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Official-sounding calls about an email hack

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There’s a new twist on tech-support scams — you know, the one where crooks try to get access to your computer or sensitive information by offering to “fix” a computer problem that doesn’t actually exist. Lately, we’ve heard reports that people are getting calls from someone claiming to be from the Global Privacy Enforcement Network. Their claim? That your email account has been hacked and is sending fraudulent messages. They say they’ll have to take legal action against you, unless you let them fix the problem right away.

If you raise questions, the scammers turn up the pressure – but they’ve also given out phone numbers of actual Federal Trade Commission staff (who have been surprised to get calls). The scammers also have sent people to the actual website for the Global Privacy Enforcement Network. (It’s a real thing: it’s an organization that helps governments work together on cross-border privacy cooperation.)

Here are few things to remember if you get any kind of tech-support call, no matter who they say they are:

  • Don’t give control of your computer to anyone who calls you offering to “fix” your computer.
  • Never give out or confirm your financial or sensitive information to anyone who contacts you.
  • Getting pressure to act immediately? That’s a sure sign of a scam. Hang up.
  • If you have concerns, contact your security software company directly. Use contact information you know is right, not what the caller gives you.

Read on to learn more about tech-support scams and government imposter scams. And, if you spot a scam, tell the FTC.

Tagged with: email, imposter, scam

Comments

I had cable carrier put a block on calls that seem to ne fraudulent i.e. from India.

Thank you! I may have encountered some of these scams in the past few months, but didn't "bite."

the use of faked anti virus software complete with a legitimate page image copied from a valid provider is also a danger. .best to independently contact your service provider using your own contact info not that given by the possible scammer

I have received several Scam calls telling me they are from Microsoft to fix a software problem. On the first call I told him that I had a Mac and did not use anything from Microsoft. He immediately got flustered and said he would transfer my call to their Mac tech. I told him this was a Scam call and not to call me again. He then began to use very foul language to tell me what he would do to me!!! On the second call, I just told him this was a Scam and to get off the line. Then I hung up!

I have been slammed with these kind of calls for over 2 years now and they just will not stop, I stopped answering the phone unless I know the number and its from family or a friend. These people keep changing the phone number so that you do not know who is calling. I feel like that have control of my phone sometime or have tapped into my line. I would like to know how to stop these calls.

Blocking the number does not work for me they just keep calling.

No it doesn't and they use my numbers to call me! I have an old phone one of those go phones not my real phone and set up no voice mail on any phone but I forward calls from house to that $29 go phone.

Can anyone tell me how can i report about a scam company registered in the United States. I am not a victim of a scam and i am not a resident of the United States. Is there any particular email id where i can report the information to or a particular phone number to contact.

Few days back, I came across information that these people are now operating Scam from their homes. Actually, after working for only 4-5 months in these ‘scammy’ organizations it’s pretty much easy to gather information how this scam operates. And since there is an awful lot of money, employees are now leaving these companies and are operating this type of unethical business sitting at their homes which means more frustrating calls to people of United States.They push some fake popup message on people's computer stating that they have virus on their computer with a toll free number 800-xxx-xxx. When somebody calls them they take the remote control & invade the computer. After removing that fake popup message they force customer to buy products which and charge innocent people.

If these people will make 1 sale everyday then they will earn around 450,000 INR per month and in a year this amount will turn up to 54,00,000 INR which is a jaw dropping amount to any Indian. This calculation is based on 1 sale by 1 person every day. What will happen if they make 5 sales every day? It's freakishly huge!!!

You will be surprised that these people don't even need a telephone connection to call people. They use Skype. A top up with $25 gives unlimited calls to landline numbers for US for 1 month. And that's the reason i believe of receiving calls from a strange number because that’s Skype’s unknown number. This is kind of lottery for these people.

You can report this to econsumer.gov.

econsumer.gov is an initiative of the International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network. 

Your complaint will be accessible to law enforcement agencies around the world.

Hi Bridget,
Is there any email address to forward the relevant documents and voice recording related to scam.

You can include emails in a complaint you file with the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint. You can copy & paste email directly into the complaint online. The information you give will go into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

I have received 79 such calls(and counting) from the following numbers. Can you stop these people ? NUMBER/ NUMBER OF TIMES CALLED: (115) 875-4550 10; (123) 456-7809 1; (143) 550-7311 1 (;210) 280-8487 1 ;(210) 280-8488 1 ;(210) 301-0307 4 ;(210) 526-6628 3 ;(215) 454-2121 1 ;(231) 451-2211 1 ;(245) 897-6589 3; (281) 941-7301 2 ;(304) 743-8823 2 ;(305) 356-9999 1 ;(307) 278-6036 2; (310) 659-0786 2 ;(360) 232-1102 1 ;(482) 458-9112 3 ;(518) 717-6542 1 ;(609) 503-7035 2 ;(631) 402-9184 1 ;(716) 200-4864 1 ;(716) 462-4705 2; (810) 410-4973 1 ;(845) 263-1230 2; (845) 277-0281 4 ;(845) 459-2756 2; (845) 459-2789 3 ;(845) 459-4954 3 ;(845) 954-2172 2; (877) 697-4785 1 ;(884) 577-1246 1; (888) 860-4610 4 ;(904) 699-9831 6 ;(918) 274-1659 1 ;(952) 819-2789 1 ;954) 741-2566 1 ;(985) 625-4516 1

I have a more detailed list if you want it.

