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Scammers pretending to be with the FTC or with FTC refund administrators are calling, asking for remote access to your computer. It’s been reported that the scammers are calling specifically about the FTC’s Advanced Tech Support refund program. Their goal is to make you think you are moments away from getting money that’s owed to you – and, to get the money, all you need to do is allow them to connect to your computer. It’s a scam.

These kinds of scams, where imposters ask for remote access to your computer, are called tech support scams, and they exist in many forms. They may try to trick you into installing malware, sell you software that’s worthless, or direct you to websites and ask you to enter your credit card number and other personal information. They may also ask you to pay them by buying gift cards or prepaid debit cards at local stores or online.

In the case of the FTC’s Advanced Tech Support refund program, all checks have already been mailed to those affected. The FTC is no longer accepting any new claims. The scammers have told people to call if they have questions, but the number they give also is false. The only number to call for information about the real Advanced Tech Support Refund program is 877-793-0908.

The FTC and its refund administrators will never request remote access to your device, or ask you to pay to receive a refund. Any caller who does is a scammer. If you get a similar call, hang up immediately, report it to the FTC, and spread the word. It may help someone close to you avoid a scam.

It is your choice whether to submit a comment. If you do, you must create a user name, or we will not post your comment. The Federal Trade Commission Act authorizes this information collection for purposes of managing online comments. Comments and user names are part of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) public records system, and user names also are part of the FTC’s computer user records system. We may routinely use these records as described in the FTC’s Privacy Act system notices. For more information on how the FTC handles information that we collect, please read our privacy policy.

The purpose of this blog and its comments section is to inform readers about Federal Trade Commission activity, and share information to help them avoid, report, and recover from fraud, scams, and bad business practices. Your thoughts, ideas, and concerns are welcome, and we encourage comments. But keep in mind, this is a moderated blog. We review all comments before they are posted, and we won’t post comments that don’t comply with our commenting policy. We expect commenters to treat each other and the blog writers with respect.

  • We won’t post off-topic comments, repeated identical comments, or comments that include sales pitches or promotions.
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  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
  • We won’t post comments that include personal information, like Social Security numbers, account numbers, home addresses, and email addresses. To file a detailed report about a scam, go to

We don't edit comments to remove objectionable content, so please ensure that your comment contains none of the above. The comments posted on this blog become part of the public domain. To protect your privacy and the privacy of other people, please do not include personal information. Opinions in comments that appear in this blog belong to the individuals who expressed them. They do not belong to or represent views of the Federal Trade Commission.

April 11, 2018

I am showing in Google Chrome the FTC is monitoring all my data. I haven't been able to get security for well over 6-8 years. For a while I wasn't aware. I've asked everyone. No one has been able to help. My phone operates remotely, I can't update any security. That's only a small part.

April 09, 2018
I did not get a call from someone being th e FTC but I DID get several calls from people claiming they are from Microsoft. They ask if I am by my computer and they are always Indian. Those are scams, don’t fall for it.
Dave C
April 26, 2018

In reply to by RussDRocker

I received a call yesterday and again today about my computer And the Indian voice in a threatening tone said I will get 1000.00 from your bank I then hung up and called the FTC about it .Then proceeded to start a claim.The individuals name that called was Peter Smith with a talephone number of 1 888 724 4814 Scam
May 14, 2018

In reply to by RussDRocker

I did fall for this now I'm getting calls 5 or 6 a day from different #s all are Indians
May 24, 2018

In reply to by RussDRocker

I too have had those calls and unfortunately I fell for it and now my $2500 laptop is worthless due to the Malware and viruses and whatever else they put on there. They claimed to be from Microsoft checking up on my new computer and now its a big paper weight plus the $99.00 they said for the service. Now I just feel stupid
FTC Staff
June 22, 2018

In reply to by Mtchef

You can try to get rid of the malware. The FTC article about malware includes these tips: 

