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

Thursday, 30 July 2009

SupportOnClick: Phoned by Malwarebytes? BigPond? Anyone else?

I wrote a few months ago, about a company called SupportOnClick, that had been reported as phoning people out of the blue, claiming their computers had told them their computers were infected.

A report on the Malwarebytes forums a little earlier, by an irate user, suggest this company is annoyingly, still using this ruse, to scam people out of money.

Research also shows SupportOnClick have called people claiming they work for BigPond.

Deciding enough was enough, again, I phoned SupportOnClick myself, on one of their UK numbers (01274 900834), to find out what they were playing at. I've never been so frustrated. The guy I spoke to, claimed they weren't claiming they were Malwarebytes, nor were they scamming people, but that they were simply calling existing customers - asked why thousands of reports suggest otherwise, he then proceeded to ask about me. After advising him of who I was (a Malwarebytes researcher, and owner of the hpHosts blacklist), he then proceeded to ask ME about a problem he was having with MBAM on HIS computer! I doubt he was being serious about this, and was instead, trying to guage my response. In either case, I refused to be sidetracked. Long story short, I got nowhere.

I've phoned Trading Standards again, to see if there is anything they can do, and alas, all I could do was file a report.

I'd like to advise ALL of you, if you receive one of these calls, please try and record it. Second, DO NOT allow them to connect to your computer, under any circumstances (they apparently use the LogMeIn service to do this), and DO NOT give them your credit card details - instead, simply hang up the phone.

If you do manage to get a recording of one of these calls, please send me a copy of it (or post it to the Malwarebytes forums), and additionally, if you are in the UK, report the company not only to Trading Standards and Watchdog, but to law enforcement aswell - the more we can do to get this company shut down, the better.

If you are in the US, report them to the FBI (I believe the BBB (Better Business Bureau) or Chamber of Commerce, will be able to take your report aswell).

For those in Australia, aswell as reporting it to law enforcement, you'll need to make sure you also report it to the ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission).

As a final note, you should also report it to your phone company!.

REMEMBER: Malwarebytes will NEVER telephone you! Further, any company phoning you to tell you your computer is infected or having problems is SCAMMING YOU


/edit 01-08-2009

Just an update, the user at the MBAM forums posted the details of the individual that phoned him;

Neil Berkman (not sure is spelling is correct)
employee ID 10655
1-800-698-9034
BOTNURSE

Note the number is SupportOnClick's toll free number (so feel free, for those in the US that get these calls, to call them on the 1800 number and give them a piece of your mind ;o)).

References:

Malwarebytes forums - BAD salesman
http://www.malwarebytes.org/forums/index.php?showtopic=20424

SupportOnClick update
http://hphosts.blogspot.com/2009/04/supportonclick-update.html

supportonclick.com scamming you by telephone!
http://hphosts.blogspot.com/2009/03/supportonclickcom-scamming-you-by.html

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

2 comments:

traveler said...

I don't know if it's the same people, but two days before my new Toshiba laptop arrived (I ordered directly from Toshiba), I got a call from (I don't know if he even gave the details) a man saying that he knew I had bought a laptop from the Microsoft store (no), and that it was crashed, but he could help me fix it remotely, as he could see me through his webcam sitting at the computer (there was no computer here but he insisted he could see me.), so I was ready to hand him the reigns. I did ask him why they would send me a crashed computer, and how (having called UPS) could I have it if it wasn'r due here for 2 days. Somehow, that computer managed to be on the truck, in the warehouse, and right in front of me all at the same time, and even pointing out these obvious discrepancies (I volunteered little, for ex, he doesn't know where I bought it etc.) The tenacity knowing he was busted in the biggest way, was phenomenal. Only hanging up was going to get rid of him. So whatever, whoever, the game goes on. This was in Nov/Dec 2011.

MysteryFCM said...

Thank you for letting me know.

If they phone again, please post back with any details you're able to obtain (e.g. number they called from)