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 mysteriouscold-call saying that "they" had detected problems with his computerand that he should follow instructions to resolve them. He wasinstructed to hit Windows Key + R and then type "www.onlinepccare.com"into the box, which launched a web site. Then he was walked throughsome (likely bogus) troubleshooting steps, which indicated some (alsolikely bogus) errors. Then my friend explained to the caller that healready had a tech support friend who keeps his computer in goodrepair, and ask how much this "service" would cost. He was told by thecall-centre droid it would be $130, at which point my friend hung upand called me.
Just letting you all know there are some scumbags out there targetingand cold-calling computer novices who might not know better andmisleading them with FUD to get money out of them. According to theonlinepccare.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'minterested to hear. I suspect there's not much we can do besideseducate our less-savvy friends about this cold-calling tech supportscam.
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 myolder relatives. The cold-calling support scammers are back in fullforce.
I've had some time to collect data and think about how these scammersare targeting their collection of phone numbers. A couple of thingscome to mind.
1. All the people I know of who've been contacted by these sorts ofscammers have had a phone number in the same name for at least 20years. One of them has had the same phone number since 1955. This ladyin particular doesn't own a computer, but had the sense to keep thescammer on the line for a few minutes before fessing up. The scammerwas not impressed.
2. My working theory is that the scammers have obtained current andhistorical phone books, whether in digital format or scanned/convertedto digital format. They then sifted and sorted the two data sets tofind the folks who've had the same number for 20 years or moreassociated with the same name. That's usually a good indication of ageas well as financial stability.
3. They are getting really REALLY bloody aggressive. Not only are theyusing 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 accessto 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 ofyou have ideas.
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