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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


Happened to me around 11 pm. A very loud beeping noise with a message saying Windows System Failure. It kept repeating the beeping and robot voice saying your computer has been infected with a virus please contact Microsoft Support by contacting the toll free number. Do not close your pc. With a very legit looking MS logo. The toll free number 888-576-1517 was an Indian man named Amrit whom spoke to me about 15,000 plus viruses on my computer. He then asked me to hold the Microsoft button and R down where he Installed Citrix on my computer and then wanted $199.99 for a 1 year Microsoft Securities 3 years $319.00 5 years present/future devices $399.00 8 years present/future devices $499.00. After he asked for money that's when I started thinking it's a scam. I asked him several times if he really worked for Microsoft and if this was legit. I have reported it all to FTC and Microsoft. It's unbelievable the access they have to your computer even before you give them info. Now what to do?!

Contacted 5/19/2017, via online social media, Linked-in to become a "Mystery Shopper, with AMR Research, PO Box 4848, Boston, MA. 02110. I was mailed (2) non-account holding Citibank checks, # 135357 &135358, total amount of $5960.00. Both Citibank accounts #'s, routing #'s and account #'s are FALSE. Not associated with any Citibank accounts. I was instructed to DEPOSIT both checks into my Personal checking account, then take cash to purchase (4) electronic items: (1)APPLE MacBook Pro, 13" and (3) APPLE IPHONE No. 7. Once purchases were made, I was to send TEXT MESSAGE to (917) 535 - 8565. Further instructions would follow as to where to send the electronic equipment. I did NOT attempt to cash/deposit above listed CITIBANK checks. I have instead contacted the US POSTAL FRAUD DEPARTMENT, the Boston, MA Better Business Bureau, Linked-in - Fraud Dept.,, and APPLE COMPUTER FRAUD DEPT. Thank you.

I fell for it. Was really scary. Was able to have my credit card company reverse the charges. Reported them to the FTC. ISUPPORTEXPERTSLLC. Problem is they keep calling. I have blocked their number and then they call from UNKNOWN number. How do you make the calls stop?

I fell for the pop up tech support scam this weekend. The screen warned of dire file corruption (along with audio overlay demanding urgent attention and to call 1-855-357-4747.) I tried everything I could to shut this down but even after turning off the computer, it was still there. Without my computer to look up Microsoft's number or seek other advice -- (I live alone with nobody to call), I panicked and foolishly called. In the course of talking to the guy (Peter Marshall), I let him remotely access my computer. He gave me mumbo jumbo about finding evidence of infection which would require having a Microsoft Level 3 technician diagnose and repair it for $100. He also offered a security package ranging from $100 for one year to $800 for lifetime. I declined the latter but did agree to the $100 technical service fee. He called back within the hour to say it was fixed and took my credit card info along with name, address, phone, and e-address.

I have since cancelled my credit card, reported this to Microsoft and via the FTC complaint form, have put a fraud alert on my credit report, and run a full security screen of my computer through McAfee and Microsoft Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool. Nothing was found so I'm hopeful this was a scam of my initial $100 and stealing of my credit card info rather than even deeper trouble. It will be hard to feel safe again online. They're good at preying upon fear and despite knowing better, I was duped. Is there anything else I should do beyond the steps I took to contain potential damage??

Got a recorded call just now from 866-952-1082, message says the license key for Microsoft Windows on my computer is expired. Call to update the key.

Called the number (knew it was a scam, just wanted to see the latest). Got "George" on the phone, he wanted me to access www.help64 The website is odd, but basically they want you to download a tool so they can access your computer - DO NOT DOWNLOAD THIS TOOL!

This a variation of scams about virus fixes, performance improvement, etc. All of these want to gain remote access to your system, and from that point, they can find all sorts of information about you, and/or block access, etc.


Shut them all down. The gov. is too lax..I don't know of one single person who wants to receive electronic solicitations. Make them all ileagle quit playing nice.

I can't deal with th anymore says you have 8or 12 hrs to decided they charged my card 600.00 an not the fist time before I even decided I wanted it I can't believe someone has no phone number or call you back co my bank said it happens all the time it is what I live on what can I do..i changed it I told them I said not want any of it ask my card still going down last nth I had my card since 1stbthey got me for 600.00 an it wasn't time to process an thetmy changed my order...please help me pleasewhat was not correct .if there is a number please tell me my bank direct deposit for as I says their scamming people 'll the time any I ought to know what is a number to complain to wish .com? I copied this.

We get those calls once or twice a week. WE TALK TO THEM! Yep no matter what company they say they represent, we say we either have a different computer or NO computer. My record is 10 minutes before they get frustrated, swear and hang up. At least during that time they CANNOT CALL ANYONE ELSE.

