Are The Real Indians Are Conning US Cowboys?
On August 3, 2012 I purchased Iolo Technologies System Mechanic on line for $39.95 and liked the way it performed its tasks of speeding up and cleaning problems on my PC. I liked it so much that I extended my subscription for an extra year on August 12, 2012 (just a few days later) for $19.95. Then in November I was offered, via email, an opportunity to buy an additional year for only $14.95 so I purchased another years extension on November 27, 2012.
On December 17, 2012 I had a problem getting the System Mechanic to load, so I called the Iolo Technologies and a tech representative said that he could fix the problem if I give permission for him to remotely see the problem (using log me in) I did and he corrected the problem, but also offered to sell me a product that would give me Unlimited Troubleshooting and Tuneup with Remote Support for a three year period for $509.95. I received a receipt of sale from a company named Avangate, with a telephone number to call for service whenever anything was not perfect with my PCs operation (877-795-1678). Everything was working great on my PC and I thought I had made a wonderful investment to keep my PC running perfectly for three years, and, if after that time period I still wanted it I would renew it for more service time.
Then on January 15, 2013 at 11:50 AM, I received a telephone call which showed up on my Caller ID as a Skype User (661-748-0240). It was from a person with an Indian accent claiming to be from Iolo Technologies and was checking to see if I had any problems with my PC or System Mechanic, I told him that it was running perfectly. He wanted to check it out via remote using Team Viewer (a different system than previously) and I let him check it out while I watched. He claimed to find a Trojan horse and it needed to be removed. He told me the my virus protection, StopSign, was not the best to have on my PC and would install Microsoft Security Essentials for $299.99 for a ten year subscription, but needed me to pay via Papal, using a credit card. I used a debit card to pay Papal, and he installed the software.
When he was done I tried out the new virus scanner and then used my System Mechanic, but the System Mechanic would not load, so I called Iolo Technologies (877-795-1678) and told the representative that their tech who had just checked on my PC and installed new software, along with removing my StopSign, may have caused a problem. The representative at Iolo wanted to know what telephone number I had called for the remote support, and I told him that I hadnt called, that, in fact, the tech had called me. He transferred me to a tech who told me to immediately call my bank and file a Dispute Payment because upon examining my PC (via log me in) he claimed that the virus protection now installed was actually a free software.
I called my Credit Union (ESL) and the representative told me she would cancel my debit card and issue me a new one by mail, and that they would watch for the $299.99 charge coming in and if it did they would file a dispute payment claim, and told me that I should also notify Papal so that they know that the payment was in dispute.
So I filed a dispute at PayPals site and wrote:
TARUN SINGH sold me a Virus Protection for $299.99 when the product was actually a free item. TARUN SINGH represented himself as a technician working with or for Iolo Technologies. After the sale I called Iolo Technologies and they reported that no one associated with their company had contacted me and they repaired the problem caused by TARUN SINGH. I notified my bank (ESL federal Credit Union) and requested a payment dispute. ESL stopped payment to this transaction, and is in the process of issuing me a new card.
Your dispute is open. Thank you. Well email you when the seller responds. If the seller does not respond, your dispute will automatically close on Feb 4, 2013 unless you escalate it to a Papal claim. Don't worry; we'll email you a reminder before the dispute automatically closes. Please note that when you escalate a dispute to a claim, you're asking Papal to review the case and decide the outcome. Thats how I found out the name and email address ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) of the tech who called me.
Meanwhile the tech that I called at Iolo was working on my PC remotely and he removed the free virus scanner that Tarun Singh had installed and upgraded my System Mechanic to System Mechanic Professional, saying that was all the protection I would need. My PC was running great.
The very next morning, January 16, I was contacted once again by Tarun Singh who insisted that he did the proper work on my PC and that what the other tech upgraded was only a one year subscription, and that I should allow him to reinstall the better item that was now removed. We argued for a while and I could not tell if he was a con artist or the guy I had called at Iolo.
Then Tarun Singh handed the phone to his Supervisor, Mike. I argued with Mike and went through the whole story with him. He told me that he would make up for the confusion within the Iolo Company. He would, personally take charge and rectify everything.
He opened another Team Viewer and remotely operated my PC he took out the upgraded System Mechanic Professional because it was too strong for my old PC (2006 with Windows XP service pack 3) He reinstalled the original System Mechanic for which I have paid up till August 2015. He knew the Key Numbers which was supposed to be proof that he was the true Iolo representative.
He would research and find the virus protection product that would not conflict with System Mechanic or Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and get back with me the next morning at 11:00 AM or 12:00 PM at the latest. He called at 2:22 PM and apologized for being late and that he could not work on my PC at that time because of meetings he had to attend. He was on a break, at that time but would have his BEST assistant use TeamViewer to work on my PC until he was free of meetings. His assistant prodded around looking up products at C-Net and FileHippo and downloaded Avast free anti-virus but didnt install anything.
