On November 13, 2015, a tech support company operating what’s being called the Click4Support scam was shut down. The shutdown was a cooperative effort between the states of Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and Federal Trade Commission (FTC). There are plenty of other scams like this one out there. That makes the methods used in the Click4Support scam to bilk consumers out of $17.5 million worth paying attention to.
In March 2014, I wrote about a company called TechResolvers. In the TechResolvers scam, the company used a robocaller to reach out to consumers. The Click4Support scam used an ingenious system of popup ads and internet advertisements to convince people their computers were infected with a virus. By pretending to represent Microsoft, Apple, and other major tech companies, the company gained instant credibility. TechResolvers did the same sort of thing by claiming to be a Microsoft Gold Partner.
Defendants in the Click4Support scam case
According to the FTC news release, “The defendants in the case are Click4Support, LLC; iSourceUSA LLC, also doing business as Click4Support and UBERTECHSUPPORT; Innovazion, Inc., also doing business as Click4Support Tech Services; Spanning Source LLC, also doing business as Click4Support; Bruce Bartolotta, also known as Bruce Bart; George Saab; Chetan Bhikhubhai Patel; and Niraj Patel.”
Tips to avoid the Click4Support scam and others
- First and foremost, please don’t trust popup ads on the internet. If you’re interested in turning those pop-up ads off altogether, I recommend Adblock Plus. I’ve used it on my Mac for a long time and, quite frankly, have almost forgotten about pop ups.
- Do not give access to your computer to anyone on the internet unless you are 100% positive they’re legitimate. There are perfectly legitimate reasons for you to use a “remote session” with a real tech support person. However, you’re handing over everything when you give a scammer the keys to the house.
- Never give up your passwords. Consider a password manager if you’re having trouble keeping up with passwords. Dashlane is a free product that works on all platforms and does a great job.
- Use a reliable third-party for processing payments you make online. Also, always use your credit card to limit your liability.
- Shut down anyone who reaches out to you and requests information or money. Legitimate companies stopped doing this long ago when it became common practice among those looking for an easy buck.