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Tech support scams, which get people to pay for fake computer help or steal their personal information, are convincing. You might already know the signs of a tech support scam, but do your friends and family? Here’s what they need to know now:

  • Companies like Microsoft don’t call and ask for access to your computer. If you get a call like that, it’s a scam.

  • Real companies also won’t ask for your account passwords. Only scammers do.

  • Tech support scammers try to convince you they’re legitimate. They’ll pretend to know about a problem on your computer. They’ll ask you to open normal files that look alarming to make you think you need help.

  • If you do need computer help, go directly to a person, business, or website you know you can trust. General online searches are risky because they might pull up another scam.

If people you know were already scammed, here’s what to tell them:

  • If you paid with a credit or debit card, call your credit card company or bank immediately and tell them what happened.

  • If you paid with a gift card, contact the gift card company (iTunes, Amazon, etc.) ASAP to see if the funds are still on the card and can be frozen before it’s too late.

  • A tech support scammer who has access to your computer can install malware. Update your computer’s security software, scan your computer, and delete anything it identifies as a problem. Restart your computer to be sure the changes take effect. Going forward, download security updates as soon as they are available. Most operating systems have a setting to download and install security updates automatically. Use it. And install updates for your other software, including apps.

  • If the scammer got your password for a financial account, or a site like Amazon, change the password immediately. Contact the company directly to make sure nobody has broken into your account.

Report your experience to You’re not alone, and reporting these scams helps law enforcement go after the people behind tech support scams.

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.
  • We won’t post comments that include vulgar messages, personal attacks by name, or offensive terms that target specific people or groups.
  • 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.

July 27, 2018
I have had numerous calls from these people that want to issue a refund for the service! They want computer access to “remove their software.” Is it legitimate? I have so far refused them access. Why can’t they just issue me a check? They say they were “ordered” to close down.
mmse your e-ma…
October 13, 2018

In reply to by karen

Was it Skype 7077021982I think it is a scam to get access to computer
Upset and frus…
March 05, 2019

In reply to by karen

Do NOT allow them access! They will connect you to a remote network and you will lose all your files! They will tell you that you need to enter your account information over the secure network and that they can't see if and if you try to discount they will erase all your files. BEWARE!
September 29, 2019

In reply to by karen

First, they are SCAMMERS. Is it really reasonable that they want to issue you a refund or remove their software? If you give them access to "remove" their software, they will almost certainly install ransomware instead, at which point some or all your files will be encrypted and you will have to either pay the ransom or lose your files. If you give them your bank account information so they can "refund" your money, expect to find your bank account emptied instead. Remember, they are SCAMMERS. Do you really think they are telling you the truth about being "ordered" to make restitution?
Carmina Burina
April 16, 2021

In reply to by karen

I experienced this same scam. Saying that my computer service company company was going out of business, they wanted to issue me a refund. They then overpay you and say you must return the excess money. I almost fell for it to the tune of $9,000. They convinced me to give me all kinds of personal financial information. Beware! They are really slick. By the time enough people are scammed they pull up stakes and return with a different name but the same scam.
April 19, 2021

In reply to by karen

Link exchange is nothing else but it is simply placing the other person's web site link on your page at suitable place and other person will also do similar in support of you.
July 27, 2018
A pop up "ALERT" appears on your screen that you have a virus and call Technical Support Immediately, usually an 800 number, and Don't Turn Off Your Computer. It's a scam that has been around several years. Don't fall for it and turn off your computer.
August 01, 2018

In reply to by kitty

I actually fall for this and was very lucky not to suffer any loses for identity problems. Never again. This website has educated me about scammers. Love this site.
August 06, 2018

In reply to by kitty

I fell for this scam. They ( east indian dialect) said they were from Microsoft and that a company had broke through my firewall to get all of my financial information. I paid $150 for them to 'clean up' my laptop. I deleted every thing from the laptop and haven't even used it since.....don't know what to do at this point.
August 06, 2018

