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Pass it on: tech support scams

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Earlier today, we announced a bunch of cases against tech support scammers: the people who act like there’s a problem with your computer and then try to convince you to fork over money to fix – ahem – “fix” it. Except there never was a problem, and they weren’t really from tech support.

Many of us have gotten those calls. Some of us have seen what looks like a pop-up on our computer screen. People I know – and maybe some that you know – have been convinced enough to talk with the scammers. That’s why the FTC, our partners at the Florida Attorney General’s office, and other law enforcement are trying to stop these scammers in their tracks.

So, what can you do? Well, now that you know how to spot the scam, you can pass that knowledge on. Tell people about it. And, if you’re on social media, share this post – and this quick video. (It shares better from this link.) It shows what happens in a tech support scam – and what you can do about it. And thanks!


Tagged with: imposter, scam, technology
Blog Topics: 
Money & Credit


Don't use the people that come up on a Google search for support. I found out the hard way that the scammers are buying advertisement on Google. They say they are support for i.e. Google, Microsoft, and many more.

I've been scammed, by auto dealers in muy area, I've turned them in to etc, cpfb, states attorney, no body cares, they just let it happen, let it go on, abuser of disabled and elderly

yep just wanted to share that a popup stating i had a virus directed me to call 1-844-208-2608 nts it care out of california. guy took over my laptop to show me all the problems i had.. lol wanted 200.00 to fix i didnt fall for this luckly but he was very convincing . these crooks should be closed down the bbb in california has had several complaints on them... wish we could protect the hard working law abiding citizens in this country...

I got the identical call. The virus name they claimed I was exposed to was ZEUS Virus. Asked for $199.99 to fix computer. I told them to call me in the AM. They must have thought I was setting them up for a bust, and never contacted me.

Yes, rec'd the popup as well re a 'ZEUS' virus going by the name of NTS Global Service, CA based, at the same telephone number. They presented themselves as NTS IT helpdesk techs. As others have questioned, so do I: WHY BOTHER FILING A COMPLAINT, ETC. ETC. AS SUGGESTED WHEN NOTHING IS DONE TO PROSECUTE AND SHUT DOWN THESE SCAMMERS WHEN ALL THE INFO, ETC. HAS BEEN SUPPLIED?????

When people report scams at, the information goes into a database that the FTC and law enforcemetn partners use for investigations.

In May, the FTC and its partners  announced 16 new actions, including complaints, settlements, indictments, and guilty pleas, against deceptive tech support operations. This brings to 29 the number of law enforcement actions brought by Operation Tech Trap partners in the last year to stop tech support scams.

On the pop up scam, how would I report it? Happened on both my husband's and my laptop . Did ctrl alt del and a hard shut down.can you tell us if there is a way to prevent these? We are very careful with our electronics. A hard shut down is okay, but it certainly isn't good for a computer. Another thing is pop up ads, that prevent reading an online article. On the scam calls, we have thought perhaps DNC list has been sold. Have gotten them after 10pm, before 8am... if our phones ring after 9pm or before 8am, we know something is horribly wrong with someone we love. We have even thought about getting trac phones to give those numbers to friends and family so we can turn the ringer off on our regular phones and just check vm once a day. But, my husband is looking for work, which increases the likelihood of needing to answer a strange number. In the US, we need funds spent on tools to stop these scammers, and punish them.

You can report the pop-up scams to the FTC at The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. Thank you.

if you get one of these again and you can not shut down the page just go to your task bar at the bottom of the screen and right clik on it. the task manager will open up click on your broswer then left click on end task. the window will shut down and you will not have to do a restart... if you are using firefox after you shut the window down click on fire fox again and it should open a window that aploigizes for shutting down . and it will ask you if you want to restore your sessions... instead of doing that click above it where it says view previous tabs.... that way you get to see all the window you had open and also the problem window... uncheck the problem window then click on restore session... problem solved.... I get these plenty of times ..does not affect the computer at all....

