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Warn your friends about tech support scams

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Tech support scams, which get people to pay for fake computer help or steal their personal information, are convincing. You might already know the signs of a tech support scam, but do your friends and family? Here’s what they need to know now:

  • Companies like Microsoft don’t call and ask for access to your computer. If you get a call like that, it’s a scam.

  • Real companies also won’t ask for your account passwords. Only scammers do.

  • Tech support scammers try to convince you they’re legitimate. They’ll pretend to know about a problem on your computer. They’ll ask you to open normal files that look alarming to make you think you need help.

  • If you do need computer help, go directly to a person, business, or website you know you can trust. General online searches are risky because they might pull up another scam.

If people you know were already scammed, here’s what to tell them:

  • If you paid with a credit or debit card, call your credit card company or bank immediately and tell them what happened.

  • If you paid with a gift card, contact the gift card company (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) ASAP to see if the funds are still on the card and can be frozen before it’s too late.

  • A tech support scammer who has access to your computer can install malware. Update your computer’s security software, scan your computer, and delete anything it identifies as a problem. Restart your computer to be sure the changes take effect. Going forward, download security updates as soon as they are available. Most operating systems have a setting to download and install security updates automatically. Use it. And install updates for your other software, including apps.

  • If the scammer got your password for a financial account, or a site like Amazon, change the password immediately. Contact the company directly to make sure nobody has broken into your account.

Report your experience to ftc.gov/complaint. You’re not alone, and reporting these scams helps law enforcement go after the people behind tech support scams.

Comments

I have had numerous calls from these people that want to issue a refund for the service! They want computer access to “remove their software.” Is it legitimate? I have so far refused them access. Why can’t they just issue me a check? They say they were “ordered” to close down.

Was it Skype 7077021982I think it is a scam to get access to computer

A pop up "ALERT" appears on your screen that you have a virus and call Technical Support Immediately, usually an 800 number, and Don't Turn Off Your Computer. It's a scam that has been around several years. Don't fall for it and turn off your computer.

I actually fall for this and was very lucky not to suffer any loses for identity problems. Never again. This website has educated me about scammers. Love this site.

I fell for this scam. They ( east indian dialect) said they were from Microsoft and that a company had broke through my firewall to get all of my financial information. I paid $150 for them to 'clean up' my laptop. I deleted every thing from the laptop and haven't even used it since.....don't know what to do at this point.

If You Were Scammed

  • 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.
  • If you paid for bogus services with a credit card, call your credit card company and ask to reverse the charges. Check your statements for any charges you didn’t make, and ask to reverse those, too. Report it to ftc.gov/complaint.
  • For more information, see the FTC publication, Tech Support Scams.

I personally know a person in USA who sets up legitimate companies and other resources these scammers need in order to carry out their scams. I have had this knowledge for almost two months now and I want to alert the authorities. But I don't know who to talk to. Any help regarding this would be really appreciated.

You can report that to the FTC by calling 1-877-382-4357. You don't have to give your name. You can explain what you know, and the information will go into the FTC's secure database. Then the FTC and other law enforcement agencies can use the information for investigations. Thank you.

what about Experian? and the dark web.... they advertised on tv and now I've been blasted with not just daily but twice a day with ' you've been exposed on the dark' sign up for protection today.... I think that is a scam!

Thanks, most of the items you posted, I was aware of and had several adds or pop-up on a page say some part of my pc needed to be updated, got caught once and paid the price for repairs and lost files. Windows 10 has been working great to defend against malware and such>

MY FACEBOOK ACCOUNT WAS HACKED AND THEY THREATENED TO SEND OUT PORNAGRAPHIC VIDEO TO 7 OF MY CONTACTS EACH DAY UNLESS I PAID THEM $2900.00 IN BITCOIN. SO I CLOSED MY FACEBOOK ACCOUNT BEFORE THEY TRASHED UP MY ACCOUNT. THESE PEOPLE ARE CONSTANTLY LOOKING FOR WAYS TO EXPLOIT ANYTHING FOR GAIN. I DID NOTHING TO DESERVE THIS OTHER THAN TRY TO KEEP IN TOUCH WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY.