  • Update your security software, and then scan your computer for viruses and spyware. Delete anything it identifies as a problem. You may have to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.
  • Check your browser. See if it has tools to delete malware. Or, reset the browser to its original settings.
  • If your computer is covered by a warranty that offers free tech support, contact the manufacturer. Before you call, write down the model and serial number of your computer, the name of any software you've installed, and a short description of the problem.
  • Many companies — including some affiliated with retail stores — offer tech support. Online search results might not be the best way to find help. Tech support scammers pay to raise their ranking in search results, so their websites and phone numbers appear before listings of legitimate companies. If you want tech support, look for a company’s contact information on a software package or on your receipt.
October 25, 2018

In reply to by Mtchef

That is exactly what I have been going through for 3 years now,,.. it's ruined my life my credit my reputation.. it's extremely hard to get help.. even if you know who the original source of theft start with..
April 11, 2018

Reading these keeps you aware of scams babe, read some before you click on things.

April 09, 2018
I cant tell you how many calls ive gotten with someone telling me my computer has been compromised to the level that it was going to create problems for me. They even knew mt name. I have even called for printer support and got scammers wanting remote access and once i even paid for them to fix it. But i know better now so nobody gets a credit card numberor remote access. Cant begin to tell you about some of the scams that have come my wat — i have learned if it sounds too good to be true, its a scam RUN
April 09, 2018
Thank you for the scam alerts. Good to know what to watch for.
DonJZ't use yo…
June 02, 2018

In reply to by Smiling

Once the FTC closes the case; it's back to business as usual because there is no more help or claims available. I've lost everything. I see a bunch of former cases like "operation empty Promises", which was great - but several Utah based businesses used the findings as a business model without fear that the FTC will be back any time soon. I have a list of those that need to be shut down.
April 09, 2018
If people would slow down and think things through, they would not get scammed. I have been there and learned my lesson the first time.
April 09, 2018
I had similar experienced, the scamer pretend as a MICROSOFT technician mentioned that my computer OS was have problem and need to be fixed. They asked me to run the specific program so they can access to my computer. Once they access my computer, all my files was locked. When I asked them why my files lock, and they ask for money to open them. They sound like Indian people.
April 15, 2018

In reply to by Capung

i had a microsoft page come up bad and it said to call a number to fix it its been infected. i paid to fix it but he was all over my computer and he was indian
April 15, 2018

In reply to by Capung

i also had dealings from a so call mircosoft technition it was a scam
Teresa S
April 11, 2018
Please let me know what you discover.
April 11, 2018

Yes, it has happened to me. His name is "Kevin" and wanted to give me a $300 refund. But couldn't send me a check, had to use my pc to do it. He called 20 times to try and get into the pc. I'm on the do-not-call list, but he got through anyway. Usually his calls come from Canyon County in Calif. He said he was from Experts LLC and was certified in Cisco and Microsoft. Just thought I'd let you know.

April 13, 2018

In reply to by Juju

"Kevin" just called me & said he was from Analytic Consulting Firm, but he couldn't pronounce Analytic correctly. lol I KNEW it was a scam, but I played along. I pretended to type the information he gave me, but wrote it down instead. This is what he wanted me to type: and hit enter. I told him my computer froze and the screen is gray. He wanted to know if I could see the identification numbers, but I assured him him I could see nothing. I asked if I could call him back and he gave me the name Kevin Blaize and the number 832-706-4040 to call by 7:30 p.m.. (He REALLY sounded excited as if he caught a big fish. STUPID IDIOT.I never purchased a computer agreement in March 2016, so WHY would I expect a refund?) PEOPLE, DON'T DO IT!
April 09, 2018
THANK YOU!! I just knew it. They must have called me at least a dozen times already.
CommentDon't u…
April 09, 2018
Good info. Thanks
marie v
April 11, 2018

we have had 25 scam calls saying we won from 1 million to 27 million. my bank account also has been scamed asking for 10,000 dollars. I have turned in some names and phone numbers.

