I'll start by explaining I am NOT computer-savvy; give me a program and I can learn it very quickly. Computers and hardware, however, are not my strong point.
I called what I thought was the Customer Service number for Norton when I found a pending renewal charge online with my bank. I ended up calling PC Planet, where a guy with a thick accent informed me they were the company that services Norton, MacAfee, and AVG programs. Idiot that I am, I trusted what he was saying and allowed him to remotely access my computer. Throughout the process, he kept asking me to read aloud whatever I was seeing on my screen. While I had a nervous feeling about what was happening, I still naively trusted what I thought was a legitimate process. He directed me to the csrss.exe listed in my list of programs running at that moment. He then took me to a website for a company that explained this item was a trojan virus and made very frightening statements about how my computer was very infected. He said they needed to remove that item, as well as others, to make sure my computer would work correctly.
He said the only program that would protect my computer from hackers would be the Microsoft Security program, but he hadn't listed that as one of the programs their company supports. Throughout the whole conversation, he was running a scan on my computer. It finally ended with some line of text that said things like "corrupt" (I can't remember the other items) and ended with "f***ed up". Seriously? The tech said that proves the computer was being controlled by hackers.
He then told me he was putting me on hold so he could consult with his supervisor, because the system was so corrupted it was beyond his ability to fix it. I was put on hold for a couple of minutes, then came back and said, among other things, I could purchase (for a nominal charge) a program that would resolve the whole issue and would forever protect me from hackers. Surprise: it was that same Microsoft Security program he'd mentioned in passing before. He said Norton, MacAfee, and AVG would NOT protect me from hackers, yet he'd stressed in the beginning of the conversation how those three programs were the best on the market. He continued his spiel for a good two minutes, getting louder with each statement, with full-on scare tactics about the condition of my computer and the benefits of this program. I wondered if he was going to take a breath at any point, because he was not allowing me to say anything throughout his speech.
Finally, he stopped speaking. I asked him what this nominal charge would be, and he said it was only $199.99. He then told me he could transfer me to their financial department so I could provide my bank information so they could simply charge my account over the phone. THAT'S when I really got nervous.
I was transferred to a man who spoke with less of an accent. He was very pleasant about asking for my information, which I did not provide. I asked him what the name of his company was again. He told me it was PC Planet Technologies, and I opened a browser window to research it. Of course, I was looking for this site. When he saw what I was doing, he kept trying to take control of my cursor (they were still in remote control of the computer). It was funny in a way, the two of us fighting for control of the cursor... Finally, he said he would take me to their website. It appeared legitimate and professional. When he was done pointing out all the perks of their services, I took control again and went to this site and plugged in their name.
Funny thing: when I saw all the complaints about their company, the phone suddenly went silent. I didn't say anything as I researched the complaints, knowing he was seeing what I was seeing.
I read enough to convince me to not use their services. I ended the remote-access connection and hung up on him.
Then I went to AVG and renewed my subscription, registered my account with this site, and commenced to typing this story.
I will NOT use PC Planet's services. I WILL tell people about my experience and direct them to this site.