Blog for hpHosts, and whatever else I feel like writing about ....

Thursday, 26 March 2009

supportonclick.com scamming you by telephone!

I am posting this as a warning concerning a scam currently doing the rounds, that unfortunately, risks tarnishing the good name of Malwarebytes.

The scam, documented here, warns of scammers phoning you up, claiming to be calling from or on behalf of, Malwarebytes and telling you your computer is running slow etc, in an effort to get you to purchase "malware protection".

The user that reported this, mentioned the numbers they gave two contact numbers;

781-452-0714 (Massachusetts)
347-289-3770 (New York)

Whether these were the numbers they called from, is not known. Reports on 800notes.com show this dating as far back as December for the 347 number, and February for the 781 number.

In all cases reported, the company doing the scamming, is supportonclick.com, registered to Pecon Software Ltd in India. The numbers they provide on their website are;

347 289 3770 (USA)
212 796 0581 (USA)
646 884 9561 (USA)
647 722 8426(Canada)
01274 - 900 834(UK)
01274 - 449 373(UK)
2801 475 93(Australia)
7312 351 48(Australia)

Sadly, there seem to be alot of people falling for this, so in an effort to help prevent this, I'd like to make a few things clear;

1. These scammers are NOT from or related to, Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes are aware that these scammers are doing the rounds, and are in touch with their lawyers concerning this matter. The affiliate they found to be related, has had their account terminated, and any further affiliates found to be involved in this, will also be terminated.

2. Malwarebytes will NEVER contact you, by phone, e-mail or otherwise, unless YOU contact them FIRST! (and even then, they will NOT call you by phone)

3. When they mention your computer is running slow, ask yourself - how do they know? They aren't sitting in front of your computer. This is the first clue that these are scammers.

If you are called by these people, either put the phone down immediately and report the call to your phone company, or record the call (DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY CREDIT CARD OR OTHER SUCH DETAILS!) and pass it to the phone company and the police.

If you've got any questions concerning this, please contact Malwarebytes;

http://malwarebytes.org

Malwarebytes Forums
http://www.malwarebytes.org/forums/

/update 28-03-2009

I found another number they're using whilst doing some research;

212-796-4064
http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-212-796-4064/4

/update 28-03-2009 #2

Thanks to "The H Security", I've added a reference below to a warning from Staffordshire County Council concerning this matter.

For those wondering who to report this to, it should be reported to Trading Standards and to SupportOnClick's hosting company (Hyderabad Network Operations/Net4India Ltd), and of course, to the police as this is fraud. Those in the UK may also want to report this to BBC's WatchDog ;)

/edit 11-04-2009

Good news folks, this story has been picked up by the folks at El Reg! (perhaps this now means, the negative publicity will force someone with authority, to take action against supportonclick.com and their ilk)

Scareware scammers adopt cold call tactics
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/04/10/supportonclick_scareware_scam/



Reference:

New scam - They call you by phone!
http://www.malwarebytes.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=11156

Staffordshire Council - Telephone computer support warning (PDF)
http://www.staffordshire.gov.uk/NR/rdonlyres/6997DBB0-E31E-4AFB-A886-C9DDEE114204/90090/TelephoneComputerSupportWarning.pdf

5 comments:

Darla Hopkins said...

As per my view the whole concept is wrong I have taken service from supportonclick and I am very satisfied with their quick and smooth action

digitaltoast said...

Hello! I first broke this story back on my site in Jan 2009:
http://www.digitaltoast.co.uk/supportonclick-systemrecure-scam

Since then, I've had 24,000 views, 261 comments and a sudden resurgence in people Googling for info on this scam. It appears Supportonclick have stepped up a gear. I've just added loads of links and more info to the site. I'd love it if someone could get the BBC interested in this story too (link on the site).

I've also added a link to your blog from my site - linkback appreciated so we can have a network of anti-scammers!

Stay vigilant!

Carol said...

They got me, too! (But they didn't get any money)
YOU CAN DO SOMETHING PROACTIVE BY REPORTING THIS TO:

econsumer.gov

Let's get these guys off
our block. I told them to
stay at home to do their
dirty-work.

Carol

numpty9999 said...

yes i was caught however i have found out that some of them are based inbradford yorkshire and the other two numbers is in the london area i may just send an email to Watchdog or the one show

Aura said...

Just wanted to point out that the people behind these types of scams often use skype numbers rerouted to their own country.

Hence, they are not actually 'working out of London" or wherever and are therefore not under US, Uk, Australia or any other country's jurisdiction (apart from India).