Clicking for support could cost you

The next time you get a message offering to fix a supposed problem with your computer, you might keep this in mind: “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Because there’s a good chance that call is a tech support scam.

Today, the FTC announced a case against Click4Support, charging the company with fleecing people out of up to thousands of dollars per consumer. Here’s how it worked, according to the FTC: the company used search engine results and pop-up ads, which seemed to come from well-known tech companies, but did not. Those ads drove people to telemarketing centers. If you called, the Click4Support reps would get remote access to your computer to – ahem – identify and resolve issues. Then the reps would make you believe your computer had a virus, spyware, malware, or was otherwise compromised.  But the FTC says those claims were false.  

Then, according to the FTC, the company sold their tech support “service” to consumers. That meant anything from a one-time “fix” to a long-term services plan, and cost from $69 to thousands of dollars. The FTC estimates these fees added up to more than $17.9 million for Click4Support. And what did consumers get? Big charges for unnecessary so-called repairs – which, in fact, sometimes damaged computers, according to the FTC.

If you see a pop-up, an ad, or get a call for tech support services, here are some ways to keep your money to yourself:

  • Don’t give access to your computer to anyone who contacts you.
  • Never give your credit card or financial information – or your passwords – to anyone who calls asking for them.
  • Hang up on anyone who pressures you to pay for a computer security product or service. If you have concerns about your computer’s security, call a reputable computer security company using a number you know is really theirs.  If you need to check a company out, search its name online with words like “review,” “complaint,” or “scam.”

Comments

My computer is not even set up &they call me almost daily! I'm using my mobile phone!

Same here! 11/20/15

If I am doing a mindless sort of task, I do my best to waste their time when they call. I play along as though I believe them and in the end make fun of them. I waste their precious time scamming innocent people.

thanks

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I don't trust those so called reputable virus protection programs either. They always find viruses even after a fresh cleaning. They want to sell their protection product. If you do buy it and let it expire, it will leave a nasty virus behind.

I got caught in this scam and paid $98.00 for a fix on line that ended up costing over $800.00 and two computers, as well as dropping a class as I am an online degree student. I hope that some enforceable internet regulation is passed soon.

I had the same thing happen to me, I contacted the FBI it has cost me hundreds to have my computer repaired, also since I have their phone number I call them and drive them nuts with stupid time wasting questions.

Just got caught yesterday, Now the company is called "Support By Techies". I followed a pop-up for my online "MCAFEE" support renewal and they picked it up & redirected everything to their website.

They told me I could not renew my subscription to MCAFEE because it had run out over a month ago and my computer was infected with viruses. I told them I wanted the MCAFEE program & they said they could clean up my computer so that MCAFEE could be installed. They needed access to my computer system to perform the work.

They then told me they could also supply on-going support for my vulnerable system along with the virus protection program. Long story short, they are not associated with MCAFEE and are a scam. If you get a pop-up for renewal be careful, MCAFEE (INTEL) recommends you call their direct # 866-622-3911 and use their Tech Support to assure yourself of a trusted program & correct installation as well as followup support. Luckily I used Discover to pay them and have initiated (opened) a dispute of the charge and will followup with any action I can. I will be adding a complaint to the files kept on this company by the BBB. I'm on this site researching similar schemes to see if filling a complaint with the FTC has merit. If anyone can add feedback to this subject it would be welcomed. Thanks and have a great day !!

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