Cost me a new computer. Said they were with Microsoft.

these repair scam people are located offshore and often use the name of the company that made your computer we are fooled because the company that made the computer also went offshore for the lower labor charges for the offshore tecks

My daughter is a teen she was promted for windows update then her computer crashed we have been unable to turn it back on. cost us a new computer

3/24/14 I got a call from Sach Solutions saying something wrong with my computer Would fix for $299.99 and cover three computers for 5 years. Gave permission to fix all three computers and they gave me a signed contract. On 8/29/14 called again. Something wrong with my computer and would fix for another $199.99 with a 10 year contract on three computers. said they fixed the problem again. A few months later they called again saying the same thing wanting more money. I finally got wise hung up the phone and searched them on the computer to find out they was a scam. I reported them to the BBB with a response later they closed the case for they got no response from Sach Solutions. So I am out $500. Now I get this letter from the FTC. But I do not see Sach Solutions on the list of scammers. So I feel the need to report this again and this is the only way I know how. Sach Solutions address San Jose Ca. phone 888-206-2070. They have called me numerous times since 2014 including two months ago which was in March 2017. I keep telling them to stop calling. But it has not stopped. I ended up contacting Norton to fix my computers back to the way they was suppose to be for Sach Solutions had a bug or cookie in my computer according to Norton which cost me more money to have them fix me up with their antivirus and take out what Sach Solutions did.

To report a company to the FTC, go to You can tell what the callers said, and what they did and how much they charged you. That information will go into the FTC's law enforcement database.

When you write a comment here on the blog, the information doesn't go into the law enforcement database.

I have been charged monthly on my credit card for the last 5 months from two companies. (due to illness family has been taking care of my bills) so I did not catch this until now. The companies are KLPMakeup and Makeup365 out of Florida....both with same phone number. I never signed up for anything, nor have I received anything.

This FTC article about disputing credit card charges has information about your right to dispute unauthorized charges with your credit card company.

I don't have a problem with paying online as long as they do what they say they will do now they toke my money and I did not get what I was supposed to and they would not talk to me at all and their site will not let show screen shots on what's up to which I have on my the computer please help they got a new and good game and it would be a shame to see it gone because of one person look either give me what I bought or shut them down in 24 hours I will be talking to the FCC if something needs to be done please I would be grateful and others would be to thanks the name is Conflit of Nations

If you want to report a scam, please go to You can provide information about the company, what it promised, and what you got. The information you give goes into a database that law enforcement uses for investigations.

This was originally posted by me August 8, 2016 and I am replying to Jamie's post here that I found on the Microsoft site itself. I did report the scam to the FTC but there is no way to find that post, if there is can someone let me know how to find it? All this time and it is just coming to lite now!

In reply to JamieHertter's post on January 8, 2016

I got this call yesterday. I'm not sure the accent wasn't faked. He sounded like Borat. When I asked him if he was calling from Kazakstan, he said "Nice-a to help-a you, but I do not-a understand-a."  He told me I was running Windows 10 on an HP. When I said "Nope." He acted shocked. I also entertained the call to see if I could get more info, but then my manager called and just hung up. Maybe he'll call back. I'll keep him on for a while and maybe save someone else from getting scammed that day!

This scam happened to me yesterday.  A very loud "beeping" noise started on my PC and a popup that looked like a legitimate MS logo said I had a virus and directed me to call  number.  Being 60 years old and have never been taken for a ride, I truly thought is was legit.  Guy had heavy Pakistan accent, and by the time 7 hours went by, (I had foolishly let him have access to my PC(:, I was out 49.00 for stupid McCaffe anti-virus and he had all my info..  When I asked his name, he said it was Max Payne.  Well, after all that, when I thought I could get back on-line, I was locked out!!!!!!   So trying to call him back at the number given, 917-668-7979, of course there was no answer.    So, then I called my VTec Support and after I told the gentleman the whole cockamani story, he started laughing and aploligized at the same time because "Max Payne" is a game!!!!!   How would I @ 60 years old know that?   Anyway to make a long story short, he directed me to reset my PC and to never click on or answer a call if anyone claims to be MS.  I closed my bank accounts, CC's and will now have to hope that these evil vultures can never get in my account again.   Masquerading as GLOBAL WEB MASTERS.  I am filing complaints with my local PD, FCC and Internet Crime.  I felt like such a fool!!!!  People, let this be a beacon for all of us and get the word out there as you have mentioned above!!!!!

