I've received this email from William Porquet warning of a company that goes by the name of Online PC Care designed to scam computers users who are not tech-savvy enough:
The other day one of my older friends in Toronto received a mysterious cold-call saying that "they" had detected problems with his computer and that he should follow instructions to resolve them. He was instructed to hit Windows Key + R and then type "www.onlinepccare.com" into the box, which launched a web site. Then he was walked through some (likely bogus) troubleshooting steps, which indicated some (also likely bogus) errors. Then my friend explained to the caller that he already had a tech support friend who keeps his computer in good repair, and ask how much this "service" would cost. He was told by the call-centre droid it would be $130, at which point my friend hung up and called me.
Just letting you all know there are some scumbags out there targeting and cold-calling computer novices who might not know better and misleading them with FUD to get money out of them. According to the onlinepccare.com website, their head office is here:
Block EN 27, Sector V , 2nd Floor, Saltlake City,
Kolkata 700-091 , West Bengal India
Phone: + 91-33-4005 2247 / 2240
Fax: + 91-33-2231 7922
If anyone knows how we might complain about such a scam, I'm interested to hear. I suspect there's not much we can do besides educate our less-savvy friends about this cold-calling tech support scam.
Looks like William's friend isn't the first one to receive these calls.
Whatever you do, do not give them access to your computer, do not give them your credit card number.
Amusingly, the above image is a screenshot from Online Pc Care's customer satisfaction comments. Seems anything but satisfied.
Update on December 30th, 2013:
William sends this update on these scam calls:
I just spent Christmas with family, and had some chats with my older relatives. The cold-calling support scammers are back in full force.
I've had some time to collect data and think about how these scammers are targeting their collection of phone numbers. A couple of things come to mind.
1. All the people I know of who've been contacted by these sorts of scammers have had a phone number in the same name for at least 20 years. One of them has had the same phone number since 1955. This lady in particular doesn't own a computer, but had the sense to keep the scammer on the line for a few minutes before fessing up. The scammer was not impressed.
2. My working theory is that the scammers have obtained current and historical phone books, whether in digital format or scanned/converted to digital format. They then sifted and sorted the two data sets to find the folks who've had the same number for 20 years or more associated with the same name. That's usually a good indication of age as well as financial stability.
3. They are getting really REALLY bloody aggressive. Not only are they using all the usual techniques of FUD and con-artist manipulation, they're downright rude. One of my older family members got the call, and refused to be brow-beaten by the scammer to obtain desktop access to her computer. The caller then asked her "Do you have a condom?" After a pause, she replied, "No." To which the scammer replied, "That's too bad, I was going to tell you to go f*ck yourself."
I'm not sure how to get this information out to the general public, especially seniors who may not know enough to push back. Maybe some of you have ideas.
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One fine morning I have received a call fro my PC support. My PC was suffering from poor Email set up problem. I was unable to receive or send mails. I was not being able to communicate with my son via mail. The tech expert from OnlinePCcare has made a quick solution to my email delivery problem. My hearty thanks to thm.
Yeah I can attest my girlfriend got a call like this yesterday while I was at work during the middle of the day. Bastards convinced her to let them Remote VPN into her computer at home. God knows what they did there now. Absolute pricks. Be very aware of this people. We have been getting 2-3 indian call center scamers a day at the moment. Register your number on the Do not call list gov.au site. and make complaints to help our governments build cases against them.
Too I am reciving wonderful call from most heroic of PC supports Co.
My PC is ruuning slowly until fixed of by OnlinePC like Jennifer Brown! Now sittting quietly on table. My life has been blessed by this hilarious & timely intervention. I salute thm.
After Ms. Browne (I'm sure) and her lovely comment, the fake reply above captures the spirit perfectly. Thanks for the laugh !
You people thinks that you are very smart. since the company not very famous for that you are thinking that they are scams. I am also their customer like thousand of their other customer and I am satisfied with their service and they are genuine. Sorry to say but you people are really idiots.
Very true indeed. I have availed their services several times, and they have satisfied me everytime. Yes they are from India, but how does that make them scammers? There are many jealous competitors of onlinepccare who are making cold calls to their customers, trying to hamper their reputation. Don't fall prey to all these scammers. Cheers to onlinepccare!!
Online PC Care continues to make scam calls. I just received a call here in Alberta Canada from a man named Alex Smith (with a strong Indian Accent) letting me know that I had computer issues. He was very pushy and insistent that I push the keys that he tell me to push. He said that I needed his immediate technical assistance. Of course, I did not fall for this trick and quickly googled this "company" to learn that they have been scamming for YEARS!! What a shame. There are plenty of real jobs out there.
I just received my 2nd call from these Online PC Care guys. They said that my computer has problems because Microsoft set their system maintenance to expire after a year. I wanted to get all the info on these guys that i could. The heavily indian-accented man told me his name is Mark Nichols (ya right) and i took down his ph# and id and email. Througout the whole call they said there would be no fees. Then he told me there's be a one time ativation fee of $130!! I wasn't born yesterday!!
I have just been called, the operative became quite aggravated with me when I wouldn't give the required answers, I even had the the cheek to requested answers instead. They eventually hung up, I asked too many questions I guess!