In reply to by bekindtoanimals

If You Were Scammed

  • Get rid of malware. Update or download legitimate security software and scan your computer. Delete anything the software says is a problem.
  • Change any passwords that you shared with someone. Change the passwords on every account that uses passwords you shared.
  • If you paid for bogus services with a credit card, call your credit card company and ask to reverse the charges. Check your statements for any charges you didn’t make, and ask to reverse those, too. Report it to
  • For more information, see the FTC publication, Tech Support Scams.
February 25, 2019

In reply to by bekindtoanimals

The same thing happened to me. I thought I was dealing with Microsoft. The company name was EZ Tech. I paid them as well. They called again and wanted complete access to my computer to complete their service. I didn't feel good about it and told the caller I wasn't continuing and hung up. I then went to my bank and stopped payment on my credit card. However they are relentless in calling me in which I hang up or don't answer. They called this morning and left a message saying I can push #1 for continuing ($19.95 per mo) or #2 to discontinue service. I haven't been aware of any more money being paid to them after visiting my bank right after the first encounter months ago. I do not want to return the call and think I will return to my bank to see what to do.
September 26, 2018

In reply to by kitty

I personally know a person in USA who sets up legitimate companies and other resources these scammers need in order to carry out their scams. I have had this knowledge for almost two months now and I want to alert the authorities. But I don't know who to talk to. Any help regarding this would be really appreciated.
FTC Staff
October 15, 2018

In reply to by Scamvictim

You can report that to the FTC by calling 1-877-382-4357. You don't have to give your name. You can explain what you know, and the information will go into the FTC's secure database. Then the FTC and other law enforcement agencies can use the information for investigations. Thank you.

July 27, 2018
what about Experian? and the dark web.... they advertised on tv and now I've been blasted with not just daily but twice a day with ' you've been exposed on the dark' sign up for protection today.... I think that is a scam!
July 27, 2018
Thanks, most of the items you posted, I was aware of and had several adds or pop-up on a page say some part of my pc needed to be updated, got caught once and paid the price for repairs and lost files. Windows 10 has been working great to defend against malware and such>
July 27, 2018
July 27, 2018
I used to get scam purporting to be from "Windows" ... "something wrong with your computer" they said. Fortunately, I knew nothing wrong. They kept calling for awhile & finally gave up when I wouldn't answer the phone (call ID listed their #)
Suzy q
July 27, 2018
I’ve been called several times but I don’t answer. I block the number. Those claiming to be Microsoft have even left messages telling me I have just used my computer and having trouble. I don’t react other tha to block. I have gotten email three times from what appears to be my bank and it says my account has been blocked. I go immediately to the bank and they send it to their fraud department to trace it. Scammers just don’t give up. I received 60 calls in June and I am on the do not call list.
July 27, 2018
I have been a victim. How do you know what these data companies are doing? They can produce fake graphics. It's their OS how can you follow up? Finding out small companies must have freelance employees who can address data and social media production. Then you can direct QA. Good luck.
July 27, 2018
You left out that you can easily get yourself into a very bad situation by calling what you think is a company's tech support, when in fact you have called a third party company, that answers with "Hello, XYZ Support. How can we help you?" They represent themselves as the company support you were looking for, and before you realized what happened you have handed them $$$$$!
July 27, 2018
Received a call from "Microsoft", telling me I had a problem. I pretended that I was very concerned. I was asked to go to my computer immediately and logon. I waited about 5 minutes and then told them my battery was dead and I was looking for the power cord. I pretended to keep asking my wife to look here and look there. To make a long story short, I managed to keep the phony caller on the line for 17 min. If more people would waste the time of these scammers, they would not have as much time to call as many suckers.
December 04, 2018

