls in the past 2 days form people claiming to be from Microsoft, telling me my computer is sending error messages and is infected with Malware. Caller ID showed the name John Rosewell, the number was 917 200-9423. Caller said his name was Nick. (917 is an area code largely used for cell phones in NY, and may not be a land line at all).

I got a call back number by telling him I was on another call. That number, 254-236-6545, actually worked. 254 area code is in Texas, starting to see something fishy here?

The person answering did not answer professionally, by saying something like "Hello, Microsoft technical support, my name is...". It was more like "hello". Background noise sounded like a boiler room operation.

I was told my computer was sending Microsoft error messages, and is infected with Malware. Then something about 5,000 computers infected with some virus and on and on. Could barely understand anything he said. If he was in Texas, it was from someplace else, and he arrived about a week ago.

Folks, I played along to see where this was going to go, since Microsoft does not call customers. They wanted to log on to my computer to fix the problem, and there was going to be money involved.

1. MICROSOFT DOES NOT CALL PEOPLE.

2. YOUR VIRUS SOFTWARE COMPANY DOES NOT CALL CUSTOMERS UNLESS MAYBE YOU INITIATED A CALL TO THEM FIRST.

3. DO NOT LET ANYONE - UNLESS THEY ARE FROM A CALL YOU INITIATED TO A REPUTABLE COMPANY, IN TO YOUR COMPUTER.

4. NO ONE BUT A SCAMMER IS GOING TO CALL AND TELL YOU YOUR COMPUTER IS SENDING ERROR MESSAGES AND TRANSMITTING VIRUS INFORMATION.

Report CALLS LIKE this to the FTC at 877-382-4357, they actually do seem to care, and told me the information DOES help them.

Iwent to verizon internet help and it wasn't really them, it was scammers. They got $250.00. I was fortunate the visa card was covered for fraud, the bank returned the money. But it is a nightmare to deal with. They have all my info and they wiped my computer clean. I reported it to the Ftc and fraud protection. I called verizon, they knew about it and said they weren't able to do antthing. So don't assume it is verizon on line, it might be scammers.

Was called several times by a Hindi sounding dude asking "Turn on your computer , I'm from Windows". Giving him my reply using my BEST Mexican accent I responded with "I don't know no stinking windows but if he want's ,come over and wash mine".Never called back after that !

Back in March I received a call from "Microsoft" saying there were all kinds of problems with my computer.I thought it was a scam but the guy who sounded like he was from India answered all of my questions in such a manner that made me believe that this was for real. In spite of my bank telling me this might be a scam (the man from Microsoft said that I might have a problem with the bank and to tell them it was ok to let the charge go though.....another big mistake on my part.) After I finished talking with the man, I found out that it was a scam. I called the bank and asked them not to pay the money for this charge. The bank said they couldn't do anything until the charge posted. It posted for a different company who I never dealt with but they sent me a free gift ($2 wallet) which I didn't reeceive. Because this company told my bank they didn't have anything to do with computers and that they had delivered the item I had ordered so they would not refund my money. At that point the bank said the only way I might get my money back, I could take them to small claims court. The problem was that I nevr dealt with those people and I don't have the name or number of the man from India that I did deal with. Bottom line is I'm out $500.

Questions for you.

1. How do you report a scammer to the FTC if their number is blocked or clearly bogus (e.g., the area code doesn't exist)? What can I do about such calls?

2. How did multiple scammers and businesses get my cell number within two weeks after I got the phone? I had given the number only to family. How do I keep this from happening again? (I get Rachel on my cell as well as my land line.)

3. Has anyone found a response to "Microsoft in India" that is so unpleasant, counterproductive, or damaging to them that they stop calling?

On 6/28/2014 I received a call from man saying he received an alert that my Windows software warranty has expired and that they need to check for alerts or my computer will be crashing very soon. I asked who he worked for and he replied that his company Xpert wizard works as a servicing wing of Microsoft Windows Software. I also asked what state the office was located and was told that his office was located in Massachusetts but that they have offices all over the United States and that they are a U.S. Company. I asked him if he was from India as his voice sounded Indian or Pakistani and he stated India and that his name was Neil Johnson working as team support for Xpert wizard and gave me this direct line number: (617)862-9272 I was told that if I had any future issues with my computer that I should contact him directly at this number. This was supposedly to warranty or protect my computer for lifetime service. I immediately felt that something was wrong about this situation after having allowed someone to invade my PC space and researched this online scam and made call to Suntrust Bank the next morning to inform them that I had fallen victim to a computer scam. I also system restored my computer as the internet stopped working correctly and was running slowly. I then ran Norton antivirus and readjusted all of my security settings in my computer to attempt to prevent further issues from arising. I changed all passwords to any valuable or regularly used accounts

Phone logs from 6/28/2014 as follows….