DISGUSTED

I used to get scam purporting to be from "Windows" ... "something wrong with your computer" they said. Fortunately, I knew nothing wrong. They kept calling for awhile & finally gave up when I wouldn't answer the phone (call ID listed their #)

I’ve been called several times but I don’t answer. I block the number. Those claiming to be Microsoft have even left messages telling me I have just used my computer and having trouble. I don’t react other tha to block. I have gotten email three times from what appears to be my bank and it says my account has been blocked. I go immediately to the bank and they send it to their fraud department to trace it. Scammers just don’t give up. I received 60 calls in June and I am on the do not call list.

I have been a victim. How do you know what these data companies are doing? They can produce fake graphics. It's their OS how can you follow up? Finding out small companies must have freelance employees who can address data and social media production. Then you can direct QA. Good luck.

You left out that you can easily get yourself into a very bad situation by calling what you think is a company's tech support, when in fact you have called a third party company, that answers with "Hello, XYZ Support. How can we help you?" They represent themselves as the company support you were looking for, and before you realized what happened you have handed them $$$$$!

Received a call from "Microsoft", telling me I had a problem. I pretended that I was very concerned. I was asked to go to my computer immediately and logon. I waited about 5 minutes and then told them my battery was dead and I was looking for the power cord. I pretended to keep asking my wife to look here and look there. To make a long story short, I managed to keep the phony caller on the line for 17 min.
If more people would waste the time of these scammers, they would not have as much time to call as many suckers.

As always I love getting your updates on the latest scams. I always pass them on to my friends as I am older and so are they. I do not want anyone to get caught up in this sort of thing. Thanking you for your commitment to helping others.

When I get something in the mail that looks like a scam, I put it in a folder. After a few months, I mail the letters to the AG. I got one yesterday saying the warranty on my motor vehicle expired (I don't own one). It came in a plain white envelope and didn't state the name of a company. They gave me an estimate of what I'd pay on repairs if I didn't renew my warranty (it was more than I earned last year). Maybe I'll tell the FTC now.

l had a problem like this several months ago involving a alleged " Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher ". This ebay seller from California sold me a defective computer which stopped working within a very short time. When l contacted him through ebay emails he told me not to return my computer to him because his " technician " would call me within the hour to go inside my computer and fix it. To make a long story short this " technician" got into my bank account and removed all of my money. l was able to get every penny back but ebay NEVER removed this shady California computer seller, and FTC NEVER contacted me about my complaint.

still getting calls about my com-put-er. can't under stand the person. getting calls lately about medicare.

I am getting frequent calls leaving a message that some soft ware company owes me money and wants me to call immediately before my computer crashes. They want to refund my money. They say Fed Trade is making them give back money etc.Some days I get as many as 10-12 messages from them ,3 in a row all day long.I haven't bought any thing for my computer, and it hasn't crashed yet. What can I do about these calls? They have been going on for at least a year.

I wish I had received this email four days ago before it actually happened to my son.

Scam ph. # 844 422-7808. Tied up my screen saying there was a virus. I called them and a person with an east Indian accent answered. I blew him off and said I would report his number to you.

I received a call stated th a my Social Security number was fraudulent and funds would be stopped and charges would be issued to local officers and I needed to call 972-242-9749. This was a to go call with a computer generated voice. I contact the st. John's county florida and I was advised to contact FTC.

Thank you for sharing your experience. Earlier this year, we issued a post about imposters. Please see Scammers impersonate the Social Security Administration. The SSA also has a warning about these scams and suggests you contact them directly at 1-800-772-1213 to verify the reason for the contact and the person’s identity prior to providing any information to the caller.

If you -- or someone you know -- come across one of these scams, please report it to the Social Security Administration’s Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271, or 1-866-501-2101(TTY), and then file a formal report tell the FTC about it. We can't address complaints that come through the blog comments.

Received a call from 1800-049-6190 claiming to be the last person to work on our computer and wanted to give permission to take over the computer.