April 09, 2018
while on my computer there was a recording that I had to call a number to unlock my computer it was the FBI
April 26, 2018

In reply to by coco

i've been getting calls from IRS 3 to 4 times a week now for the last few weeks (LOL) telling me something about if I don't call this number there will be a warrent out for my arrest the next day, unfortunately it is a recording, cause I would tell the Great please come arrest me, I need a vacation. (LOL) I know this is a scam.
April 11, 2018

4/9/2018 As I've said before, Leave a message on your messaging service. "I am monitoring my calls, please state your business and leave your name and number Thank you." I assure you they will hang up and say nothing!

Miss v
April 11, 2018

I am pretty sure I have weird software or hardware remotely pushed on my iPhone bc all my gmails say weird things like pretending to be from the FTC / branding/ images? I don’t know if this normal or not but for customers and gov security I thought I’d let you know thanks o and I’m blocked from disability n other government sites still !!! Plz help me

April 11, 2018

thank you for the message , I'll remember that

April 09, 2018
The scammers are also do a Microsoft tech support scam. Got me for $400
April 24, 2018

In reply to by Kitty

Allan Brown from micorsoft/cloudwave is trying to get the $400 from me. He said I owed, signed a contract last year, showed me the contract, had ALL my info including my cell which I have not posted till this year, I took the weekend and did some research, and I have his number and name here on my computer, but he will NOT get the money. When he calls I have already decided to tell him what I think and have reported him to Cloudwave and FTC with name and number and extension, have gone to my bank to let them know no one is to take out of my account, plus I will give information to others so he will be exposed and should stop him. Monday was on my way out, cell phone rang, Mrs.C, we have a refund for you, I said nope, hung up. The reason I got to Allan is because I was told they were taking money out of my account because I had signed a contract, which I did not and could not have someone taking out of my account for payment due of outrageous amount! He said he was from Microsoft, and I have never used Microsoft tech's they charge on the spot.
June 15, 2018

In reply to by Kitty

Same he got $400 from me just two days ago. These people should be put in jail man
April 11, 2018

Thank you. I received a text on April 6, 2018 wanting me to send my email code and 1st grade teacher's name. Then I realize it was not Coolagent2 sending me the messages it was a scam. I wonder if we will be able to communicate again on site.

Chari7Don't us…
April 11, 2018

The refund scam has called me several times from different numbers, so it does no good to block the number after the call. The caller insists that

Chari7Don't us…
April 11, 2018

(continued) that I am owed money and tells me to open my computer so that he can deposit it! When I say anything, he becomes more insistent. I just hang up. Beware if you are expecting any type of refund and don't allow the scammer put you on the defense. Hang up!

thomas philips
April 11, 2018

I have been getting email from bank of america look alike spammers. Could you please investigate here is the weblink extension.Bank of america subject:the best time to fight fraud is before it happens. The message from the scamers looks very authentic and is asking for update the profile and the prsonal information.

April 10, 2018
The calls I keep getting are "Microsoft is receiving error message and we need to access your computer to fix them." It is always a heavily accented voice and I have said that I have not problems that need fixing, that it's a scam. One time I asked "Does this apply to Apple PC's and laptops, too?" (I don't have Apple nor a laptop), the person hung up. I also get calls saying my license or contract with Microsoft is expiring and need to renew, how STUPID do these people think we are?
April 16, 2018

In reply to by Chat_Kath47

I get those also, funny thing is, I own a Mac and I don’t run windows at all....still they insist. No computer company is going to call and tell you your computer, phone or any of that because they don’t work that way. End of story
April 10, 2018
This happened to me & my husband . They had our computer on lockdown & then told us we had to purchase a $100.00 itunes ecard & that the code on the back would unlock our computer . Peeps beware , these guys will stop at nothing to make a quick buck . They still call from time to time , but now we are smart enough to ignore them .
April 13, 2018
Are any of the Microsoft scams getting a refund or is the investigation still on going with these people.
Silver Cloud
May 08, 2018

