A fellow PC technician, Brian, who has been working with me for about a year, called me earlier this evening. He had received a phone call from an individual identifying himself as Logan Harris from a company called Fix My Computer. Logan, who had a heavy middle-eastern accent, told Brian that Microsoft had forwarded information to Fix My Computer indicating that his PC was downloading viruses and that he was calling to help Brian get rid of the infections. Logan advised Brian to go to www.ammyy.com to download and install remote support software so he could take control of Brian’s computer to resolve the infection problems. Don’t do this! This is a scam!
Brian said that he wanted to find out what these guys were up to so he played along using an old Windows 98 machine. He said that basically, they have a five step approach.
First, they’ll ask you to navigate to a website that will either show that a clean computer is infected or will actually infect it, free of charge.
Secondly, using smoke and mirrors, they’ll show you ordinary error messages from Windows Event Viewer and say that these confirm the infections.
Then, they’ll ask for remote access of your PC; if you grant them the access, they’ll show you more smoke and mirrors with indications of horrible infections on your computer.
Now, they’ll ask for a credit card so one of their “Microsoft Trained Technicians” can fix the problems. Brian ended the call at this point and let me know what they were doing.
Fifth, and lastly, they will most likely max out the credit card that you give them and, in 24 hours, your card will be universally declined and you will be left with the bills.
Brian said that he had checked out the scam online and found several indications of it as an emerging problem. My own investigations indicate that this scam has been a big problem in Europe lately and may be emerging here in the US.
Brian also said that he found another organization called Iyogi that appears to be a “sister” company of Fix My Computer; both are located in India. These people pretend to represent other real companies such as Norton, McAfee, Dell, and HP. Their tactics are virtually identical to those indicated above.
Be careful and don’t fall for these scams.