I received a call this past Saturday for a Micro Soft representative that stated he was calling me because Verizon suspected abnormal activity from my computer. This person stated that he wad directed to offer me a refund due to the security hardware once provided by Micro Soft being now obsolete, and he was granted permission to contact Verizon internet customers with the problem he extolled. The goal of this individual was to be granted access to my bank account in order to pay me a refund of $299.00. The person I spoke with went by the name of Steve Parker a left a call back number 810-228-7478. I believe this to be a scam, therefore I am sending you this message. I have also discovered that the same kind of thing is taking place in other states around the USA.

I also got a call about getting a refund due to security hardware no longer being operational. They were vague about the details, but the scary part is that they called me by my proper first name and wanted me to call them back so they could "process my refund". This was in NYS. Beware!

I also got stung once,got this message on my computer that I had a virus and needed to call Microsoft at the 800 number to get it fixed. Being dumb and new at the computer, I fell for it. Paid $300.00 for nothing, was all a scam, changed my passwords, etc, closed my checking account, got another one, and have had 6 or so more like it in the last 6 months. The one I paid for was from India, bunch or crooks, never again, I just shut my computer down and wait for awhile and turn it back on, back to normal.

Just got a VM supposedly from Microsoft saying this is an emergency call from Microsoft. Your windows license has been expired. All services are suspended on your computer. To renew call 833 226 8222. I have no intention to call that number. Just passing it on so no one falls for this.

MissMary, I have been getting at least 10 calls a day from # (828) 684-3621, with this exact story. It must be the latest scam. Finally blocked the number.

another number they use is 888-999-6216

I filed a complaint with the FTC re: a tech support firm that fixed my comuter problem and a year later, the same firm called me and said they needed to give me a refund because they had gone out of business. Wanted me to give me the routing number for my checking acct beause they could not send me a check or credit my credit card..RIGHT...When I refused several times, the guy used very vulgar language and hung up on me. The previous year, I actually give them access to my computer to fix my problem, so I thought they were legit...but guess I was very lucky they didn't steal my identity or money.

A call from 1 855 279 2146 today. I did not answer the call. The caller left a message. It identified itself as Microsoft Window Security and warned that if I do not call back, I will not be able to use my computer. I did not call. Thanks to this post.

incredible blog. thanks for the share useful information.

My friend is such a nice guy, well he believed them, somehow they said they over paid him instead of the $300.00 they said $3000.00 and we're able to some how to show the deposit in his account,
Convinced him to send the refund by gift card, well luckily he only purchased $500.00 of gift cards.
Yes it was the scam of going out of business and refunding his money
If it seems to good it is!

I just received a call from tech support scammers. I’ve watched hundreds of videos of people confronting the scammers, so I know the telltale signs. He claimed to be a Microsoft Tech Support worker, told me that my computer had been sending error reports to his office, and tried to convince me that my computer had viruses and needed to be cleaned. When I denied his request to give me remote access to his computer, he threatened to terminate my Microsoft account. We argued for a bit, and then he hung up.

The latest phone number for the Microsoft span is: 1-855-7000-705

I JUST RECEIVED A CALL FROM SOMEONE CLAIMS TO BE A WINDOWS TECH SUPPORT, AND THAT IF I DON'T CALL THE NUMBER 1-855-279-2146, MY WINDOWS WILL BE TURNED OFF, I LOOK UP THE NUBER AND SEE THAT IT IS A TOTAL SCAM

How do you look up the number?

Get tons of these types of calls. If it is an actual person, I simply tell them I don't own a computer. Don't believe in them, they are evil. Usually they say sorry for bothering you LOL! Have had a few call me a liar. I just laugh and say someone with your type of accent does NOT have the name Peter Smith. I simply block the numbers of any and all annoyance calls. Simple rule of thumb: when in doubt, check it out. DO NOT use any of the info they give you. Ask for info to be mailed physically to you, not emailed. Most importantly, NEVER, NEVER give out any info to anyone you don't know or didn't call yourself.

It said my computer was locked and message came up supposedly from Microsoft. They said my computer needed to be fixed. Then said it was fixed and that it would be 199.99. I paid that and then they said I needed to have protection (firewall) told them I didn't have the money for that. when I could get back on my computer I found out it was a scam.