I ALWAY SAVE THE NUMBER TO MY PANASONIC PHONE'S call block list. The US GOVERNMENT with the power of the NSA an other agencies are USELESS IN HELPING CITIZENS.

Add urgentechelp UTH to the list. They inform you about your computer is infected and are going to help. They only add two malware programs to your computer and remove the one that has been working sofar. Then they charge you a lotand keeo calling you for more help wih the purpose to get into your computer. Refusing that means that they harass you with numerous calls day and night and no way to have them put ona no-calling list since they may call from India or England.Don't get involve with them. The're crooks and may even steal your sensitive information.

I've been a computer technician for over 13 years and have helped hundreds of my local clients after being scammed. A few tips...

1. If you see a scary pop-up urging you to call a number, the easiest thing to do is pretend the pop-up is not there are turn off your computer they way that you normally do (hint: Start Button > Shut Down). If you are unable to access the Start button, press and HOLD the power button to forcefully shut down your computer. After about 5 seconds you will see the screen go dark. After you turn it back on, don't go back to the website or email that you were on just prior to seeing the pop-up.

2. If you continue to get calls, tell them your [close relative] works for Microsoft/Apple and he/she will take care of it. Don't listen for their response - just hang up.

3. If you want to have a little fun wasting their time - tell them "let me switch to the phone by the computer", then leave the phone off the hook for an hour or so while they wait. In the meantime you're helping prevent someone else from being scammed at the time.

got alot of these calls to my office phone home even my cell , I play around with them as if i am naiv and believe them and then after a few minutes , i laugh in thier face and tell them that they are scammers and that i am reporting them to the FBI , also my computer got a few times a virus warning with a 800 number to call , I just disconnect the computer and it goes away , Please be smart and dont full for these scammers scam them out of thier scam and warn others about it.

large popup covered my screen supposidly from Microsoft support systems saying I had a virus, to call this number immediately. I called, guy had accent, sounded like he was from India, I asked whats your name, who are you, he said to give him my phone# so he can call me back due to static on line. I clicked on red X upper right, but would not close, X would only flash onoff. I called my grandson, he said its a scam, press ctl+alt+delete @same time&hold, press task manager, click end all apps. Large popup disappeared. that was so scary! I failed to write down their ph#, I couldhave reported this scam to help others. auwe.

does this include the number 1-844-208-2608 NTS IT CARE

I had first been taken by Advanced Tech and then a guy named John Jr called me from pcexperts 12/28/2017and told me the Chinese had hacked my computer so made me pay him 432.99 and then 3/2/2017 another guy from pcexperts called Mark 800-701-2953 that I would have to pay $299.00 to fix my computer and I still thought they were ligit
then on about April this Mark called again and said they never got my money and I would have to give them that money again and I said no I am not paying twice so he back down..He kept saying the other money would come into my bank account which never did and both checks were deposited by John Jr so I decided I would not mess with them again as they told me I was hacked again. At first it was networks secure 247 and then it turned to pc experts. The number they are calling on now is 844-318-9400 and some days they call about twelve times. Hang up and call again.

Long story short.
Don't fall for accepting a refund.
They will make a mistake on the refund and then ask you to reimburse them via iTunes cards.

I though I was calling face book but now Iknow you cannot call face book. I got a new phone and could not get my face book account on it.The guy asked me if I wanted to connect with a microsoft person. He connected me to Austin Lewis a 1-855-675-0990. He said he was from Techhini. There is no such company.He toldme my computer had viruses and no protection. The charge was for $499. He did not want a credit card but a bank check made out to Techgini SolutionLLC. Bank of America is preventing the check from going through as I do believe he just wanted to get into my computer.

A company call Remote Geeks has a popup that will get into your computer. They call and pretend to be McAfee or Microsoft, etc. They use to get into your computer. They then convince you that they are from McAfee and then charge you to just run McAfee. Then you call the bank. In my case Capital One. Capitol one says you should not have given them your credit card number. Basically you either pay your bill or have your credit destroyed by Capitol One. Bank of America fixed a similar problem for me, so it is up to the bank to help you out of the scam. Bottom line, better to just buy a malware remover and new network security program. The fake computer techs are out there and no one has been able to stop them so far.

Even if you stop payment. You have to prove that you tried to deal with the scammers. My bank told me that I agreed to pay. The burden of proof is on me not the scammer. I too had to buy a new computer and will pay the scammer to save my credit rating.

Is there a list somewhere of the names of companies known to be tech support scammers or even just phone numbers? That would be a great help!

Got a computer control warning pop-up and a no. to call. ezytechsupport. com @ 8888987342. I fell for it hook, line and sinker. Forked over $ 299 and gave them access to the computer. They "fixed" the problem. have called back a few times to ask if everything is ok. Now they said they want to return my money because they are moving. Told them i've reported them to FBI. They hung up. More importantly how do I know for sure, after giving them access to my computer, that additional problems or theft will not occur?