Name unavailable 8577205631 1:00pm

Woodbury CT 2034052233 2:14pm

Unknown name private number 2:15pm

Name unavailable 8577205631 2:17pm

Unknown name private number 2:17pm

Woodbury CT 2034052233 2:22pm

Unknown name private number 2:26pm

Skype User 6617400240 2:20pm

Woodbury CT 2034052233 2:50pm

Name unavailable 5042096344 3:17pm

Cell phone NV 6466249999 4:02pm

Cell phone NV 6466249999 4:03pm

Received another call today but did not answer as they had informed me on 6/28 calls that the payment for their service had not gone through and they would call and have me submit a partial payment of $299.00 on Monday after noon. Phone number I rejected answering was from Cell phone NC 1919903312920 at 12:46 pm on 6/30/2014
7/8 repeated calls each minute 5 times from #1036 I answered 1 of the calls and was told I needed to give them more money. I informed them that I have filed fraud reports and that I am on do not call registry and will contact authorities if they continue to call. Then 2 more calls ignored after that.

Please watch out for a company called vNap.biz - they scammed my 82 year old mother. I think we contained it but we shall see.

I kept getting a pop-up when I went to a business site to get my assignments. When I linked to the assignment page, the pop-up would be there and would not let me close it. It froze up IE completely. Unfortunately that site was only IE compatable. Finally, after several days of that, I called the number on the pop-up and was told he was a Microsoft tech. and he would check to see why I was getting that pop-up. I now realize why. It was their pop-up and the only way to get rid of it was to pay for their "protection service" This scam was perpetrated by ALTHIM Technologies. When I called today to get the refund I was promised, I was told I could only get a partial refund. I would not be refunded for the "tech services" they performed. I called my bank and they are taking care of it.

I had been missing calls on my cell phone from NY 917-200-9422. Tonight I answered it at 9:15 PM They said they were with Tech Support 247, an authorized Microsoft technician.

I started asking him questions because I knew he was a scammer.

1. Why would you call me when I don't own a computer.
He told me I was lying.

2. Where are you calling from & his name - City & State.
He said Phoenix, AZ. His name he claimed was Albert Thomas even though he had a heavy accent - India, maybe. I said "Wrong Scammer - I have caller ID". Then he said no I mean Texas. (Idiot)

3. Then I asked how he got my cell phone number & to verify the name on my cell phone bill since I do not have a computer. He gave me a name but it is not even close to mine or the same sex.

Anyway I ended with I know you are a scammer, I am notifying everyone I can including the police & do not call my phone number again.

Tomorrow when I am out I believe I will go out & buy a very loud whistle. Maybe if I blow it loud enough he will get the message that scamming honest people is wrong!!!!!

PS Also see Don't Be That Dumb on 08/27/14 as his was pretty much like mine.

Person called today who said they were the Dell Support team and that I had suspicious activity on my Dell computer. I asked how they could detect any activity on my computer. They said it was software that automatically sends this info to Dell. I told them I was driving at the moment and to call back. I then called Dell, they said it was not them and suggested I phone the FTC, which I did. The number ID was 1-800-108-9177 which is not a number working according to Verizon. Then a few minutes ago they called back with 1-800-108-9121. It seems these are computer generated calls and phony caller IDs. Be careful out there!

My boyfriend received a call from windows microsoft scam and he let them into his laptop and they destroyed/corrupted his computer. They completely destroyed his laptop. It cost us $130 to fix his laptop and to add Windows 7 (he had windows 8) for it to work.
I received a call on Monday September 15 2014 at 9:52 am from the same people stating I had computer viruses. I am working on trying to find out who to report this to in our government organization. It would be really great if someone would do something about this and to keep other people falling victim to this telephone scam. I can only hope that our great government would do something about this. For example that could provide me with a telephone number to call so they could possibly trace my telephone for when they call back and I know they will call me back sooner or later. There have been many people who have lost money because they agreed to pay. There are videos on the internet about this. Please help me so they can pay for this scam.

Just recently we got a call from "Microsoft" stating that my computer is infected with viruses and so on so forth. Well, being the person I am, I decided to screw with them and ask them what a computer was. Well long story short, after much questioning they said they were from Washington DC and had said they had a technician in my area. Needless to say after I continued to ask what a computer was, I ended up getting told that I was an idiotic American and hung up on.

