Wow, I feel like a sucker and now need to cancel my credit card as these scammers got me. This company buys up popular software titles, such as McAfee, Microsoft, Intuit, etc. In my case, I had problems with a new copy of McAfee that I had purchased. I typed into Google "Contact McAfee Technical Support" and found a nice bold print response right at the top of Google's list that read "McAfee Home Support" with a website that at first glance looked like a legitimate McAfee website, turns out it was mcafee.instantechsupport.com.
All I needed was help entering the the activation key, but the "McAfee" diagnostics rep, "Abi" told me to go to a website that actually gave him access to my computer via the Internet. Rather address my issue, he said my computer was running very slowly, so he was going to run a test. He then went to a shareware website and installed a software program that indicated I had hundreds of problems with my computer.
The whole time he kept saying the only technicians who can really fix my problems are Microsoft technicians. After showing me all these major issues (cache files not deleted, etc.), he tried to pitch me several packages of support, from a $189 year long package and finally down to to an $89 package that I bought where he wrote down on my computer in notepad that they (I'm still assuming "they" are McAfee) would fix all of my problems with my computer, repair my registry, get my version of McAfee working that I had already purchased, and also install a firewall called "syssentry". I finally agreed and he put up a website on my computer (which he could also see) and had me enter my credit card information. In fact, he got ALL of my personal data.... Now I'm worried also about full identity theft.
So, their "Microsoft certified" technician - which now I'm 100% sure that his India MS certification wasn't real either... and also that the software installed was most likely pirated - went to using more shareware software onto my computer remotely, doing very common computer housekeeping items that most average computer users can do. He then removed my legal copy of McAfee and installed their pirated copy. Then the guy said he was done. Most of the things the first guy (who I actually think might have been the same guy). First guy said he was "Abi". Second guy in the tech support window had the name "Abhishek Shrivastava" and also referred to the "Diagnostics Expert" as "Abby". So, maybe they are all called Abi or there is just one guy setting this all off and scamming the masses.
I asked where the copy of syssentry was, as I watched him delete it, and he said I would have to pay extra for that since the $89 package only included one free software, and they installed McAfee. Huh? I already bought that at the store. This was actually when it finally dawned on me that these guys were NOT from McAfee and were scamming me. I told him I wanted the first "Abi" to contact me ASAP to discuss this and he said "I'll just remove the McAfee right now...." I cut the Internet connection as he started to do that.
I then checked several of the items that were supposedly going to be "fixed" and discovered they were not. For all I know, they have installed a permanent worm or trojan and now have complete access to my computer 24/7. I then emailed them at the email address where the credit card receipt came from, which was "order (at) 247techsupportexperts (dot) com" that I was going to dispute the charge. I got an email back from "Andy Smith" (probably still Abi), Sales Head of 247SupportExperts.com that said he checked the case notes and found that they had been able to resolve my issue. Suggested I inform them if there is some other issue left so they can resolve that as well. Yes, Andy, there is another issue - you guys should not overly pass yourselves off as legitimate software companies and scam our money from us for deleting our temporary files and making us fear for our identity after having all our personal data and credit card information in full site of your screen during remote access to our computers!
That's when the phone calls started coming - not from McAfee, all from an international Anonymous Blocked Number. I answered the first call and said I would handle this through my bank. Then I had to ignore the next 25 calls from them until I called my phone company to figure out how to permanently block these harassing Anonymous calls. In case anyone needs to do this, it's *77. Next, had to call my credit card company and dispute that charge and cancel my credit card.
All of this because I didn't pay very close attention to the bottom line website. Google is very responsible for this as well, since they allow major trademark and copyright corporations to purchase web ads like this that portray themselves as the real companies. McAfee, Intuit, and Microsoft should certainly also be very concerned about this as well - since not only are they losing legitimate business, c customers might think they were actually scammed by those legitimate companies. Further, most of the software we purchase today does NOT have a toll-free help number. The companies want you to figure it out yourself and not bother directly assisting, making finding their contact information always a challenge. If there had been a phone number in this software box, I never would have googled for their tech support and ended up in this predicament. Now, who knows how long this will haunt me!!!
So, now I'm very cautious about all of this Internet stuff, especially shopping. So many scammers out there, we just have to be so very careful with everything we do. I hope this information helps prevent at least one other person from getting scammed. My advice - if you want McAfee - just type in their website information, don't try to Google them. By the way, I am very familiar with computers, run my own ecommerce business, and have never fallen for any of the phishing, scamming tricks out there before. This is a good reminder of letting your guard down and getting a bit too comfortable and trusting the Internet too much. Lesson learned - hopefully never to be repeated!