Advanced Tech Support Scam
.Dear Computer Lady,
We bought a Windows 7 Dell computer last November and had techs set it up. So we thought we had Panda Anti-virus. Then when it ran out we bought Panda Anti-virus 2014 and we could not install it. So we called the Panda Company and according to their tech, we found out that our computer was in terrible shape (55,000 errors and the reason might have been that when we bought the computer it had Norton and then our “geeks” installed Panda and the tech said neither could function well- is that true?). So they said they had a partnership with Advanced Tech Support and I turned over the computer to them and for $250 they fixed everything. However I was told to call a number and the gal said we needed Malware protection which started at $500 until I yelled and came down to another $250. We have no idea if that is really necessary for two old people who only use online for email and to surf the net (also buying).
Thank you for your wonderful column and help.
I hear stories like this every week, in fact, I had a computer in my shop last week with the same type of story, the owner contacted what they thought was Gmail tech support, was told that the computer was full of viruses, and wanted $250 to clean it up.
When I took a look at the computer, the only malware on it was the program installed by the online tech support company.
The truth is, you probably were not talking to the Panda company, (did you search for the tech support number online?) but some online scammer.
You were probably not infected with anything either. They were just trying to scare you into thinking that.
I sell great malware protection here for under $30, I have never seen anti-malware software that costs hundreds of dollars for one computer.
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Elizabeth Boston is a Web designer, Social Media Consultant and managing editor of, “Ask The Computer Lady”.
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