There is a company calling itself Tech One, last year, being a novice, I believed them when they said they worked with Micro Soft and my computer was sending errors to them. I gave them a check for $200 to "fix" my computer . They added some soft ware to my computer and told me if I had some things to do I could go do them because it was going to take awhile. Instead I stayed and when I saw them stealing one of my passwords I turned off my computer and called Micro Soft. They told me it was a scam (the guy had disabled my security system). When turned my computer back on, turned my security back on, removed what they had installed and changed all my passwords along with notified my bank. That was last year, now they are calling saying they have lost their license and want to give me a refund. Guy said he needed to access my computer; I told him to mail ma the refund form and he said he couldn't so I told him to donate the money to the Humane Society cos there was no way in hell he was going to access my computer again. They have called me from the following numbers: 800-423-4343, 832-303-3856, 720-279-0820, 833-354-7498, 833-354-7498, 855-426-7685, 866-987-1853, 760-536-6007, 315-358-7050, 800-935-7154, 866-828-7944, 866-894-0482, 888-881-1650, 866-844-4149, 727-440-8816. They are very persistent and every time I block their number, they call from another. They all have east Indian accents.

Nearly got scammed, but caught myself in time. Thought I was talking to tech support for Epson but it wasn't. Thick accent, sounded Middle Eastern. Beware if they ask you to input helpme.net in the browser as that is what scammers use to gain access. Thankfully, I felt a prompting from the Lord not to do that so put him on mute an let him sit there for quite awhile. Tried to call me 3 times so far within 7 minutes.

Screen came up on my computer saying computer locked and message supposedly from Microsoft. They said my computer needed to be fixed. Contractor Softsmart World said it was fixed and that it would be 199.99. I paid that and now disputing charge as fraud claim. Computer is with Geek Squad being fixed.

I rec'd once again a call to fix my computer. I have blocked every # they call on. This time I replied "I am so glad you called. My Sherriff's Dept has asked me to get your name & phone # so they can add you to the scam list." The phone went immediately dead as they hung up very quickly. Le't hope it works.

Unfortunately, I fell for the Microsoft Tech. Support scam for over 4.8K in Google Play Cards-given over the phone to scammer w Asian Indian/Mid East accent, fell for it b/c daughter had mistakenly given our passcode to next door people while we were on vacation in July-so thought it was related to that! Banks will not reimburse me, even though I have filed reports w my local police, F.B.I. (IC3 from), FTC, Microsoft, Google, and Dell. Banks said it was my fault I I fell for the scam. Scammer was very convincing and used a combination of fear tactics, smooth presentation, and tech savvy to guide me to buy the cards at CVS, Wallgreens, and Game Stop. The manager at CVS finally urged me to go to the police when he saw the amount of purchases I was making., other wise it may have been more. Scammer stayed on my cell the whole time to advise what to say to the store s, bank when they called about the unusual activity. Wish I had seen this blog before-was a nightmare that has not ended! No restitution whatsoever. I am over 60 years of age, so had no ides a what Google Play Cards were before this, they scammer said the codes on the back would eliminate the hackers in increments by the codes used., instead they were fleecing me. Felt like a complete fool after-but have spread the word to all my family and friends so they don't get burned either! That's the only good that will come of this, meanwhile I'm left feeling very demoralized about the state of humanity that would do this sort of thing. My credit rating got badly damaged also..

Ever miss dial a number and get the automated in message? It starts out with a tone doom dah Dee, set that tone in the beginning of your answering machine or answering service the scammer computer will think it dialed a dead number and delete your number off their records.

I had a company by the name of IYOGI and I paid them for work on my computer. The phone number was disconnected and I could not find the company. A few months later, I heard that the New York Attorney General, had a case against them but I never got my money or the work on my computer.

I spent all morning with these hard-to-understand people and knew something was not right. But, the same box showed up on my screen twice, the first time I quit the message, but this time sirens accompanied the message. I couldn't get rid of it. Soooo, I called the number thinking it was an Apple support number. OK, $209.98 given by check sent by scan - which I'm sure was cashed before I even finished the conversation. I did not give out a credit card number, but they have my bank account number and passwords to some accounts. Now what? Do I have to get another bank number? change all passwords? Damn, I wish I had checked with someone! I doubt anything was changed in all that time.
Help me with answer, please?

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