In reply to by George

I do the same thing and after a while I blow a whistle into the telephone. Since most of them have headphones on, this will impact their hearing for a while.
July 27, 2018
As always I love getting your updates on the latest scams. I always pass them on to my friends as I am older and so are they. I do not want anyone to get caught up in this sort of thing. Thanking you for your commitment to helping others.
July 27, 2018
When I get something in the mail that looks like a scam, I put it in a folder. After a few months, I mail the letters to the AG. I got one yesterday saying the warranty on my motor vehicle expired (I don't own one). It came in a plain white envelope and didn't state the name of a company. They gave me an estimate of what I'd pay on repairs if I didn't renew my warranty (it was more than I earned last year). Maybe I'll tell the FTC now.
July 27, 2018
l had a problem like this several months ago involving a alleged " Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher ". This ebay seller from California sold me a defective computer which stopped working within a very short time. When l contacted him through ebay emails he told me not to return my computer to him because his " technician " would call me within the hour to go inside my computer and fix it. To make a long story short this " technician" got into my bank account and removed all of my money. l was able to get every penny back but ebay NEVER removed this shady California computer seller, and FTC NEVER contacted me about my complaint.
July 27, 2018
still getting calls about my com-put-er. can't under stand the person. getting calls lately about medicare.
July 28, 2018
I am getting frequent calls leaving a message that some soft ware company owes me money and wants me to call immediately before my computer crashes. They want to refund my money. They say Fed Trade is making them give back money etc.Some days I get as many as 10-12 messages from them ,3 in a row all day long.I haven't bought any thing for my computer, and it hasn't crashed yet. What can I do about these calls? They have been going on for at least a year.
Just Ducky
July 28, 2018
I wish I had received this email four days ago before it actually happened to my son.
July 30, 2018
Scam ph. # 844 422-7808. Tied up my screen saying there was a virus. I called them and a person with an east Indian accent answered. I blew him off and said I would report his number to you.
John C
July 30, 2018
I received a call stated th a my Social Security number was fraudulent and funds would be stopped and charges would be issued to local officers and I needed to call 972-242-9749. This was a to go call with a computer generated voice. I contact the st. John's county florida and I was advised to contact FTC.
August 03, 2018

In reply to by John C

Thank you for sharing your experience. Earlier this year, we issued a post about imposters. Please see Scammers impersonate the Social Security Administration. The SSA also has a warning about these scams and suggests you contact them directly at 1-800-772-1213 to verify the reason for the contact and the person’s identity prior to providing any information to the caller.

If you -- or someone you know -- come across one of these scams, please report it to the Social Security Administration’s Fraud Hotline at 1-800-269-0271, or 1-866-501-2101(TTY), and then file a formal report tell the FTC about it. We can't address complaints that come through the blog comments.

July 30, 2018
Received a call from 1800-049-6190 claiming to be the last person to work on our computer and wanted to give permission to take over the computer.
Rod E
July 31, 2018
I received a call this past Saturday for a Micro Soft representative that stated he was calling me because Verizon suspected abnormal activity from my computer. This person stated that he wad directed to offer me a refund due to the security hardware once provided by Micro Soft being now obsolete, and he was granted permission to contact Verizon internet customers with the problem he extolled. The goal of this individual was to be granted access to my bank account in order to pay me a refund of $299.00. The person I spoke with went by the name of Steve Parker a left a call back number 810-228-7478. I believe this to be a scam, therefore I am sending you this message. I have also discovered that the same kind of thing is taking place in other states around the USA.
July 31, 2018
I also got a call about getting a refund due to security hardware no longer being operational. They were vague about the details, but the scary part is that they called me by my proper first name and wanted me to call them back so they could "process my refund". This was in NYS. Beware!
August 01, 2018
I also got stung once,got this message on my computer that I had a virus and needed to call Microsoft at the 800 number to get it fixed. Being dumb and new at the computer, I fell for it. Paid $300.00 for nothing, was all a scam, changed my passwords, etc, closed my checking account, got another one, and have had 6 or so more like it in the last 6 months. The one I paid for was from India, bunch or crooks, never again, I just shut my computer down and wait for awhile and turn it back on, back to normal.
August 01, 2018
Just got a VM supposedly from Microsoft saying this is an emergency call from Microsoft. Your windows license has been expired. All services are suspended on your computer. To renew call 833 226 8222. I have no intention to call that number. Just passing it on so no one falls for this.
Missy miss
August 07, 2018

