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Consumers Warn Others About Tech Support Companies

The FBI received 11,000 tech support complaints last year, losses totaled $15 million.

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    Consumers Warn Others About Tech Support Companies

    The FBI received 11,000 tech support complaints last year, losses totaled $15 million. Two consumers are warning others about tech companies that didn't deliver on their promises. (Published Monday, July 30, 2018)

    We love technology, and then we hate it, especially when something so simple turns so frustrating, like logging into email.

    "It was just saying enter your password. And whenever we tried to enter our password, the box just kept popping up again. We couldn't get past in. So we couldn't get in," said consumer Dennis Moulton.

    That's when Moulton called a tech support company for help.

    He said the business told him his computer had a virus, something it could fix by remotely installing anti-virus software.

    "When you have a virus on the computer, we've heard all kinds of horror stories of people getting their finances broken into and stuff like that," Moulton said.

    So, Moulton ponied up $430 for the fix.

    His computer seemed to work okay after his call with the tech company.

    But he said he got a second opinion the next day from a local, brick and mortar company, and it told him there was no anti-virus software on his computer.

    Suzanne Dougherty thought she was calling a Facebook tech support line.

    "He said, 'I show that 20 people have reported you for posting pornography," she said. "I felt violated because that's something I would never do and so that was very frightening to me."

    She allowed the person over the phone to access her laptop remotely, and that's when he told her it'd cost $250 to fix her computer.

    "This was not Facebook and that I had been scammed. I've given access to my laptop to a scammer," she said. 

    She didn't pay, but can only imagine what they installed on her laptop.

    The FBI received 11,000 tech support complaints last year, losses totaled $15 million.

    The FBI says the problem Moulton had is often an easy fix, something shutting down and restarting your computer will correct.

    Our sister station in Los Angeles got a hold of the company Moulton paid.

    The business insisted it did install software on Dennis' computer. Although it wouldn't say the name. The company then gave Moulton a full refund.

    Moulton is simply happy his computer is working - and that his money is back in his pocket.

    The FBI has some tips to keep in mind when looking for a tech support company.

    -Don't trust anyone who cold calls you.

    -Be cautious of support numbers you find online - especially ones listed in the "sponsored" section of a search.

    -Pressure to act quickly is usually a red flag.

    -And don't give unknown, unverified people remote access to your devices.