You can report the unwanted calls to the FTC at FTC.gov/complaint.

I received an email 4/6 stating that my computer had been hacked. I was given the phone # 855-543-1126 to call, then directed to #877-228-9164. Talked with Logan Marsh at DEVSELLER, a foreigner, and he proceeded to work on my computer and installed avant internet program. Paid the fee. Afterwards, I still had the same warning showing on my computer, so I contacted my credit car company and stopped payment on the charge. Pleas advise how to protect from this invasion of my personal information.

This FTC article tells what you can do if you think someone put malware (malicious software) on your computer.

Got a call the other day saying Dell wanted to check my computer because it was leaving signals on the servers. I asked for their number and said I would call back...which I didn't.

Thanks for the heads up. I have received several such calls. I told them to go pound sand.

We get these scams all the tie. It is scary. Can't theFTC do something about them?

Thank you very much for this valuable information from FTC and the FTC Support Team.

My husband and I have a great deal of fun with these people - free entertainment. And the longer we keep them on the line the fewer people they can try to con.

I do the same thing. Let them think that I'm going to do what they ask and then let them down hard at the end. I personally hate all telemarketers and anytime I can give them some grief, I jump at it.

Keeping my thoughts open to this scam. Thank you!

irs called me about lawsuit today 2132357888 SCAM!!!!

I have received several calls from someone saying they had been receiving reports of some kind of malicious issues concerning my laptop.Immediately said he would help fix this and wanted me to let him in my laptop....I refused.I received 7 calls this week from the same phone number (800)625-9896. I called dell service last night to check this out and there was no reports concerning my laptop.She said it was a fraud and not let them into my computer.These guys need to be stopped.If I hadn't fell for this about a year ago I wouldn't have thought anything about it.

Today I was taken in.....hate it and embarrassed....a link in a friend's email brought a browser 'window warning' of infection and phone #877-488-6713 who was a woman (accent) saying she was the Mac security department - she actually convinced me to let her take control of my computer (dumb me) and 'showed' me that I had been hacked at my IP address level as well as by Koobface.....she connected me with a man (part of Geek Defenders LLC - with an authentic-looking web site!) who then confirmed what she said, then connected me with a technician (Brian) who 'corrected' the problems after about 30 minutes (still in control.....yeow) and then connected me with Ethan in billing who wanted a check ($199.99 for 1 year warrenty/service) mailed to them at 3524 Silverside Road Suite 35B in Wilmington, DE 19810-4929. I became increasingly suspicious as I was involved in this....although I must say that these people were pleasant while at the same time assertive - so after hanging up, I decided to investigate the company and the issue and the process to look for complaints. Found them! Thank heavens I didn't actually pay them any money and I have filed a complaint with the FTC. What some of you have written on this blog really helped me put all the puzzle pieces together....so thank you.

Today I received a phone call (510)-516-7086 from a so called ROBBY WILLIAMS telling me my laptop was used overseas to launder money, hack other people. I let him take control of my laptop for about 2 minutes and I restarted it after getting a feeling that he was lying.
Hes tried to call me several times now. He said that he must talk to me through my home phone to record the call. I told him that it wasnt working so he then agreed to talk on my cell. We talked for about 5 minutes while he asked if how many members were in my family, my age, who else uses my laptop. etc.. I really dont trust this guy. He said he couldn't tell me anything about him when i asked if he could confirm his identity other than just trying to tell me his name and where he was calling from. He says he is in Fremont, California. I confirmed the phone is from there with white pages but im still really concerned weather this guy is really trying to help me out. Please!! HELP ME.

If you think your computer has a problem, you can choose who will help you fix it.  You do not have to let a stranger have access to your computer. He could create problems for you.

This FTC article about malware (malicious software) explains how to check your computer yourself for problems.

The article also explains how to get rid of malware. You might need to get new security software or take your computer to a technician that you trust.

Just looking at his email, it could be a scam.

Regarding calls in which they ask for one of us by name... anyone with a thick accent, someone I do not recognize, or if they can't pronounce our name correctly- I act sad and tell them that person died. It works great to get off of their list.

