Victim Location 91745
Type of a scam Tech Support
I was accessing Facebook from my Windows computer, when I clicked on a link. All of a sudden the entire screen was blue and a very alarming sound was coming from my speakers, which was impossible to ignore. The text on the screen said I have a problem with my computer and that I should call the phone number immediately. When I called, the technician said NOT to turn off the computer. With his help, the sound was turned off, since I gave him remote access to my computer. Then, he helped me print some of the messages on the screen. He said I could take my computer to a store near my house, after I gave him my zip code. The printout said it’s a business called "Network care Store". However, it turned out to be a Best Buy. There, I could get my computer repaired and 1 year technical support for $210 to $230. Or for a few dollars less, $199, I could get help from Be Cube Support, to get the problem fixed remotely in 60-70 minutes. At that point, I told him I needed to think about it and decided not to call support or take in my computer. After searching the ScamPulse.com’s website and discovering a similar scam, plus calling the 800 number, I realized that they were trying to scam me and that a) my computer didn’t actually have a problem and b) they wouldn’t fix anything, anyway. Being very suspicious at this point, I called the 800 number and spoke to a technician. He had a very heavy accent and was difficult to understand, and he sounded like he was from India. When I told him that I was calling from work and therefore was not in front of my computer, he told me to call back when I was in front of my computer. Then, I asked to speak with his supervisor, who said his name is Mike Romero. However, he too had a very heavy Indian-sounding accent and I would be surprised if his name is really Mike Romero. Regardless, when I asked him to explain why I would be asked to call his company, he became evasive. When I asked to speak to his supervisor, he refused and hung up on me.
In reality, the above scam happened to my 82 year old mother. I am an engineer with 31 years in the computer industry. I have sold computers, I have been a system administrator of many different types of computers and operating systems and I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Fortunately, my mother decided not to get her computer "repaired" and called my to get my advice. I told her to turn off her computer (press and hold the power button on the "box"), since nothing she could do would close the message telling her that she had a problem and that she had to immediately call to get help. This is actually the second scam of this type that she has encountered. Unfortunately, in her panic and desperation at the moment, she forgot that I told her to never call a phone number that pops up on her screen telling her that her computer has a virus and the only way to get it fixed is to call the number on her screen. Fortunately, the previous time, after also giving a "technician" remote control of her computer (from who knows where), but to a person who also had a very heavy Indian sounding accent, he was unable to convincer her to pay for 3 to 4 years of supposed technical support. When I arrived at her house the first time, the "problem" was still on her screen. In actuality, when the "technician" (scammer actually) got remote control of her computer, and all he did was open up a Windows Notepad window and paste in text, which he claimed was the result of a virus scan of her computer. That alarmed her even further. And as I indicated above, she nearly fell for the scam. Fortunately, she said she needed more time to think about it. As I explained to my mom, it was as if she invited the scammers (total strangers) into her house and allowed them to sit in front of her computer and do who knows what (since I wasn’t there). In both cases, I removed the remote control software and scanned her computer for viruses, fortunately finding none. Do not ever, under any circumstances, call a phone number that pops up on your screen. Instead, find a trusted friend who is knowledgeable about computers or find a reputable computer repair company to scan your computer for viruses. And make sure you have good antivirus and anti-malware software on all of your computers at all times. Regardless, that best antivirus software cannot protect you from some of the malware like that that’s out there, since you may have clicked on a link and went to a website without you even realizing it until it’s too late. The thing to do is turn off the computer (press and hold the power button on the computer (not the monitor)). Then, wait a few seconds. Then, turn it back on. The problem will be gone, because the computer wasn’t infected in the first place.