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(301) 622-7995

Case Study: Technical Support Scams

BEWARE OF TECHNICAL SUPPORT SCAMS

When your computer’s performance is not as you think it should be, you can easily become a victim of scammers who will readily sell you software and services that you don’t need to fix problems that don’t exist and deliberately mis-diagnose the issues to rip you off.

As an example, unscrupulous companies are using websites that offer free “performance analysis” software to fix issues with computers.  According to FTC complaints, each scam starts with computer software that purports to enhance the security or performance of consumers’ computers. Typically, consumers download a free trial version of software that runs a computer system scan. The defendants’ software scan always identifies numerous errors on consumers’ computers, regardless of whether the computer has any performance problems.

The software then tells consumers that, in order to fix the identified errors, they must purchase the paid version of the software. In reality, the FTC alleges, the defendants pitching the software designed these highly deceptive scans to identify hundreds or even thousands of “errors” that have nothing to do with a computer’s performance or security. After consumers purchase the “full” version of the software at a cost of $29 to $49, the software directs them to call a toll-free number to “activate” the software.

When consumers call the activation number, however, they are connected to telemarketers who try to sell computer repair services and computer software using deceptive scare tactics to deceive consumers into paying for unneeded computer support services.

According to the FTC, the telemarketers tell consumers that, in order to activate the software they have just purchased, they must provide the telemarketers with remote access to their computers. The telemarketers then launch into a scripted sales pitch that includes showing consumers various screens on their computers, such as the Windows Event Viewer, and falsely claiming that these screens show signs that consumers’ computers have significant damage. After convincing consumers that their computers need immediate help, the telemarketers then pitch security software and tech support services that cost as much as $500.

Never download software from the internet and install it on your computer unless your are absolutely confident of the source of that software.  In this case, if the victim is astute enough to recognize that they are being sold services they don’t need, they can avoid any ongoing problems and not spend money for services they don’t need.

When you suspect that your computer systems or network is having a problem, whether it is performance related or you have been the victim of a virus or malware infection,  The NERDS Group can provide a solution.  We are not just a voice at the other end of the phone – our technicians will come to your business or home and resolve the problem, or we can use remote access techniques to work on your computer while you observe.  Since we are an established company with an excellent reputation for honest and fair pricing and  reliable service, we invite you to check us out by contacting our references, which we are happy to provide.

Call The NERDS Group at 301-622-7995 and speak with one of our staff.  We will discuss your needs and provide an estimate to restore your systems to their peak performance.  For more information visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Tech Support Scams page.

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