In reply to by Missmary

MissMary, I have been getting at least 10 calls a day from # (828) 684-3621, with this exact story. It must be the latest scam. Finally blocked the number.
February 18, 2021

In reply to by Missy miss

Can you tell us more about this? I'd want to find out some additional information.
August 01, 2018
I filed a complaint with the FTC re: a tech support firm that fixed my comuter problem and a year later, the same firm called me and said they needed to give me a refund because they had gone out of business. Wanted me to give me the routing number for my checking acct beause they could not send me a check or credit my credit card..RIGHT...When I refused several times, the guy used very vulgar language and hung up on me. The previous year, I actually give them access to my computer to fix my problem, so I thought they were legit...but guess I was very lucky they didn't steal my identity or money.
Lexi R
May 08, 2019

In reply to by ccm

I think my brother is actually experiencing this exact situation. Dealing with a guy named Jason trying to refund my brother $300 for a computer program company my brother bought the previous year. He explained that the company was going out of business. He made the transaction but he “accidentally” sent an extra grand. So to pay them back the money my brother had to buy a variety of Walmart and google play gift cards to return the money. Mind you the man has full access to his monitor. The man is aware of his debate card number as well. Anyways so the man kept saying that the gift cards didn’t work so he had to buy more. Which ended up totaling $5,000 taken as of right now. Now it has been almost a month since we’ve been waiting on this money. But the man insists that the money should be in his account at the latest “tomorrow “. You can only say tomorrow so many times. So the man calls every day asking my brother if he has received any checks in the mail or deposits in his account, which obviously hasn’t happened yet. But like I said he is calling every day and at least acts like he may be a good guy. Anyways how worried should I be?
Make it known
August 01, 2018
A call from 1 855 279 2146 today. I did not answer the call. The caller left a message. It identified itself as Microsoft Window Security and warned that if I do not call back, I will not be able to use my computer. I did not call. Thanks to this post.
August 02, 2018
incredible blog. thanks for the share useful information.
'sweet art
August 03, 2018
My friend is such a nice guy, well he believed them, somehow they said they over paid him instead of the $300.00 they said $3000.00 and we're able to some how to show the deposit in his account, Convinced him to send the refund by gift card, well luckily he only purchased $500.00 of gift cards. Yes it was the scam of going out of business and refunding his money If it seems to good it is!
August 04, 2018
I got a pop up on 7/31/18 that said that my computer was in danger and to call 877-734-8472. They implied that they were associated with Microsoft. I gave them access by remote to add Antivirus and a Firewall to my computer!!! A lady named Sofia at 800-952-0926, ext. 1028 gave me three options to choose from. One year, 5 year and a Lifetime membership, stating that I would have to pay extra on the one year and the five year to reinstall. I chose the Lifetime which was $399.99 because it was just a one time charge!!! I was transferred to a guy named Adi to take my credit card info, which I submitted on line. It came back denied by the credit card company. So I called them and they told me why because it was a scam from England and to call Microsoft which I did and they said I had been hacked!!! Microsoft took off all the malware, etc. The name of the company is Adept based out of England although the people I spoke to sounded like they were from India. I was so fortunate to not to have lost any money due to my GREAT credit card company!!!
Fat Paulys
August 07, 2018
I just received a call from tech support scammers. I’ve watched hundreds of videos of people confronting the scammers, so I know the telltale signs. He claimed to be a Microsoft Tech Support worker, told me that my computer had been sending error reports to his office, and tried to convince me that my computer had viruses and needed to be cleaned. When I denied his request to give me remote access to his computer, he threatened to terminate my Microsoft account. We argued for a bit, and then he hung up.
Pauline M
August 08, 2018
The latest phone number for the Microsoft span is: 1-855-7000-705
April 19, 2021

In reply to by Pauline M

Link exchange is nothing else however it is simply placing the other person's web site link on your page at appropriate place and other person will also do same in support of you.