Pass it on: tech support scams

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

Comments

I'm going to copy this notice and give it to all my customers. I have a computer repair company and a commercial print shop. Thanks

Most of the time, these things are hard to get off the screen once they've taken often. They are usually loud and cover the entire screen with no way to click out or stop it. I've restarted the computer, for it to still be there. Any advice on that?

Do Ctrl+Alt+Delete and press task manager, end the task of the browser you're using, and don't restore your page, never turn off your computer with this happening

Thank you Mr. Helper!!

just shut your computer down, it wont hurt your computer if you shut it down, dont be scared of it. Indian tech support scammers play with the fears and use all scare tactics to scam you.

I received a call from a man with an accent possibly Asian or Nigerian.he claim he was tech-support from Microsoft Wanted to fix my computer.I knew he was a scammer, I exposed him good he hung up never heard from him again.

That happened to me
When I told him he was a scammer he hanged up

Very important scam notice from the Federal Trade Commission

It happened to me. However, I was smart enough and ended up getting back my money.

Yes, I need to know more

One of those criminals crashed two of my laptops because I wouldn't pay.

I fell for a tech support scam. They were called Tech Matrix. When I googled them there were many complaints. They said they were from India.

Turn off remote access enabling. If you don't know how, look it up on the internet, specific to your operating system.

It's about time. These people have been operating with virtual immunity for a long time now and have scammed a lot of people out of a lot of money.

I had one pop up over and over on my computer...had to call Apple to get it fixed for real...for free. Very scary.

I've had those pop ups and callers stating they're from Windows, what's one to do????

This FTC article explains how tech support scams start, and what to do if you get another call. 

The short answer is: If you get an unexpected pop-up, call or or other urgent message about problems with your computer, stop. Don’t click on any links, don’t give anyone control of your computer and don’t send any money.

Hello, thank you for the message I would like pictures infügr only unfortunately does not flail it, because I sent the names to them were determined also well with which pictures the fraudsters announce everything and the honest people come because of those in disrepute and I am I'm sure the cheaters come mostly from Ghana and Nigeria. Thanks for writing to me. With best wishes.

If you could include buttons to share these posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, that would be great... love these pieces of information! Thanks for sharing!

These people from: 1-800-542-0248 are claiming they are from Linked In technical support. They have charged my credit cards and attempted to withdrawal from my paypal account.

I recently had a call from "Smart Snake", (Alex Harper), telling me I was hacked and needed to let him clean my computer. The phone number he gave was: 1-866-550-0710. He sounds decidedly E. Indian.

They told me that when computer in shop. Now I tell them I do not have a computer. They have gotten to me, also but no more!

PC Care 24/7 is still alive and stinging folks using other names. I already gave FTC my case complete with an address and opportunity for a sting operation and nothing has happened. I reported my case within 10 days last August.

they already got me

Just posted with Craigslist get a text from a Google account telling me to punch in a code which will take me to I'm offline site with Craigslist pretty crazy don't really quite understand it yet but beware

I called google g-mail help and was advised my computer is corrupted and they could fix it for only $500.00. Doesn't sound legit to me????????

If you’re need help with your computer, call your security software company directly, but don’t use the phone number you see in a pop-up. Get the company’s contact information from a software package, or the receipt you got when you bought the software.

Some scam companies make up business names that sound  like legitimate company names, and they pay extra so their names come up at the top of your search results. That's why it's best to get the number for a software company from the package the software came in. 

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.

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 FTC.gov/complaint. The information you give will go into a secure database that the FTC and other law enforcement agencies use for investigations. Thank you.

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

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 FTC.gov/complaint. 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 FTC.gov/complaint. 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!!

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.

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