Hello this is *&@^% calling from Microsoft about your computer

I must have gotten about 5 of these calls from operators with heavy Indian accents telling me they are calling about “my computer”.

At FTC’s Request, Court Shuts Down New York-Based Tech Support Scam Business | Federal Trade Commission.

Oh no! You mean the many people who had fun with this frauds now have to find someone else to yank?

At the request of the Federal Trade Commission, a federal court has shut down a company that scammed computer users by tricking them into paying hundreds of dollars for technical support services they did not need, as well as software that was otherwise available for free.

According to the FTC’s complaint and other court documents filed by the agency, Pairsys, Inc., cold-called consumers masquerading as representatives of Microsoft or Facebook, and also purchased deceptive ads online that led consumers to believe they were calling the technical support line for legitimate companies.

Whether consumers were cold-called by the company or drawn in by deceptive ads, the FTC’s complaint notes that what followed was a deceptive and high-pressure sales pitch conducted by scammers in an overseas call center. The scammers would convince a consumer to allow them to have remote control over the individual’s computer, in order to analyze the supposed issues.

Once they had access to a consumer’s computer, the FTC alleges, the scammers would lead the consumer to believe that benign portions of the computer’s operating system were in fact signs of viruses and malware infecting the consumer’s computer. In many cases, they implied that the computer was severely compromised and had to be “repaired” immediately.

At that point, consumers were pressured into paying for bogus warranty programs and software that was freely available, usually at a cost of $149 to $249, though in some cases, the defendants charged as much as $600 for the supposed products. The FTC’s filings in the case allege that the company made nearly $2.5 million since early 2012.

As this piece made clear, Pairsys targeted the elderly and those who lacked computer knowledge to sell them fake ‘security’ programs. It was easy for tech savvy people to know Microsoft would never call you at home.

Some people kept the representatives on the phone giving them a hard time. Kind of hilarious, but mean. Yet, so is being scammed.

While it’s great that the FTC took action, and I hope this means the end of the scam, I still get frickin’ ANNOYING ROBOCALLS from “Rachel, from Cardholder Services” who was also given the boot a while back. Apparently, she didn’t get the message.

  13 comments for “Hello this is *&@^% calling from Microsoft about your computer

  1. Sam
    October 24, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    Ooh!!! THAT CRAZY RACKIN’, FRACKIN’ “Rachel” is a big pain in the butt

  2. Tony
    October 24, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    Finally, a little more peace and quiet during supper time. These scammers were calling me a couple of times a month over the past year.

  3. Andrew Wilson
    October 24, 2014 at 6:11 PM

    Thank goodness they have shut one of these low life bottom feeders down.

    I have been harassed 67 times by these scam callers.
    After call no. 30, it got old fast.

    A little piece of peace, till the next call scammer pops up.

  4. BobM
    October 24, 2014 at 8:05 PM

    I haven’t had any of these calls for some time now. I don’t know if it’s anything to do with the fact that when they said “I’m from Microsoft and there’s something wrong with your computer” I always reply “that’s funny – I have a Macintosh.” Probably not – largely because I lied. 🙂 There is usually a very loud silence on the other end when I say this though so it is sort of fun.

  5. Marcus
    October 24, 2014 at 8:24 PM

    I once had a similar one; they called from the US (so they said – it was definitely an international call to Australia). I kept them on the line for three hours, asking for my credit card details, until eventually I said, “wait, I don’t have a credit card”

    I’d like to think those three hours were well spent stopping them harassing someone more vulnerable to their predation.

  6. Bill D'Arcy
    October 24, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    Sheer luxury Tony…. I get “private” phone calls most days Monday to Friday, and usually more than one each day.

    Bill

  7. Richard
    October 25, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    “Some people kept the representatives on the phone giving them a hard time. Kind of hilarious, but mean.”
    Mean? No, not at all. No is “being scammed” mean. It is the bold faced lying to scam people and rob them that is mean. Keeping the thieves on the line so they call one or two lees potential victims is actually a good thing in my book. I know at least one person who was taken in by this fraud, and convinced that the “nice person from Microsoft” really helped him (as if the real Microsoft is any “help” in the first place…). If someone can keep these criminals occupied by wasting their time so that they can’t fleece even one more victim it is time well spent.

    As to the long term effect of this action by the FTC, I have little hope. “Rachel, from Cardholder Services” was back in business in no time, albeit under a slightly different name. The only way to stop them is to lock them up, which is unlikely to happen. Even then, there are plenty of others to take their place. Still it is at least a little gratifying to know that one of these frauds was caught and prosecuted. Keep at it!

  8. Bill T.
    October 25, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    I got a couple of these calls. I called them for the scum they are, I doubt they much cared.

  9. Bill T.
    October 25, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Nicely played, Marcus, my hat’s off to you.

  10. Bill T.
    October 25, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    I was getting calls from some sort of a credit card scam. They finally stopped calling, I believe because I started stringing them along and keeping them on he phone for as long as possible.

  11. Cathy
    October 26, 2014 at 6:24 PM

    Even telling them truthfully that you don’t have a computer only has them calling you a liar. I know this as an elderly friend of mine has had this happen to her and I know for a fact that she does not have a computer. She felt very insulted by them so even if she haad been lying she wouldn’t have been using their services.

  12. Marc
    October 27, 2014 at 12:02 AM

    These dolts called me a liar when I told them all my computers run Linux. Idiots!

  13. Loren Petrich
    October 27, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    My family has gotten calls like that also, even though the active computer in our house is mine — an iMac, and I’ve never run Boot Camp (dual boot into Windows) and I seldom run VMWare Fusion (can run Windows and Linux inside it).

    There is a similar scam where some web-browser window pops up with an announcement that some software is scanning your computer for malware and the like. It looks like it’s scanning a Windows system, complete with plausible-looking reports on what it found. It even has Windows window widgets, the close and minimize and zoom buttons. This on my iMac, OSX and all.

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