I'm getting lots of email notices about various bills, bank issues, client files, blocked bank transactions, shipping issues. They all seem plausible. Thank goodness the first one was from Major pickup- that name made me suspicious. I ignore all and error on the side of missing something important and real. I saved them and using information from this site I can now report them. Thanks.

Stop the IRS calls by saying these 3 things, IRS never makes phone calls, you do not have enough numbers for an IRS badge, and I am reporting this phone number to FTC immediately, they hung up and I never received another call.And Microsoft never makes unsolicited phone calls, never ever give control of your computer to anyone no matter who they say they are. You would have to make the initial contact to Microsoft or Dell, it's hard enough to call in and get someone, let alone they voluntarily call you. And stating the obvious, the accents with these scammers is so thick you can't understand them. Do you really think reputable companies hire people who could not make themselves understood to the public.

Thank you FTC for all the invaluable information given on your site. I check it out daily.

I also just got a call from (800)625-9896 (one number off from a Dell tech support number) pretending to be from Dell and claiming that they were getting malicious reports from my computer. They knew my first name and that I had a Dell computer. I've gotten a call like this in the past from someone supposedly from Microsoft who tried to pressure me and eventually got aggressive, claiming I'd get in trouble with the law. Both calls sounded funny, and I knew they were scams and did not let them into my computer or give information. The guy calling tried to convince me he was real be providing a technician number.

Receiving repeated call for window support telling me I have been hacked. Called ID 1-541-826 3174 Roy Robinson. Caller sounds Asian. Quite pushy

I just received a call from a company called Soft Weak Corp and they claimed that my MAC computer had been hacked and that someone was using my email without authorization. The callers were very pushy and were foreigners. They tried to pressure me to immediately turn on my computer and to give them access to my computer. Something told me this information was incorrect and I immediately contacted a computer person I knew to verify this. I was told it was a phishing scam to obtain my information. I then looked up the company and saw others had been scammed by someone similar. As a warning please do not give them access to your information or your computer. They want money and access to your computer.

My grandmother recieved a call today. Asian lady, said she needed to fix her computer. Said the computer was going to crash. A guy got on the phone said his name was Roy R   , caller id 541-826-3174. Luckly she hung up on them. I did a reverse number and the phone number came back to a Roy R     

Just receieved a call from 541-826-3174. I didn't answer any of his questions and he hung up on me, but not before he tried telling me that they have received numerous messages about a virus on my computer.

541-826-3174 May 26,2016 Caller ID Roy C Robinson Guy with foreign accent asking about computer and I hung up. 541-826-8022 Caller ID Charles Pierce Lady with a foreign accent said her name was Jen and also asked questions about our computer. Hung up on her too.

(832) 319-3990 again today, (401) 406-2631 almost everyday. So many others almost daily, blowing up my cell phone and my voice mail. It is driving me insane!!!

(541) 826-3174 -- Caller ID said "Robinson, R & G" Caller said that my Windows had been attacked and was vulnerable to hackers. About this time I hung up, since I have read warnings lately about scams like this. I'm making a note to avoid answering calls from that number.

We get calls for this repeatedly there has been at least 3 in the last year! They told my mom they needed to take remote control of the computer thank god she did not believe them!

I am familiar with this scam but recently had a friend who is not technically savvy get a phone call on your computer or in a pop up saying that her computer have been infected etcetera etcetera claiming to be Microsoft. Sadly she actually gave them remote access but then immediately called me and I had unplug the router and shut her computer down. They never blacked out her screen. What they did was make it so that whenever the computer booted up it went into safe mode. This was easily fixable. I had to check our bank statements PayPal xcetera and change your passwords to everything. I scanned her computer and installed better virus and security software. She does continue to get messages from the hackers via voice pop up. The last time which was this morning they gave up calling themselves tech support and just said they were hackers. And that they would shut her computer down unless they gave him money. She didn't do anything and just turned your computer off. I'm trying to figure out where they're able to do this where the vulnerability is? I think if they're able to shutdown her computer they would have done it already. She knows not to answer the calls or call them back now. But I'd like to be able to stop these pop-ups from happening they're very scary for her. She has Norton full Security Suite xcetera not sure what else to do at this point any help would be appreciated.

giving your friend a new operating system. We left Windows and went to Linux. Most Linux operating systems are free and are easy to install and easy to use. They are different than Windows and you may have a learning curve with Linux, but after you get used to it, you will never want to go back. We have not had a single virus sine we made the switch to Linux. I suggest starting out with Ubuntu. Once you have gotten used to Ubuntu, you can try other Linux operating systems. My favorite is now PCLinuxOs, and it's head developer is in Texas. My husband used to be riddled with viruses and pop ups and ever since I got him on Linux, he hasn't had one single virus or pop up.

