The Windows Club

Avoid Online Tech Support Scams and PC Cleanup Solutions

Every single day, scores of innocent people are trapped by scam artists into Online Tech Support Scams and forced to shell out hundreds of dollars for non-existent computer problems. The tool or medium they use to initiate communications with a potential victim is usually the computer or a telephone. They claim to be computer techs associated with genuine software providing companies like Microsoft or others and persuade you to perform a series of complex tasks, just to convince you that your computer is infected.

For proving their point right, these notorious so-called technicians confuse you with a barrage of technical terms, attempting to gain remote access to the computer or run a software you do not need at all. To be specific, the scammers try to take advantage of your reasonable concerns about viruses or performance issues by scaring you, by following one of these methods normally.

For instance, they may make use of the Event Viewer. The Event Viewer is a tool that collects and keeps a record of all of the log files from your computer. It is traditionally used by system administrators to diagnose certain errors. Most events that are displayed are harmless notifications, but the scam artists exploit these events as possible viruses in your PC. They may use a Remote Access software to ask for access to your computer. Never give it!

At times, they even target legitimate computer files and claim that they are viruses. Then, resort to nefarious tactics to scare you into believing they can offer a helping hand. All you need to do is to either enroll for a worthless computer maintenance or warranty program or perform some steps as advised.

Avoid Online Tech Support Scams

First, never give control of your computer to a third party who calls you out of the blue. Avoid searching for help online. The online search result is certainly not the best way to find technical support or get a company’s contact information. Scammers sometimes place online ads to convince you to call them.

Monitor your computer for unusual behavior. If you notice there is departure from the standard behavior of the computer, check it for any malware presence for the following,

If the above test is positive, remove the malware:

If your computer is covered under warranty period that offers free tech support, contact the manufacturer.

Never respond to anyone who initiates a first-contact, offering computer support. Hang up the phone. Do not reply to such mail. Do not click on any pop-ups which may say that your computer needs to be cleaned up.

If you are of the view that someone may have accessed your personal or financial information intentionally, visit the FTC’s identity theft website to file a complaint. You can minimize your risk of further damage and repair any problems already in place. Just file a complaint with the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint.

The agency, following the complaints from consumers, can detect patterns of fraud and abuse. Their Complaint Assistant then could readily offer assistance. To use the Complaint Assistant follow these steps. Choose a complaint category. If you do not find a suitable match, select “Other”. Answer a few questions related to your complaint and narrate the exploiting episode in your own words.

Report a technical support scam

If you wish, you can report a technical support scam to Microsoft by visiting this one.

What if you allowed remote access to your computer

If you allowed access to your computer, your system could have been completely compromised. There could be malware or even a keylogger planted. I suggest you immediately back up your data and keep it on an external drive. I would also suggest that change the passwords of all your online accounts using ANOTHER PC right away. having done this, the safest thing for you to be 100% sure would be to reformat your Hard Drive and fresh install Windows.

Remember, Microsoft will never contact you on their own to repair or clean up your Windows computer. If they do, you can be sure that its a scam. Stay safe from such “Microsoft Scams“. If you do need to, then this link will offer you several legitimate ways to contact Microsoft Support.

Speaking of scams, some of these links are sure to interest you. Do have a look at some of them:

  1. Avoid online scams and know when to trust a website
  2. Avoid Phishing Scams And Attacks
  3. Avoid Vishing and Smishing Scams
  4. Beware of Fake Online Employment and Job Scams
  5. Avoid Online Shopping Fraud & Holiday Season Scams
  6. Avoid Internet Catfishing Social Engineering Scams.