Are any legitimate? Computer Tech Support at 855-820-8680?

I use a public computer, I have never gotten any of these notices, but I do get telephone calls @ home by someone (Asian accent) telling me that they want to fix my computer. I DO NOT have a computer @home, when I tell him this he argues that I do and he wants to fix my Microsoft Windows.

Even though I was scammed once (and was a victim per DOJ), these scammers continue to call me and probably will until I die. Now I know enough to HANG UP. I do not have caller ID so cannot see where the call is coming from. PLEASE folks, hang up and don't lose your money!!

I talk to them all the time.. try to keep them on the phone as long as I can... the longer i keep them on the phone less people they take advantage of... I work on computers so I know they are bull

james Morris of Marvs Technology threatened that if I didn't allow them to "clean up" errors, that my machine would crash & be unusable. He opened a window, put in user name & password & refused to take it out. Claimed that they would assign level 10 MS certified technician.

This FTC article about malware lists some things you can do to get rid of malware that a scammer put on your computer.

Tech Scam: Date 5/14/17 Info: Technician Name: Jimy Walker (Microstar Solutions) (Network Security) Phone Number:855-675-0098 Ext.1003 (12 to 9) (East Time)

i am from Mississippi and all i ever hear about is the scams going around and i think you guys do a great job by stopping them.

Happened to me 2 years ago, they took over my computer and stole my microsoft. Cant use it till i get it fixed

I have been texting and emailing with a scammer for almost 4 weeks. I managed to have him/her send me information of where he/she lives, complete name, even bank account information. If anyone is interested in collecting these things please let me know.

The FTC wants that information. Please report this to The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. Thank you.

Worth reading today.

I am from California and all I ever hear about is the scams going around and I think you guys do a great job by stopping them. But how they have your information as Full name and address. I just got a call of this people offering me a $9000 everything was going great till them ask me for a Gifcard of $250 value.

I get calls for US Gov't Grant, I told them they are scammers, the government doesn't call people about free grants! Don't fall for this one either. I also was scammed from Microsoft where they freeze up your computer until you call them to fix it and you wind up with a virus! I won't let it happen again. If you need Microsoft, You contact them!!

I was scammed by Break Logic telling me my computer was infected with a Zeus Virus. I'm a senior citizen and they got me for $250. Do I have any recourse?

You have a right to dispute a credit card charge if an item wasn't delivered as promised. If you paid with a credit card, and didn't get the service you were promised, you could contact your credit card company and dispute the charge.

I have no word to appreciate you. Want say only Tremendous!!! Keep it up.

I am from NY and A Sr.Citizen I got calls from a number 1 202 657 6060 and name he said William Parker from Department of US Government Treasury and eligible to obtain $.10000 and to to process the paper works they want $100 I sent it via iTunes card XCYxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Unfortunately, when you tell someone the code from the back of an iTunes card, they take the value of the card immediately. The person who called you was a government imposter. The federal government does not call people and offer grants.

I would assume that for the most part, tech support doesn't advertise and that you can just go to the official website of your service provider to call them making anything else fake.

How do you report the number that is on the scam for example I was asked to call isn't there a way to shut them down?

Will the FTC ever call an individual and offer to help them receive their money back?

FTC staff don't call people very often, but government imposters pretend to be from the FTC and call people to try and get their personal or financial information.

A FTC lawyer or investigator might call you about a case. If they do, they can send you an email to prove their government email address. The email address will end in ".gov" with no letters after it. You can call the FTC at (202) 326-2222 to find a staff member.

If someone tells you they're from the FTC, tell them you want proof. Tell them to send you an email that shows their .gov address.

Today I was duped by Indian accent fellas who took control of my laptop supposedly placed permanent a pop-up blocker and IP BLOCKER sec to a ZEUS VIRUS. This group is supposedly out of Delaware per fake address. How do I regain control of my computer and other devices after they've supposedly "fixed" the fake problem w the IP address and pop-up blocker? Im so upset!!!