A new Spam pop on computer today has to be regarding info on a 32 file double checking validity. "TROJAN STORY" I will name this one for today. It took over most of my day securing my computer to the best of my ability. Do not hit ok at end. DO NOT CALL it does not lock up fyi.... Numbers to spam: that are involved... 844-291-6710,844-291-6718,844-458-4204. They actually talked to me stating they would fix my computer, one hung up. THE SPAM:SCAM: STATED, I ALSO HAVE SCREEN PRINT. "A Suspicious Connection was trying to access your login, banking details and tracking your internet activities. Security and firewall services are disabled error code 0x8007042c. Your TCP connection was blocked by your firewall. Your accounts may be suspended until you take action. Your personal information may have leaked. Immediate response Required. Your hard disk may have Trojan on it. Please do not try to fix manually, it may crash your data. Please visit your nearest service center or call help desk. Please do not shut down or restart your computer doing that may lead to data loss and failiure (failure) ~misspelled as well~ Of operating system. Hence non-bootable situation resulting complete data loss. Contact administrator department to resolve the issue. YOUR SYSTEM 32. NET FRAME WORK FILE MISSING DUE TO SOME HARMFUL VIRUS, debug malware error 895 system 32. Exe failure. Please contact network administration to rectify the issue. Please do NOT open internet for your security issue to avoid data corruption on your registery of your system. Please contact network administration department toll free 184445842014.

THE STORY: THEY ATTACHED: AT THE END TO HOPE SOMEONE WAS INTERESTED ENOUGH TO HIT OK... BUBBLE AT END.. Virus Trojan horse, or Trojan, in computing is a non self replicating type of malware program containing malicious code that, when executed, carries out actions determined by the nature of the Trojan, typically causing loss or theft of data, and possible system harm. The term is derived from the story of the wooden horse used to trick defenders of Troy into taking concealed warriors into their city in ancient Greece, because computer Trojans often employ a form of social engineering, presenting themselves as routine, useful, or INTERESTING in order to PERSUADE victims to INSTALL them on their computers. However then they also continue same story stating A Trojan often act...... OK HIT BUBBLE TO CONTINUE..... So I ran my program with zero virus unless well hidden. Was hoping for an extra layer of help/protection. Will research more. Any suggestions for the world.. or just a simple WARNING OF NEW SPAM ALERTS are helpful. I signed up today, THANK YOU! We all appreciate a heads up on conspiring minds of evil people trying to gain unlawfully in anyway. I Thank you for everything you do to keep our world safe from people like this! Sincerely, SECURITY ALERT

For the past 2 days I was getting calls from a number that is 19917 and kept on ignoring it. So finally I picked up and the man had a Indian accent and claimed my computer is infected and that he would fix it. So I let him take control of my computer and started intalling junk. And he informed me that there would be a $10 fee for his service. He told me to put my credit card information so I could pay it off. He also told me to not touch my computer until he is done. And little did I know that he tricked me into signing up for Wester Union, which is a money transfer company. I checked my email and get a receipt that says $390 has been taken out of my credit card. I told him that and he said not to worry. After that I just hung up and uninstalled all of the junk that he put onto my computer. I informed Western Union about this incident and they said that they would block my credit and card and inform law enforcement. Afterwards this person still kept on calling me and I blocked his number.

Seems this scam is still going around. Received a call from an unknown number by a guy with a heavy Indian accent. Stated he was from an ATT support center in Texas (lots of call center noise in the background.) Wanted me to open up files on my computer because AT&T had evidence of an Australian hacking group attempting to place malware on my computer. I told him AT&T has my address and to send me something in the mail.

There are many entities that are affecting people's life...As Trump says The Wall have ears and begger seeking for details in regards topics info..In which we ask President Trump for new Wall Security Act ... Today I received a gain call of 9 phone numbers of whom included my former boss gang ... Cyber, social,and phone hacking has affected me since 2010 in which it has caused me over 1.5 million dollars just insalary and medical bills not including freedom family time, my children's birthdays,graduations, special family reunions, basic becces, and pain and suffering without including pain and suffering from public humiliation. Living me and my family vulnerable from phishing andhackers unable to bring forward proving probable cause. Therefore unless something changes ...We are all vulnerable to bullying.

Phishing and hackers affect individuals lacks Justice to the poor benefiting the true schemers profiling without due process.

I still receive calls from Microsoft security telling me my PC has been hacked, or some tech company wants to return my money. I like to jerk them around. I tell them I am Agent Daniels and my computer is on a government secured network and my supervisor will have to handle this matter. They hang up Try it sometoime

I received a phone call yesterday from someone claiming to be from rocketmail. They said my account had been hacked and was sending out abisive content and that they needed my IP address to fix the issue. I hung up but it is weird. I did used to have a rocketmail email but I deleted it about a year ago. Rocketmail is owned by yahoo so I don't think it was a legitimate phone call. Does anyone know if this is for sure a scam?

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