I just received a call from Richard Parker aka Raj from Windows? LT global tech support, he said. phone number 516-252-1070 saying windows was getting errors from my computer and needed me to turn on my computer so he could show me the errors. He could NOT/WOULD not tell me what errors! I smelled a PHISHING scam.....I didn't give him any info nor computer info. I hung up. But I want it to be reported somewhere, I'm in CA.
He said he was calling from NY. I told him if he was getting error messages he should be able to tell me just what they were with out my going to my computer!

In June I got scammed of $500.00. It was from Tech Live Connect Support, they had mentioned Drivers support, and Avangate. This has been going on since June, 2014. I have cried my eyes out, because they never mentioned any money, or I had 4 days to cancel. I still do not know what they mean I had 4 days to cancel? I didn't sign up for anything. Drivers Support had advertised with Microsoft, which wasn't right. I talked to Microsoft on the phone, and they said they have had trouble with them before, using their name. I am disabled, my husband is retired, and we have no money like that. I have already filed a claim to you, but I thought you might find this interesting. We got three phone calls today from PRIME IMPORTANT. (1)877-769-2427 My husband was able to answer one, and they hung up on him. Then this is why I am writing the letter, the last call he got to answer, they said I had purchased a package from them (back in June), and he told them he wasn't aware of any doings. They said to him, "What would you believe I am calling for"? Scamming, replied my husband and then the caller said "to-- off". That wasn't a very professional letter. I think I wrote the letter in the wrong place. I am scared to get on the computer any more. TRASFER TO COMPLAINT-SORRY

number is 866-276-7957. these people have called and said they were calling for microsoft, and my nortons was not working right. they directed me to a website on my computer to take control of it, to show me i had hackers on my network. then directed me to a website and pressured me to buy protection. i told them i didnt have to money, they said they would call back. i didnt pay them money but they did get acces to my computer when i let them. kind of worried they may have my info now.

Althim Technologies is indeed part of scam network. More people affected take the time to write the BBB, Superpages, and other review sites to let folks know in advance they are dealing with a fake we-fix-your-hijacked-computer operator. Remember : the initial charge to your credit card is only the BEGINNING of the trouble.

For numbers we don't know on caller ID we answer phone Dept of Justice Agent Jesus speaking, by law I must tell you this call is being traced & recorded. How may I help you? Then we hear a click... We've received less calls now lol

they also called me and I told them to go back to the 7-11, it is at least honest work.

Phishing scam with same MO...PC helpline working for Microsoft, infected computer etc. Gained access and cc #. Fortunately payment was denied. New cc coming. Cant believe I was sucked in. Indian accent. Noisy &busy sounding tech background. Will report to FTC.

Got a call from 602-904-5457, the same # that led me to this site saying that criminal charges had been filed against this company back in July. Well it appears they're still operating and saying they are from Microsoft and that I have viruses so I don't think the lawsuits are holding any water. Also, India sounding accents..

Not long ago I got the virus scam callI I could barely understand the guy because of his heavy Indian accent. The call registers from NY 315-315-2020. It sounded like he claimed to be from Microsoft and something about my computer being infected because it has viruses. Bunch of baloney talk. I nearly tore him a new one.

Warn people you know, especially elderly or less tech savvy people.

Anyone who cold calls you to access your computer, copier or anything else should be an auto red flag. Also, questionable calls from NY are a scam flag in my book. Hang up!

You said to transfer my story about Tech Support (Which I had wrote it on here, above), but I do not know how. Reference number 56125220. We had to borrow the money to pay them. I am going to try and find how to write in the right place. I am very sorry.

I have gotten 2 calls in the last week about my computer putting out viruses, and the caller claimed to be from the World Wide Web. I told both people that town police had put this info in the local newspaper as being a scam. Next time I will just hang up after the first few words.

The greatest service you can do to protect the vulnerable from being scammed is waste their time for as long as you can and end the call on your terms telling them what you think of them.
There are possibly hundreds of these scam companies operating in India, with more popping up all the time simply because there are people out there to scam. They hijack legitimate US numbers to add to their plausibility. I currently have ten of these numbers blocked but they constantly regenerate them which allows the calls to continue. I'm getting one or two calls consistently every three evenings. Scams are everywhere, but when they are disturbing me at 11pm, I get angry.

Tell friends about it, report it to the FTC and your congressman. Action needs to be taken against this filth.

Agreed, legitimate complaints to the FTC and Congressman, etc. also, talking about them on complaint websites and social media as well as mouth to mouth information.... despite all this, they still find ways to get through, so we have to fight fire with fire....! Or douse it with a lot of water....

Look out for 888-224-8533 scammers from India claiming to be Yahoo reps. Very bad news and the biggest of liars.

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