In reply to by PIPES

I also wannt to know if I can get my money back?
April 14, 2018
I just filed a claim with National Do Not Call Registry. The jist of the message is "You have a computer security breach on the software we installed on your computer. It has raised a red flag. Please call 844-272-9486." I've started a log, the calls have been coming too much i.e. Friday, April 13, 2018 -- 9:30, 10:30, 10:55 am; 3:40, 3:55, 4:40 5:02 & 6:04 pm, Saturday, April 14, 2018, only one call at 3:40 pm. If my phone rings and I don't pick it up, after 3 rings the ringer stops. If I pick it up, the message starts and is repeated 3 times, one right after the other. I hope you all aren't getting these calls. Thanks for listening.
April 16, 2018
I just received an email today regarding a refund for a tech support scam. They are requesting that I call 202-796-1570/202-996-6295 within 20th of April 2018 to get back the refund from that company with the help of Federal trade Commission. The grammar and the wrong capitalization made me suspicious so I came to the Federal Trade Commission web site to check it out. I definitely feel this is a scam. The FTC website stated that anyone due a refund has already been paid.
April 18, 2018
I keep getting calls from Kingston JM that I won millions in a sweepstakes. Plus I get calls for a refund from Microsoft. I wish I could get them to stop calling me.
April 19, 2018
Does anyone know about FB asking for gift cards to fix a hacked IP address? I called them they did not call me but i keep giving them money to block the ppl who are using my Ip address thru FB. it's starting to sound fishy.
April 19, 2018
I have been receiving emails on my HM account threatening to cancel or terminate my account for a number of months, even two days ago. They claim to be from Microsoft team. Can anyone do something to stop them doing this? Microsoft techs. claim to be from US are calling from INDIA, Is there a solution to stop thesehackers?
Mountain man
April 20, 2018
I have gotten 3 calls from this number this week and have asked them to quit calling me. It was in regards to my computer. The number is 304 555-5489. I tell them I am on the do not call list and I do not wish these calls and they hang up. How do you get them to quit calling. I tell them vert bluntly I am not interested. Please help!
May 10, 2018

In reply to by Mountain man

The easiest way I have found to deal with these scammers is to answer the phone, and then dont hang up but put your phone down for 10 minutes and do other stuff. They generally will stop calling after that. Sometimes I like to mess with them and pretend I am beleiving every thing they are saying. I like to waste about 30minutes to an hour of their time. Just when they think they are going to get money out of me, I yell SCAMMER down the phone and hang up!! At least during that time they were not able to scam anyone else..
June 22, 2018

just received a scam that freeze my computer and to call them at 866-423-1004. The individual name is Sam Ibrahim. He wants to help me to up date my computer I called a friend and told me what to do. I would like the FTC to go after these people

April 25, 2018
For the past few years, I have been receiving calls from "live" men with Middle Eastern accent stating they are with Microsoft & my computer has been compromised. He states he needs access to my computer and to follow his instruction while we're on the phone. My cell & landline home phone have been registered with the FTC Do Not Call list since 2004, and I verified this today 04/25/2018 - I AM STILL GETTING THESE CALLS. Another concern is my elderly mom who has already been scammed, sent money to bogus IRS callers, solicited, told she won money from Publishers Clearing House - her phone is registered also. I feel there is no way to stop these horrible criminals from all this.
April 28, 2018
Please be aware of a Gary Sannes 661-927-6228 and John Martin 315-944-0643. I received email from them that was titled IT saying my contract was ending and my bank account was going to be charged 2000.00 for a five year contract. I responded with cancel I can't afford that amount for a service to my computer. They told me no I had to phone them to cancel. I called 3 times getting a google answering message. I proceeded to email them requesting cancellation and that is when they became angry with me saying they would get the money from my account unless I gave them access to my computer. What a mistake I realized watching them in my computer it was a scam so I shut my system down and the harassment calls continued. I had to stop my debit card from bank and today when I went to my bank account was a draft check from unknown company for amount of 297.00. I now have to go to bank on Monday to sign affidavit I did not authorize this draft. What else can I do?
May 17, 2018
watch out if you are calling HP tech support they transferred a call once to she said India and tried to make me get a maintenance contract for $185.00 for 2 yrs.Another one wanted my credit card number for a contract I told them I give out no numbers for anything.I had a company called driver agent plus that said I need them to do my updates.It cost me a fee to join then they never updated for me just grabbed a fee saying they updated.Search driver agent plus and see all the complaints there.