Mike called back to take over at 3:40 PM and didnt approve of what his BEST assistant had chosen for my PC. He left it at that and had to go to another meeting and would call me back the next day at 8:00 AM or 9:00 AM my time, to finish the job.
The next day, January 18, I waited for his call from 8:00 AM till he finally called at 2:23 PM only to apologize once again for being late but that he was a man of his word and did in fact call as promised, but because of these on-going meetings he would not be able to complete the work until later that night. He asked me what time I went to bed, and I told him 11:00 PM. He asked if it was alright to call back at 10:00 PM that night, and I said it was fine with me. He called at 10:50 not bad, less than an hour late.
We set up the Team Viewer and he went to work while I watched not being connected by telephone my choice so I wouldnt hold him up with questions, but to keep an eye on what he was doing inside my computer. He did work with professional know-how and installed four products to make my computer run perfect: CCleaner, RegClean Pro, Disc Speedup, and Microsoft Security Essentials all at no cost to me, and he said that they are all for ten years. He promised to send me the amount that I had paid for the System Mechanic subscriptions, and give me his personal phone number, so I could call him personally if need arose.
Before he was done, and when he probably thought I was asleep (around 1:00 AM) I noticed that the Team Viewer was set at Transfer Files and I thought, what files? from him to me or from me to him? I panicked and clicked the Stop Transfer button. Later when he was done he called me back to let me know that he was done and to explain what he had done and how each product works. He did not mention that files were stopped from transferring, and I didnt mention that I stopped it. He was very concerned, however, about settling the Papal Dispute and wanted me to write, The dispute is resolved between Tarun Singh and myself, I would like at this time to withdraw the complaint of disputed payment. I was under the mistaken idea that Mike or Tarun had refunded the money to PayPal.
Mike called back on Monday, January 21 at 2:09 PM to check on how my PC was operating. I told him that I was satisfied with the products that he had installed, and asked about the refund for the System Mechanic. He checked and told me it would be deposited back into my account. He checked on my account and was able to refund the latest charge of $ 14.95 and promised the rest would follow later. I asked what phone number I should call for service and he told me 323-257-8888. I Googled the number and it is Iolo Technologies, 7470 N Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA 90041.
On January 29, I received a bill from PayPal for $299.99. I thought that charge was taken care of by Mike, so I called PayPal and talked with a Robert. He said that he would re-open the dispute and to wait for results.
On January 30, at 9:31 PM Mike called (skype 661-748-0240) This time his name was Richard, and he wanted to know why I opened the settled dispute. I explained that he had told me that he was the one who was going to make up for the confusion within the Iolo Company, and would, personally take charge and rectify everything. I thought he had returned the $299.99 to PayPal and that he had installed the proper free software to make my computer run perfectly. He is now claiming that the software is all licensed, in my name and he has the keys. I told him that I checked with the sites for each of the products and that Microsoft System Essentials is a free item and that the others are trial versions at no cost. If he had purchased the licenses for those products it would have cost him $90.85 and I would have gotten an email with the keys. I also pointed out that what he or Tarun had removed from My PC amounted to $85.39. (ErrorTek -3-years - $43.09; System Machanic -2 years - $59.80; and StopSign -1/2 year remaining - $12.50). So where is the cost of $299.99? I told him that I find it hard to trust him and that if he wants to succeed in fraud he should keep a written record of the name he uses with each sucker he is trying to con. He hung up!
On January 31, I called Iolo Technologies at 323-257-8886 (Technical Support) and relayed my story to a representative who assured me that neither Mike (Richard) or Tarun Singh work at Iolo and he advised me to contact a Iolo tech at 877-795-1678 to reinstall my paid Sytem Mechanic, and clean out the software that is not needed. I checked with PayPals site and found no change since I re-opened the dispute other than that they had sent out emails to me and to Tarun Singh.
I have further researched and can only find that Iolo Technologies is intentionally perpetrating fraud on seniors for either a means of obtaining their identities or to sell them free software. I found out that the Skype number used by Tarun and Mike (Richard) is the number that shows up for anyone using Skype before they put in their own number thus its used for scams since its untraceable.
Today, February 4, 2013, I called Iolo at 323-257-8886 and requested a refund for my paid second year of System Mechanic and for my paid second and third years of the Unlimited Troubleshooting and Tuneup with Remote Support . The representative that I talked to said that I will receive my refund in two or three days. We will see. I find it hard to determine who is the con artist here -- just Tarun and Mike or the entire Iolo Technologies Company or perhaps just the section in India.