Get rid of malware. Update or download legitimate security software and scan your computer. Delete anything the software says is a problem.

Change any passwords that you shared with someone. Change the passwords on every account that uses passwords you shared.

I was scammed through a pop-up on my computer from a company claiming to be Microsoft. My son had just passed away 1/28/17 and don't know if this has something to do with a GoFundMe account I set up, but the scam happened 2/2/17. I fell for it because of my state of mind. The person I spoke to claimed they were Microsoft Support from telephone number 1-866-460-3621. I allowed him to take control of my computer and after he was finished, he told me I needed to pay $500. Fell for that too. After the funeral, I contacted Microsoft and was told Microsoft NEVER CALLS CUSTOMERS and confirmed I was scammed. My credit card company reversed the charges. The name of the company on my credit card bill was USSOFTWAREMART in CA. I have been receiving telephone calls from these scammers nearly every month -- sometimes numerous times a day from different people and new telephone numbers. Some of the company names they mention are Support Card Solutions; All PC Care; I Support Expert and on every call they represent themselves as being Microsoft Support. Various names of callers are Richard; Mary; Michael; Eddy and they all have middle-eastern accents. They are very friendly and start off the conversation saying 'Hi, how are you today? Do you remember we are the people that helped you with your computer problems? I decided to play along just to see if I could get under their skin and asked them questions to try to confuse them. Like -- what's your name? What is your companies name? What's wrong with my computer? How do you know something is wrong with my computer? What is my IP address? If you helped me before why do you need to help me now? Eventually, they hang up. These people are trying to scam older people. I have reported them and hope the FTC takes this matter seriously because they are relentless and an elderly person can fall for this at $500 a pop. Some of the new numbers they are calling from are 844-837-6174; 844-543-5167; 877-216-9828 plus others I haven't written down. I hope the FTC gets these people and takes this matter seriously.

What if my desktop get critical error claiming it is from Firefox Mozilla and my passwords, finances are all at risk and to immediately call and put holds on my accounts and then call the "help desK" #?

That pop-up message could be a scam, not a real warning. Don't call a number that pops up in a warning like that. Don't click on links. Don't give anyone control of your computer. Tech support scams look like real warning messages, but they are fakes.

You might have to update the security software that is running on your computer now. The security software will scan your computer to see if there are any viruses or spyware on your computer. You should delete anything the software identifies as a problem. This FTC article tells more about dealing with malware.

UCL keeps calling saying they have to get into my computer because of foriners using your information. They will not take no for a answer.I fell for this once what a mess

646-889-1682 this is the number for the scam I just wrote about one of many he said he was in California

I got this today, called them back, told them I was on Kali Linux and hold a [CEH] Certified Ethical Hacker certification and begged them to connect to my computer for about 30 seconds... They didnt want to play anymore... :D

I have had calls twice a day for three days from someone claiming to be from Microsoft to fix the problems on my computer, though I have not had any. I have spoken to him most of the calls and kindly asked to not call me again. 1-469-619-2288 "King S" on caller Id. He continues to call, does anyone know how to stop these annoying calls? Thanks

Is Itech services. us a scam.... also rightsignature. com.....

Scam operations often change their names. Learn the warning signs of a scam, so you can protect yourself all the time.

If you get an unexpected call from someone who claims to be tech support, hang up. It’s not a real call. Don’t rely on caller ID to prove who a caller is. Criminals can make caller ID seem like they’re calling from a legitimate company or a local number.

If you get a pop-up message that tells you to call tech support, ignore it. Your security software will send legitimate pop-ups about things like updating your operating system, but do not call a number that pops up on your screen and warns about a computer problem.

Get more help dealing with tech support scams.

I used to get calls from people who claimed to be from Microsoft or Windows support. I turned a few of them in a couple years ago, and recently got another call claiming to be Windows support. I screwed with them bad. They told me my Windows computer was having problems. I asked them if it was my 3.1 machine. They said yes, and told me again that my Windows computer was having problems. The dead giveaway... they aren't even familiar with Windows versions. Just ask them if it is your Windows 3.1 computer. They'll start giving you instructions for the most recent editions of Windows. However, Windows 3.1 didn't have a start menu or button. They are also not familiar with DOS versions, so you can screw with them that way as well. And try to get as much information from them without letting on that you're fishing for information, so you can turn them in. Be aware: they will swear at you and belittle you if they catch on that you're messing with them, but they'll stop calling you for a while.

Got such a pop up that locked up my computer until the third startup. Then it cleared. The pop up was sent from

I fell for it as well today, even after my father fell for it. Did not pay any money though. I did let them into the computer, will it still be ok?

