Tech Support Scam

I am frustrated with many of the “big” computer companies, and I want to take a moment to pass a warning on to you, just in case you find yourself in a similar situation.

Over the past year, I have been talking to people, more and more frequently and they tell me that they were having a problem with their computer (or printer) so they called the company to get some help with their problem.

After being connected to a “tech support” person in another country, they are told that they need to give control of their computer over to the tech support person, and then they are told that they are infected with all kinds of nasty stuff and it will cost around $300 for them to fix the “problem”.

The original problem is forgotten as the support person does their best to scare you into believing that your computer is going to self destruct if you don’t give them your credit card number and pay them to fix your computer.

Don’t fall for this! It seems like you should be able to trust the tech support person, since you are the one who called the company, but many computer companies now contract out their tech support, and this is the result. I have heard the same story from quite a few people who called Dell Tech support but they are not the only one. I just can’t remember the others at the moment.

It makes me angry that trusting customers are being taken advantage of this way, and in an effort to do something about it, I am going to post this on my blog and encourage you to comment on it.

If you have had this experience with a company, please post in the comments, tell us what happened, and give us the name of the company so that others can be on the alert!


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  1. Last year I needed help with a Dell printer- no one would answer my question until I talked with tech person which turned out to be iYogi- I paid dearly- he HAD to take over computer to research problem-he fixed it and then I had iYogi on my computer- Had another problem and clicked on my tech support and he took over and actually crashed my computer right in front of me!! He said I had a virus!!! Bull;; I had to take everything out of my computer and re-install everything!! I had him on phone helping me re-install for 4 hours and he told me my anti-virus program Avast was ‘no-good” had to buy another kind- It took me weeks to fix myself. I did re-install Avast after talking with them. It is nice to have a tech person at your will but can’t trust any of them. It is shameful how we are taken advantage of. thanks donna

    • PC Man
    • March 9, 2013

    It’s not just the PC companies, cable and phone companies will do the same thing. They even tell you absurd things. Just recently my cable went out, TV and Internet and the cable company told me it was my modem, until I questioned how my modem was affecting my TV. They are supposedly trained, trained in blaming everything that takes the responsibility away from them.

    • kbecker
    • March 9, 2013

    I had the same problem with iolo, I bought software and downloaded it and had a problem accessing it. When I contacted support, they stated I had a problem with my pc and wanted to charge me hundreds of dollars to fix it. I told them that’s what the software was for, and told them I wasn’t paying for it. In the middle of their so-called scan, I figured out my problem and cancelled the call.

    • Dorisemma
    • March 9, 2013

    Donna, I had the same thing with iYogi insofar as having to take over the computer to research the problem. It did get fixed for sure, but it was a “virus” according to the techie. I paid $169 for a year’s service. Did you have any problem discontinuing iYogi? Did they give you any trouble?

    1. I was persistent!! I asked for a refund (just signed up for second year) I did get the refund but they contacted me several times trying to get me back!!

    • Geowyn
    • March 10, 2013

    Wow, this sounds familiar. I will never buy another Dell again. Everytime I have called tech support, they try to sell me something else. I have had this computer only two years (top of the line too) and am on my third hard drive. Funny how the second hard drive went after a phone call from Dell wanting me to pay to extend my warranty. ???. Had it fixed by an independent computer guy and so far all is well.

    Needed another printer because I dropped mine and it wouldn’t work so went to the Dell site and the reviews on their printers (which were all wireless by the way)were all negative as to the wireless printers so I found the same printer I broke on ebay.

    My ISP has also tried to sell me stuff when calling with a problem. I downloaded their free back up program and it would not work, so I called and they said I needed to buy a contract with the Computer Geeks so they could fix it. I told the lady no and uninstalled the program and bought one from another provider. What is free is not always free.

    Now I stay away from the big name companies and the fancy computer stores, have a computer guy that works out of his home and is honest. The big companies better change their policies if they want to continue to have customers.

    • momdixon
    • March 12, 2013

    I didn’t have problems with Microsoft when I called them for help, but almost immediately after we started getting phone calls from “the Windows computer center” about “all the problems with our computer”. And, of course, they needed to take control over our computer to fix thengs. We tried the usual not interested, don’t call back etc. My son (bless his heart) even told them he was going to file charges against them, at which they laughed and hung up. It was 3 different callers from overseas, and they called daily for 3 weeks, even after I yelled at them myself a few times. They were definetely a scam, but just wouldn’t go away. I did call Microsoft back about it, and they apologized very much, but agreed it was a scam. So beware, the scammers will glom onto anything you do and try to take advantage of it!

    • pattywack
    • March 15, 2013

    This is very important to all my e-mail pals. Please read so you will be careful not to give access to your computer to anyone that you can not trust!!

    I received a phone call from a SCAMMER person tonight. He was all talk about the government needs to get the viruses out of my computer. He kept using the words that he was from the government!! What a riot! I knew what he was up to, and I let him talk about the need to get into my computer to fix the viruses that I have there. I believe he was from India. I was not about to let him get access to my computer, and for him to tell me that I had a lot of problems that need to cleaned up. I fell for that line a while back when I thought that I had a problem with my computer. After being connected to a “tech support” person in another country, I gave that “tech support” person control of my computer because I thought that I could trust them to fix my problem. They wanted several hundred dollars to fix it. I realized now that even many of the “big” computer companies are sending you to these scammers, as mine did to me…. I do not know how to report what is going on to the vulnerable public. I did call my server after that call and was told it is a scam and not to fall for it!!! I do hope and pray that us seniors will not fall for those SCAMS!! I told him that I did not need him to get into my computer and that I had Norton Antivirus though my E-mail server. He was very insistent to me even after I told him about my Antivirus program. I wound up laughing in his face and saying Good Bye and hanging up my phone. Please be careful out there. They are all around us!! Hang up the phone!!!

    It just so happened today I received The Weekly Sentinel in the mail. I always read “Ask The Computer Lady”. The first article that she had spoke of is the fact that she is frustrated with all the people that are telling her, more and more frequently that they are having a problem with their computer and they call to get help the get the problem fixed. This is the first time that I have received a call from the other end. How they got my phone number, I do not know, and I do not like it one bit!! If anyone out there knows the answer to that let me know…

    The Computer Lady also said it makes her angry that trusting customers (like us) are being taken advantage of this way. I am going to post my experience to Elizabeth the computer lady, as she asked people to let her know what happened and be on alert that it will not happen to you….

    Also, I wanted to mention that I tried to download a crochet pattern yesterday, and all these other things tried to get into my computer wanting me to Scan it. Telling me that I have a lot of viruses to get rid of. I have Norton Antivirus, so I do not fall for those words. I had to go to my uninstall programs to get rid of those, too…

    Let me know if you have any questions regarding my experience with that phone call….

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