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With all the security threats out there, you might be tempted to click on a pop-up or ad for a “free” scan to keep your computer safe. Especially if you see a Windows logo. The problem? They’re impersonating well-known companies and scaring you into paying to fix computer problems that may not exist.

Lying about finding security threats on your computer — to sell you a service to repair your computer over the phone — is illegal. But that’s how the FTC says Reimage and Restoro convinced people — many of them older adults — to pay tens of millions of dollars for software and services to repair made-up problems.

The FTC says the companies charged people $27-$58 to “repair” the fake computer threats and warnings, but it didn’t end there. They often told customers that the problem couldn’t be fixed and then recommended services by a technician that cost $199 to $499 more. To settle the lawsuit brought by the FTC, the company agreed to pay $26 million in refunds to affected customers. The settlement also prohibits the defendants from making false statements about the performance and security of a computer and using deceptive telemarketing.

To avoid tech support scams:

  • Know that legitimate tech companies won’t contact you by phone, email, or text message to tell you there’s a problem with your computer.
  • Never click a link or call a number in a pop-up warning. Honest tech companies won’t contact you unexpectedly and ask you to do that.

Learn more at And share what you know with people you care about so they avoid these scams, too. Suspect a tech support scam? Tell the FTC at

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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.

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  • We won’t post threats, defamatory statements, or suggestions or encouragement of illegal activity.
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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.

March 15, 2024

Have received many of these messages!

Nancy Sheran
March 15, 2024

It's not wise to let any unknown people onto your computer. If they are bad actors they can plant malware on your computer.

Joe Cocimano
March 15, 2024

Good report. I keep getting pop-ups from an outfit called Guardio with constant warnings / Don't know if it's fraudulent or not.

Dale Thomas
March 15, 2024

Thanks for the info. Great service.

Sachin Kumar
March 15, 2024

Yes. Several times I have observed such advertisements on my device who ask to clean the phone memory on clicking the given pop up window. But I never use them and insist on manufacturers virus definitions updates. Thank you!

Lisa Miller
March 18, 2024

How do I recover funds I lost to ReImage?

April 10, 2024


June 03, 2024

I get call from fake diabetes calls and computer scams ,just hang up