Get rid of malware. Update or download legitimate security software and scan your computer. Delete anything the software says is a problem.

Change any passwords that you shared with someone. Change the passwords on every account that uses passwords you shared.

was constantly getting calls that Microsoft was getting bad signals from my computer, knowing it was a scam I just started hanging up. Than they kept calling, and I told them that I didn't have a computer or any electronics and they would get mad. Now I just say to them, look this is a scam, quit trying to scam people get a real job. They get really up set and ask who is scamming, I say you are scamming, then he tells me to shut my f---ing mouth and I just hang up. But they still continue to call

Can I get compensate for loss of $299.99 that Gigapace IT Solutions Inc charge me on virus on my computer? I think its not legit.

You could contact the company and request a refund. If you used a credit card and you were charged for something you didn't agree to, or were charged for something that wasn't delivered as promised, you can dispute the charge. Read more about disputing credit card charges.

A pop up came on my computer and when I called then JC IT or jctechies in new york jctechies. com) customer support picked up the phone. They scammed me of the money which I will contest with my bank.

You can report this 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. The comments you put here on the blog don't go into the law enforcement database.

I reported my scam to the FTC thank you so much for this site. I still don't feel my computer is safe although apple did talk me through on how to remove the malware the scammers installed I ended up having to reset my computer to factory setting and change my modem cause they continued to mess around with my computer remotely thank God it has stopped but I had to erase my entire computer. I fell violated.

I made the mistake of allowing the "tech" to fix my computer. What can I do at this point?

  • If you paid for bogus tech support services or software with a credit card, then call your credit card company to reverse the charges.
  • If you think someone may have accessed your personal or financial information, then learn more about how to lower your risk for identity theft.
  • Get rid of malware that the fraudsters 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, then change those too.

You left out one price of info on this post. Sometimes scammers can somehow make legitimate websites redirect to these virus scams.

I got V-T through HSN and they were good at fixing my computer but there was some kind of problem w/HSN and they quit. Now I have no assistance and no refund from V-T or HSN. HSN has a new Co, for free, but what good is that for my refund. V-T and HSN were useless to me.

I called a number that I believed was Canon's official site (now I am not so certain it wasn't presenting as the Canon site) about a printer problem. The technician referred my to a "specialist" who asked for permission to enter my computer system (Mac). I gave permission. He then "showed me" how my drivers had been turned off and then how hackers were maintaining three open lines into my computer. (Apple later told me they don't use printer drivers on the Mac). I was then referred to Tydan for a fix that would cost, depending on 2-5 or lifetime, several hundred dollars. I was told not to turn off my computer. While I was waiting for a call back from Tydan I checked the site on my iPhone and learned about complaints, so I refused the help from the tech who subsequently telephoned me and contacted Apple. They went through my computer and found three pieces of malwear!

Got a pop and redirected to the people who pressured to give money via online check or something like that! Claimed themselves from in New York as a legitimate company. I looked that up and its official name is JC IT services. They have F BBB rating and video on scam so I disconnected with them and take it to local store. Luckily got saved so advised others to never call a number on the popups.

Pop up on my computer stating all info was compromise and to call apple support at 844 225 1185 no to shut down computer , i paniced and clled the agent advised me i had to pay 300.00 for them to fix my computer they took over remot access and advised me they would contct me within an hour. they called me back and said evrything was fixed. Once i hung up with them i started to think about what had occured and i researched the web and found it was a scam so i emediately called my bank and explaind what had occured and had them stop .payment and proceeded to call apple and explained what had happed because apple never charges for support nor do the take over remotly your computer plus they said the where from windows and i have a mac. i had to go to my bank and cange all my accounts.

I am an advocate for Seniors. A friend could not get into e-mail so Googled a fix and found a company. They accessed the computer, stole credit cards and wanted payment by checking account promising forever coverage of repair. Fortunately the funds had not been transferred yet and all was cancelled and new credit card numbers. A tough lesson - but learn it.

They have ruined one of my computers now I was updating my gps and they almost got me again Steve 844 233 1291 ext416 Indian man said he was helping me and asked to aceess my computer but my computer kept locking him out I knew right away something was up so I hung up and shut down

The FTC needs to target the payment processors. This guy clearly knows its a scam by allowing 8% chargebacks when the bank usually only allows 1.5% Go after the money processors that allow this to happen!

Found this on Linkedin:
Tech Support Credit Card Processing Available !!! - High tolerance for chargebacks! - Dependable payouts - Processing history not required - One week lag, then weekly payouts !!- Over 8% chargeback rates allowed - Reasonable rates. - Contact william today on SKYPE: william.p.ragusa --If interested.


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