I get a call from these idiots twice a day, every day. I'm in the process of doing a phone number change as a result. I've had a bit of fun with these morons in the meantime. I got one to give me a bunch of information and it was obviously bogus, and I hung up and the guy called me back and started screaming at me "Do you think I'm a fool! I give you fake information!" And I said I know that, i just wanted to waste his time. The guy was so angry, or stoned, he didn't realize that he was wasting time following up with me instead of calling someone else. Then just today they called again, and I went a different route and said "Oh we did the service yesterday" and I acted like a satisfied customer and the guy started to get desperate! He went "But we refund your money! We refund your money!" And I told him he was full of hops and hung up. So that's twice they have been liars. Do the math. And if there really is an Online PC Care or Microsoft PC Care company out there that is legitimate, they need to bring the law upon the scammers who are using their name in vain.
We received an unsolicited call yesterday from this company. They said that we were having problems with the PC (we were but it was with Yahoo mail) - they said it was really a PC problem that they could help us with. Don't want to take a chance with them so when they call back I'll get rid of them.
Yes these guys are quite the prize. With the pattern of numbers that have come our way, I have noticed they call for PC support, Credit consolidation and free travel miles and trips. The common denominator is personal information. It smells like a identity theft ring. Ihave been able to confirm an Alex Smith call from various numbers that are not in service. He once thought I bit on this PC care crap and gave me a 647-288-1790 number to call back. I have also confirmed that an Alex Smith works there. The number is registered through Allstream. Obviously some bad screening involved here. However, there is a way to call them back and annoy them!!
my Dad just got a phone call from these guys an hour or so ago and it was the same thing. They asked him to hit the windows+r key. The guy had a heavy indian accent and said that he worked with microsoft. microsoft isn't going to cold call you. if you do fall for this scam wipe your computer. When you open a connection with them, they can do one of many things with your computer like install a KEYSTROKE LOGGER. The next time you bank on the internet and enter your password they have access to all your money. Same goes for your credit cards etc.
WIPE YOUR COMPUTER!!! I KNOW IT'S A PAIN IN THE ASS BUT DO IT!!! it's a small price to pay.
that's the only way to completely safeguard what's yours.
I received a call from these morons today.Caller ID showed unknown followed by many zeros. At the beginning of the call I acted interested and asked for a phone number in case we were disconnected. The guy actually gave me a number that turns out to be a good number to call them back at. After wasting as much of this idiots time as I could he hung up on me. I blocked my number and called the number he gave me. They did not answer like a business , but when I asked they said they were PC Care. I asked about how they got my number and then I was handed over to another person. I said I wanted to have my number removed from their call list and this idiot said sure consider it done. At that point I asked how can you say consider it done when you dont even know what number Im talking about? Remember I blocked my call when I called back. At this point I said dont worry I will just give your name and number to the authorities and I hung up. So for all that may be harassed by these less than human slime balls here is Diago James number at Pc Care 1-267-344-1404
I was approached by this company by phone. I was a new computer user and very naive about this scam..I paid 160.00 for 12 months. I let them into my computer. Tech support came from places like India. There was a language barrier. The reps became very surly and angry when I didnt understand what they wanted me to do. They actually threatened me. As a result, I went to a local computer store and had them take the company's icons and access off my computer. I also changed my Visa card. Now they call me offering a refund of my money if they can get back into my computer. They say they are from the "refund dept" of the company. Apparently, the company is going out of business. I am smarter now and I will not let any remote access. They call me every few days to offer the refund. They are relentless. When I ask for specific info, like how much I paid and when, there is a different answer each time....I question how this part of the scam works...I had to eat the 160.00.
For some time now I have been in touch with Onlinepccare and have actually let them into my computer. Problems were resolved but always returned. I am not aware that there has been any breaches to my finances or other private material. I did pay them $ 130 for their service. I have received numerous calls from people purporting to be onlinepccare, but they couldn't prove it. When I wanted their service, I always contacted them. However, this week I received a cold call telling me they were going out of business and wanted to refund my money. I would have to let them into my computer one last time. The amount of money they told me I would receive was in excess of the money I had paid them. I'm not lettig them in again. However, I do want to reiterate that no harm was done to my computer or finances in the year that I've been with them. But I have lately been inundated by calls. I've just bought a new computer and will certainly not let anyone in on remote control any more.
I do hope they are finally out of business, but older friends still report calls like this to me. as recently as December 2012, in Ontario and Nova Scotia. I don't know how they manage to find the telephone numbers of older folks, though I suspect they pay for (illegal) targeted marketing telephone lists.
I received cold call in Jan 2012. do not give personal information. they keep calling. they let me think they were a company I had. Billed 399.00. They refused to refund money. Let's have the FBI put them out of business and refund the money.
I just received the call from PC care this week.They told me the same speil about Microsoft receiving error messages and that they are affliated with MS.We danced around for 10 minutes till the caller got p*ssed off and hung up.The scam is alive and well.Beware!
A in Australia, I paid the service years ago and now they want to 'refund' the amount. Each time it has taken over 2 hours and my contact is a very Indian Name, I think he's vice captain of the Indian Cricket Team "Marsh Jones". "email@example.com" Sadly and stupidly - I was trying to do so as I had no problems prior with them but with a new computer and its my work, I was reticent. However and thankfully, each time to do this Refund through Western Union to my credit card, something technically went wrong so no money was deposited / refunded. Given the Scam Posts / Blogs I will tell them to forget in 12 minutes when they call. Thanks for the help.