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.

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i want to add that they said they were contracted by apple. i feel very foolish, but could otherwise not recover my computer. ugh.

I got a call from these guys. I talked with three of them, and they all had African accents. One said he was from Kenya. They were using the same phone number, though.

So, I think they have moved their operations out of India.

When they charged my credit card $299.99, I called Microsoft, who told me it was a scam! So---I called the scammer back, and told him my cousin is Assistant Attorney General here in Mass., and if they do NOT credit my credit car the $299.99 in ONE HOUR, I would turn the scam over to him, and they would be arrested1! LO AND BEHOLD-----They credited My credit car IMMEDIATELY111

Received a call today from Fort Wayne IN, (260) 220-1659. It was a call center most likely from Africa. My caller had asked for me by my first name and told Microsoft Computer operation system was infest by viruses. He said he was from IT worldwide Tech Support working for Microsoft. I acted shocked and asked for details, he told me that they had been monitoring the problem for weeks and that's why they contacted me. He asked if I was the normal user of the computer and I said no; that we usually let the monkey use it. He asked for clarification two more times and was told a monkey operates our computer; he then said oh, I see and hung up.

201-860-9188 - got a call from Jersey on 3/18 claiming to be Microsoft as above. Yelled at him and told him if they ever called me again I was reporting them. They called again today, so filed a complaint with the FTC.

Just learned this was a scam. At the time I was having issues with pc and thought they were the real deal. So I fell for it. Will we ever recover any monies from this?

On behalf of all Indians I apology to all people who have been scammed by the Indian Scammers. I will certainly try to report this in the nearest Police and will try to stop if any in such is going on in Calcutta (My City).

The FCC is doing ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to CRIMINAL HACKERS and fraudsters!!! There are NUMEROUS FCC violations since they bypassed accountability measures!! Shame on Congress for helping to perpetuate CRIMINAL COMMERCIAL FRAUD, ORGANIZED CRIME and HARASSMENT!

They even targeted my elderly mother and NO ONE IS DOING ANYTHING, even AFTER IT IS REPORTED TO FBI AND POLICE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They've GOT TO BE KIDDING if they thik ANY police force has the acumen to confront and resolve these crimes!!! The FBI even ABETS CRIMINAL STALKERS!!!

WIZARD TECH SOLUTIONS FLORIDA ZIP CODE 33436 DON'T BELIEVE THEM WHEN THEY CALL! THEY CRASHED MY COMPUTER. HAVE NO PHONE NUMBER, NO REAL E-MAIL ADDRESS, SENT ME OTHER PEOPLES INVOICES, AND HAVE SEND MY CREDIT CARD COMPANY A BILL AFTER A MONTH THAT ANYONE CAN FILL IN. HOW CAN I GET MY MONEY BACK?? THANK YOU.

You can contact your credit card company if you were charged for:

  • something you didn't agree to
  • something you didn't accept
  • something that wasn't delivered as you agreed

This FTC article about disputing credit card charges has tips to help you.

That company was just served by the Attorney general yesterday and shut down. Keep your eyes for the receivership so you can list yourself for a refund if there is any money left over once they liquidate. Best of luck. Tech support is a legitimate business and is needed ....just too many 20 something kid's think they are untouchable ripping off consumers.

I just received a call from them. Asked for as much information as the Indian lady named "Emma" could give me while I answered the questions on the FTC website to report them. I hope it helps. Your provider will not call you to update your software.

Thank you for reporting to the FTC.

OMG...these POSTS!!! NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER...give anyone who calls you on the telephone your credit card number, social security number, access to your computer, NADA! Nothing! EVER.

If the call sounds legitimate, tell the caller, "Thank you, but before I divulge any information, I am going to contact (Microsoft, Chase Bank, VISA, Norton, McAfee, etc., etc.,) and verify the information, because it's so easy to be scammed, right?"

99.9999% of the time, they'll hang up on you. And by the way, don't EVER use the number they give to get any verification==it's probably the number of the scammer sitting in the desk beside him.

After reading these posts, I'll say it again: DON'T EVER, EVER, EVER, EVER give out personal information to anyone contacting you by telephone. Always contact the real company if you're not sure.

Second, for those with elderly parents, instruct them to always contact you first if they get a call asking for information. Tell them to say, "Thank you. I'm going to contact my son/daughter to handle this for me." Again, 99.9999% of the time this will end in a hang-up call.

FYI, MALWARE BYTES and other "computer virus/worm/malware "security programs" are NOT FUNCTIONING 100%, because by the time people are downloading to program, malicious hackers have already "redirected code" recognition that GOVERNMENT AND LEGAL AUTHORITIES NEED TO DO SOMETHING TO DETER FURTHER CRIMINAL/MALICIOUS ACTIVITY!!! CRIMINALS NEED TO REMAIN IN PRISON to prevent them from causing harm to more people. This corruption and immoral abuse against the innocent and vulnerable NEEDS TO BE STOPPED, or at the VEY LEAST, CONTAINED! With karma being what it is, it will hit THE CRIMINALS' families, but even then, it seems these kinds of people don't even care about their own families, and oftentimes, even themselves.

Oh I feel stupid who fbi but I've got tons of evidence names addresses bank accounts. Oh I just had back surgery
Disabled widdow my banker says I'm maim target I'll be homeless soon if I don't get help.

My mom unfortunately fell for the scam from Electronic Wizard Support Services out of Eden, MN. "Eric" wants to help my mom receive her money back - because they went bankrupt and now the US Government is in control of their company. Eric needs to get into her computer so he can reimburse her..... Really? WTH? His number comes through as 321-549-5483.

Simply restart your machine if you receive those stupid pop ups...worked for me..

Nov. 2015 I received the "alarm" call & was fool enough to sign up w/Avangatee, San Leandro, Ca for 1st $789, then $499, for lifetime security against hacking.... A recent demand for more $ cued me to realize I've been scammed. Now I want revenge.... Is there a club forming?

Just got a text from 732-873 that said: verification code 862057
I had not requested any codes so I am deleting this text. Looked up this number and found that it is part of this scam stuff.

I've had several calls claiming they are from Microsoft. Some calls with an Indian accent have an unknown number.
This time the caller had an East European accent
Phone number: +44 1655 060790
When I tell them not to call again, they hang up, or I do

I received a call last month pretending to be from Microsoft and told me that my laptop had some malicious activity and they took control of my laptop but I terminated in the middle of it when they asked me to pay for them to fix it. I just bought the laptop so I thought they were real. He spoke good English and it was a US number

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