Posted by: David Harley | July 2, 2010

Computer Support Scams

I just caught a description of a computer support scam reported a few days ago by Orla Cox, of Symantec. Briefly, you get a phone call from a “support company” telling you that you have a virus, and offering to clean your system and install a better antivirus package. The article describes it as a new scam, and indeed, when I blogged a couple of days before on similar incidents where the scammer claimed to be Microsoft or Microsoft-affiliated and to be installing ESET antivirus software, it was a new issue to me too.

However, my colleagues at ESET UK (I work for the US office, even though I’m UK-based myself) updated me with a number of incidents that have crossed their radar, and my friend Steve Burn supplied me with a list of relevant blogs and articles that go back to 2009. I did post that list in a follow-up ESET blog, but since it’s Steve’s research rather than mine I have no problem posting it again here. 🙂

ALERT: – yet another telephone based fraud (aka SupportOnClick revisited – again),, SupportOnClick revisited

SupportOnClick: Phoned by Malwarebytes? BigPond? Anyone else?

SupportOnClick Update scamming you by telephone!

Fake tech support call scam – prefetch virus

New scam – They call you by phone!

Staffordshire Council – Telephone computer support warning (PDF)

Cold call scam warns of virus infection–/news/112893

Scareware scammers adopt cold call tactics

I also received a comment to my original blog from someone at (NB, not telling me that they’ve been tracking similar scams. Spyhammer is apparently continuing some of the volunteer work that was done by the sadly defunct CastleCops site: I haven’t availed myself of their services or given more than a hasty skim to their forums, but at a quick glance, looks like a useful resource.

ESET Senior Research Fellow


  1. There seriously are kids sat at home in Japan waiting to carry out scams like this. Don’t let anyone onto your PC for even a second unless you know and trust them. 10 seconds can cost you a lifetime of worry and loss.

  2. […] a while since I wrote about support desk spams (see Support scams and Social Engineering and Computer Support Scams), but they evidently haven’t gone away. Sunbelt’s Alex Eckelberry drew my attention to […]

  3. – 247 PC Experts IS A SCAM!!!


    • I’ll try to look into them. Have they contacted you by phone, then?

  4. This happen sometimes,when suddenly anti -virus appears on the screen.Sometimes they email me.the best thing to do is ignore them to avoid the problem.

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