I received another computer support request. This one deals with a questionable Microsoft vendor or possible scam technical support company. Here is the original initial request:
"I have a message from a Microsoft vendor that said I don’t have network security and they want me to pay $399.99 to fix a virus they found in my computer. These people are telling me that I don’t have any security on my laptop at all and that I need to get it because my laptop is corrupt and I will lose all my data on my laptop."
There are numerous Microsoft technical support scams floating across the Internet. These clowns will even call you and fear monger about your computer allegedly having been infected with viruses, insecure, etc. What might not be talked about as much is technical support companies claiming they are Microsoft third party vendors.
Any company can claim they are a certified Microsoft partner. However, is this all smoke and mirrors with some of them? The object of this blog post is to give you some tips that will help you learn how to provide your own support against malware, spyware, viruses, etc.
Here is my original initial response:
This is a scam. There are many Microsoft scams floating around. Nobody from Microsoft calls or contacts you about your computer.
I would not pay these people any money. This individual was using a computer with Microsoft Windows 10 operating system installed. Also, they requested I remotely connect to this computer.
I obliged and noticed quickly possible malware that later was a third party toolbar. I noticed a message on the Microsoft Windows 10 task bar with SUPPORTBUDS in all capital letters. There was a 1800 telephone number to the right.
I thought perhaps this was malware. However, I removed this third party toolbar add on. In my opinion this is kind of cheesy in your face advertising.
This client requested that I remove this toolbar after I asked them about it. This individual was not happy with the support or lack there of from this company. I performed a quick Internet search for supportbuds.
They seem as if they are a legitimate company. However, I am not sure about their tactics. Here is another comment from my client:
...how do I stop getting these alerts. After I got the alert I called these people and then a scan started running on my screen and it would delete...
$399.99 seems like an inflated price for technical support. When I scanned this computer for adware, malware, spyware, and viruses only two objects were found. Also, this computer was secure according to my standards.
Is any Microsoft Windows based computer truly secure? The built in Microsoft Windows defender firewall was enabled. I ran a malware and spyware with Windows Defender.
No objects were found. I ran a spyware scan with my preferred spyware removal tool. Two total malware spyware objects were found.
I decided to use my preferred PC optimization tool on this computer. This computer optimization tool will scan for junk files and junk registry entries. I took a gander at the programs listed in "Apps and features".
I did NOT notice anything too unusual. Teamviewer was installed and configured as unattended. This to me is a security concern.
Teamviewer from my experiences is an excellent program. However, installing an unattended remote support software program is NOT to me very security conscious. This client requested that I disable the unattended access mode with TeamViewer since they claimed nobody remotely connects to this computer any longer.
Remote desktop support software can become a security risk. Especially, if you leave them in unattended mode. This allows anyone to possibly remotely connect and control your computer.
I did NOT run a system file check or check disk scan. Overall this computer seemed in decent health for a Microsoft Windows operating system. Whether or NOT Supportbuds is a legitimate Microsoft vendor I do NOT know.
Whether or NOT they are a legitimate and ethical company I do NOT yet know. I would have to perform further research. My opinion is that $399.99 is a steep price perhaps and I never personally like to use fear mongering tactics in order to gain new or keep existing customers.
I asked the following question to this client, "Is SUPPORTBUDS legit with the 800 number on your task bar?". Here is there response:
"Not at all. The last time this happened the people said they were fixing my account and ever since then I've Had that on my screen and I can’t get it off."
I was able to easily remove that from there task bar. I asked this client when these messages requesting support for $399 occurred. Here is this individuals response:
"My PC was on but I would be away from it for a while. When I clicked my mouse to get back into my tabs or whatever. Then I would get a message that covered my entire screen not to use because it was infected with you had to call them to get the message off your screen."
Even though I am a computer repair technician my overall premise is to become aware of your computer health and security. I do NOT think any of the a fore mentioned tactics used against this individual was necessary. However, that is just my opinion on this matter.
Learning how to maintain your own computer can be quite rewarding. Also, you might save time and even money. There are so many tools and resources available on the Internet these days, there is no reason why you cannot learn how to properly maintain your own computer(s).
This blog post was written for a computer with Microsoft Windows 10 operating system installed. However, you can certainly use these tips as a basis point for other Microsoft operating systems.