Be it a computer or a mobile, if we are using internet then we are relying on them for most of the time. If they are running fine & under the warranty period then everything goes fine. But if something goes wrong with the functioning of our PC, be it the hardware or the software, then the first thing that we look for is the support number.
Many people do a smart thing by looking at the box pack for the support number, but mostly no one cares to do the same as we have relied so much on Google for almost everything. Whenever you will Google any support number it also shows paid ads for unofficial support numbers and from there the complete trap starts (Just did a search and glad that Google took care of such things though I would check using VPN as well for different countries).
Its not only about Google, all other major search engines like Bing or Yahoo provide the same facility to bid for a keyword. The more you bid, the more chances are there to be on the top of search results. I was highly disappointed by seeing such results in Google search though I never cared about other search engines.
People don`t care to see the exact URL in the result and start dialing the wrong support number and end up paying hundred dollars. One needs to look up for the right support number on the official webpage of their vendor and then only should dial the number. If you are looking for Apple or Microsoft's support number then the best place would be their own official sites. Every company or vendor has a contact us or support tab so that their customers can contact them easily.
Things are different in many scenarios, at times you get an inbound call offering support to check your Microsoft or Apple machine and the guy who called you offers a free diagnosis of the machine. The word free sounds very lucrative to many and few give remote access of their machine to the fake tech support guy. He starts finding the problem and then if you wish to fix the same either you need to buy an incident plan or a subscription based service.
If you call many big brand names in the market the same subscription plans are there but in this scenario you call the companies and tell your own problem. In the previous scenario you need to seriously think if you don't know that there is a problem in your machine how come the guy calling you knows that your machine is an infected one or the one with problems.
My blogger friend Bill also got a fraudulent technical support call and shared his experience on his post of Fraudulent Technical Support Calls. Even if someone claims to be from Microsoft or any other vendor and you doubt the authenticity of the caller which you should always doubt in an incoming support call, then you can behave as if you are interested in their subscription plan and try to make a transaction with fake credit card ( any random 16 digit number with 3 digit CVV code where
3**** for Amex
4**** for Visa
5**** for Master
He will ask you the mode using which you would like to make a payment, either phone or webpay, then he will tell you the payment gateway or the company's name on their website so that you can figure it out if they are authenticated callers or not. If you are getting an inbound technical support call then I don`t think so its a genuine one. In case you called the company then you might get the feedback call for the support provided but again don`t provide your financial credentials on such incoming calls. Incidents keep on happening for the leakage of customer`s phone numbers and other financial credentials.
I have worked with many brand names be it the biggest computer manufacturer, a famous ISP or other tech support companies. I have seen how data breach occurs by their own employees and how exactly these support companies work. At the beginning of the year 2012, I visited a company where a sales guy was working remotely on a customer`s computer. He opened a DOS window and performed few commands on it and after that continuous text was there on the screen with changing colors from white to red, red to blue and then blue to green.
He informed the customer about a virus in the computer and $256 as a charge to fix it. He also told him that the PC would be entitled to get an unlimited support plan valid for 3 months. I shockingly said to the guy (who was representing himself as an authenticated person to the customer) that if being a techy myself, I am scared seeing all this then I can understand being at the customer side. What all he might have thought after seeing the DOS screen and why he agreed to pay you the money. That was my first and last day in the company and I never visited them again even if they kept on calling me.
There are so many fake companies running around that the customers have to protect themselves first from them. Then only they would be able to protect their computer from infections. Bill also faced such an experience and shared the same with all of us here.
After reading this post if you get an incoming call offering tech support, beware, think as many times as you can, remember this post and deny the support. In case you are looking for tech support for any vendor better visit their website and look for the support number in your region. It will take some time but will save your money instead of searching in Google. If you have faced any such issue, don`t forget to share the company name with us using the comment option below as I am making a database of such companies and will publish anytime.