The “Tech Support” phone scams that just won’t go away

You have probably all heard of these scams or even been targeted yourselves, the premise is simple; a fraudster cold-calls you to inform you that you have “errors” on your computer, which may have caused your system to “slow-down”. Computers always “slow-down”, it’s just a fact of life!

Anyway, if you are tricked, the fraudster can direct you to dangerous sites that will prompt you to enter personal details and often payment details for a “protection package” to which you do not subscribe and that you do not need.

Recently though that scam has matured; fraudsters are beginning to direct their victims to websites such as, and, all of which are legitimate services allow remote access between PCs. However if you are tricked into installing this by the rogue caller then you will be enabling them to view, download and basically do what they want with your computer and information!

The scammer will go on to show you what appear to be error messages and will offer to fix your computer “for free”, but of course they are not and, they will not.

What can you do if you’ve been caught out?

You should report similar scams to Action Fraud who provide a central point of contact for information about fraud.

We would also recommend that you visit the CIFAS website. “CIFAS Protective Registration is a service that enables individuals to seek protection against possible impersonation attempts when they have good reason to believe that their details might be used by a fraudster.”

Here at Garlik we can help, so let us know if you believe you have fallen victim to this type of scam, get in touch at

Stay safe & stay aware


  1. Mary Flynn commented on April 1, 2012 at 3:26 am

    This scam has been popularly called as the Microsoft scam when some people started getting calls from tech supports supposedly from Microsoft. It started out a since 2009 but surprisingly, continues to scam a few victims out of money. From alone, 49% of the scams reported there are all about phone tech supports.

    Isn’t there anything the government can do about it?

  2. Rab commented on July 31, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    I love getting these phone calls. ( I work in IT ). I can usually keep them on the phone for 15-20 mins, playing dumb and taking the P. They hang up on me now !

  3. William commented on August 12, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    This is what BT says and told me to do when I phoned them.
    If you get a malicious call, the first thing to do is to stay calm. Many malicious callers try to get an emotional response and if you walk away from the phone for a few moments (I wait for the warning sound) then hang up, it’s often more of a deterrent than reacting to the caller.

  4. Philip commented on January 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    There’s a company called ‘help pc online’ who are calling people saying they are receiving errors from their computer and then trying to extract money (I think around £100) to fix it. This is a complete scam, what they are trying to do to make the case they are doing something helpful is just bring up the windows operating system event log, where you will normally find loads of events on any computer running microsoft windows (it’s a log!), nothing to do with anyone else seeing anything on their computers over the internet.
    If anyone get’s a call from these people, simply say whatever the problem is your not interested and put the phone down.
    [Note that they will sometimes try to pretend they are working for Microsoft, ignore them!]

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