Since almost a decade, I’ve been providing remote computer repairs for people all over the United States and the world. This includes help with virus removal, malware removal, pop-ups, and slow computers. Online virus removal or computer repair is a time-saver and money-saver. Remote virus removal is a great way to save hundreds of dollars than going to a local repair shop.
While remote computer technicians are the best way to get help with your PC, there are some potential pitfalls. Customers who have used online computer repair services for computer problems in the past often tell me horror stories. This is why I created this list of computer scams that you should be aware of when getting remote computer assistance.
1. USA Based – Is it really? People don’t like to speak to Indians with accents so thick that they are difficult to understand. Many websites will state that they are “USA Based.” But is that true? Many websites claim they are located in the U.S., but the person calling still sounds like they are from India. You should not deal with someone who has lied to your face. TIP: Always read the website’s text carefully. Sites that are not U.S.-based will likely have a few grammatical errors. You’ll know immediately if they answer the telephone. You can simply say “Sorry, wrong number.”
2. Super low price: Some companies claim they can fix all kinds of problems and remove viruses. All this for only $39.99 A PC technician can take several hours to complete all of this and it is time-consuming. I have been in the business of computer service for over 24 years. This is how they can do it for such a low price. Three ways to do this: You can hire a group of young geeks who are still learning, and let them practice on your computer. 2. You can be based in India, the Philippines or another country that offers cheap labor. 3. Do what you can to get by, but don’t worry about quality. Some places offer all three. You get what you pay. Online computer repair is covered. You must pay for high-quality remote computer repair. If you try to save money, you could end up with a broken computer or many hours of frustration calling back to request the online help you promised. Good advice: Don’t choose the lowest bidder if you want a competent PC tech.
3. Certified – Is it really true? The website should tell you who will be fixing your computer. Is the website listing the name, experience, and credentials of the computer technician? I called several of these websites that claim to be Microsoft-certified and was not answered when I asked what credential they held with Microsoft.
4. After the repair, the online computer service company will give you a free antivirus program. You can get the same software for free from them. You get what you pay. Although free antivirus software is better than nothing, it’s not worth the cost. Antivirus products are free and I have been able to remove malware from my computers every day. Only the antivirus products you buy are sufficient. Remote computer repair companies that give away inferior products to customers can create a false sense security which could lead to the PC being infected by a virus. If a PC technician is truly looking out for your best interest, they will sell you a product that works.
5. Free Scan Scam: This is how it works. Because your printer isn’t working, you call an online computer repair service. An online computer repair service promises to connect to your machine and diagnose the problem for you free of charge, with no obligation. You can then decide what you should do next. Free diagnosis! It sounds great, right? This is a common trap. The PC technician then connects to your computer and runs a program they created that claims to scan your computer. This software will report hundreds of registry errors and dozens in the event log as well as dozens of trojans, viruses, and spyware within 3 minutes. You are told that this must be done immediately to prevent your files from disappearing and your computer not working at all. After all the scare tactics, they charge you $300.00. Even though they claim to have fixed all the errors, your printer may still not work after you pay that amount. The truth is that there are no software programs that can diagnose the problem with your computer in just a few seconds. With over 20 years of experience, I can assure you that it takes several hours to properly assess a computer. Many customers have told me that they were victims of this scam. They called me, and I found that their computers were not nearly in such bad shape as they believed.
6. Scam One-year Service Contract: You pay $300 annually and can call for remote computer repair whenever you like. It’s possible it is too good to be true if it sounds too good for it to be true. This is what I have heard from many people. An online computer repair company cannot offer this service and still be in business. They can only promise to do what they say. Most customers don’t read the lengthy and detailed service contracts. They have been read by me. They state that if they find you annoying, they will just terminate your account and provide no computer support. Their goal is to get new customers to pay $300 and not to provide computer support for you repeatedly. It is also worth asking yourself if such a company will still be around six months from now.
7. Cold Call Scam: Microsoft called me to inform me that my computer was infected. This is something I’ve heard many times from people who call me seeking advice. They tell me right away that I’ll do a virus scan and remove malware from your computer for $59.99. But, first, know that what you were told was false and not Microsoft. Microsoft won’t call you and would not know if your computer is infected. This scam is quite common. Do not be alarmed if you receive this call. They will “fix” your problem for you.
8. The Big Company Scam: I have received many complaints from customers that they visited a website to solve their computer problems. They were given a number, and then they called HP or Dell. The company claimed that they had many problems and needed malware removal. They also offered to fix any other issues such as slow computers, pop-ups, and other problems. They didn’t know that they weren’t actually talking to the company they claimed they were. Many computer service companies online advertise they are Dell, Microsoft, or some other fraudulent company. They create websites and Google ads to fool you into believing they are HP support. Once they get you to believe they are the company who made your computer, your software, or printer, they will have a greater chance of selling you their next scam. Look at the URL of any website you visit to see where you are.