I just called the FTC office after reporting the details of the phone scam. "Edmund" was speaking so fast I could barely understand him. The bottom line was that he seemed absolutely uninterested in what I had to say and simply read a canned reply off of a computer screen. I asked him what we as consumers could do to help shut these scammers down. He just said to hang up on them. But I said, "how can we help get more info for your investigation w/o asking the callers for more info? They won't just volunteer details". He just read the same computer screen reply. It doesn't seem the FTC is that interested in collecting information from consumers to go after these criminals.

Been getting these calls fron same man and told him my computer is fine. Leave me alone and put me on the do not call list but keeps calling from either a California number(had but misplaced) or 44-5587

For those of you having these issues, I can tell you that they have gotten me twice. I was very hesitant, especially the second time, but they were playing off the news warnings of all the computers and electronic devices that were being disabled all over the world in mid-May. There were warnings out that this could happen in the USA at any time. It was all over the news. I got the official looking Microsoft Windows page, complete with company logos and such, saying that I had a problem, and if I did not contact Microsoft Techs immediately, I would lose all credit card info and bank info among other things. I do a lot of business online, so I was worried. I hung up on them the first time, but then I did talk to them. I watched carefully as they were running their scans and such on my computer, and I could see that there were no viruses or malware being found. It was too late, as they already had my money. I was told this would cover me for monthly scans for a year, but that this would actually give me lifetime coverage. I was told that when I replace this computer, just transfer the information onto the new one, and I will continue to be covered. I was given a Customer ID and told any time anyone calls about my computer, to give them no information until they give me my customer ID. I was also given an online address for support. They gave me a phone number of 888-987-2698 and told me not to attempt to contact them on any other number. We fussed about the fact that the number on the Microsoft window and the one they were giving me was different. The one on the Microsoft window was 844-324-4706, and it went directly to their people. The name of the company that I was given, swearing they were legitimate support for Microsoft, was Resultronix. The tech was a lady named Kamal. This is a different name than they were using last year. I will report this to the FTC, but I have little hope they can help. We need to close as many of these places down as we can. I'm a computer trainer, and my normal reaction would have been to go down the hall to one of my own techs for information, or to research the company online. However, I was away from the office, and I had no way to do either with my computer showing the dreaded message from Microsoft. As an aside, I also received a message said to be from Google warning me of an attempt to access my Google account by a computer showing its origin to be St. Petersburg, Russia. It told me that if that was not me, I should change my password immediately. I had received that message about a week or so before the Microsoft window popped up, so I was concerned about both. Let's do all we can to stop these guys. I don't think any of us want to support the income to these lousy companies.

This very thing just happened to me!! I called and they refunded my money and stopped working on my computer immediately

Pop-up box on computer from Microsoft supposedly with phone number which I called. Said his name was Fred Gray. Wanted to sell tech support and anti-malware to "fix" my computer as it had been compromised. Charge for tech support and to install "anti-malware" - asked what anti-malware I had on computer. I talked to him so much that he was frustrated. Gave him no info.

On 5/22, 7:04 PM I received a hoax "tech call" about my computer. The female voice had some type of Asian accent, and the call was from "Certified Audit" at 973-785-3000. I receive many calls like this over the years and just tell them to stop calling, that I don't give info over the phone. NEVER give any info over the phone or Internet unless you know for certain it is a legitimate source. Take the number down, tell them you'll call back, but tell them nothing more about yourself. After I get their number, I always report them.

I have received numerous calls since coming back from vacation regarding these people calling me, they called from Caller ID Say's "Maryland 410-789-6524 claiming to be from Computer Management IT Dept for Microsoft & his name is David, today received another call from the same person with a different # Caller ID States it is Cobourg,ON # is 905-342-4110 they are to call back again today at 4pm est. He "David" told me that my computer has been sending them errors all week, I wasn't even home away on vacation so how can that be? These people are getting out of control I do know in fact if you do let them in Please watch your bank accounts a friend of mine had this happen & they were trying to continue to take money out of their account numerous times & had to change bank accounts 3 times, as they do not stop trying to steal from you. I Pray that the FTC will get these scammers they are getting away with too much money from people that don't understand what is going on, or they don't use this site as we do. I would like to Thank the FTC for providing this site for all of us to be aware of all that goes on in the World with all the scammers, etc.. Go Get them FTC Please..


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