Scammed by Informatico Experts? Here's What to Do

Dennis Faas's picture

Have you been scammed by Informatico Experts, Inc for a fake PC support contract?

You're not the only one.

Infopackets Reader 'Ulrica' writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I have been in contact with Informatico Experts Inc (Live PC Experts) since last November and have paid them a grand total of almost $12,000 (up until recently). They claimed my PC has been hacked and have installed Firewalls and Antivirus service over the last few months. They keep calling me all the time and want to gain access to my computer. They told me my computer was being used to commit crimes and that I needed to get it fixed right away. I thought that my computer was protected. The telephone number for these people is 18007012953. I came across your website after searching for 'informatico experts scam'. I am not sure what to do. Can you please help me? "

Infopackets Reader John S. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

While using Microsoft Edge, I received an 'alert' (with a voice) that claimed that I was infected and that Microsoft was blocking my computer's further use and a phone number was shown to call. The listed URL was pointing to 'Secure Microsoft Support.' Based on that, I bit!

I then signed agreement to pay $350.00 with Informatico Experts Inc who connected me to LIVE PC EXPERTS 247. They remotely connected to my computer and I watched for a couple of hours as they 'cleaned and fixed my computer'. The phone number is 18007012953.

I have stopped payment with my bank but want to hire you to ensure that they have not installed items or still have remote access to my computer. "

Infopackets Reader Jeanie S. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I just signed a contract with Informatico Experts for $200 for a year after a pop up appeared on my computer and I was told to call a 1-800 number. Is this company legitimate or am I being scammed? What should I do? "

My response:

If you are reading this article right now and:

  • you received a phone call and told your PC has has a "problem" (virus / firewall, etc), OR
  • suddenly your web browser produces a full screen "error" message (sometimes accompanied by a voice) claiming you're infected and to call a 1-800 number to "fix" the "problem, AND
  • the person you spoke to has an Indian accent (claiming to be from "Microsoft") AND
  • you were sold a "PC Support Contract" OR paid $199-$350 to "fix" a "problem", AND,
  • (eventually) these idiots will keep calling you repeatedly for more "tech support", THEN

... You were scammed.

I am here to say that I have received well over 25 complaints about Informatico Experts over the last few months and I can tell you unequivocally that Informatico Experts are scammers operating out of India who sell fake take support "packages". They often claim (but are not!) affiliated with Microsoft or other big name tech firms to "legitimize" themselves. They will also have a sub-company name / website such as "Live PC Experts 24/7" or "TechServiceXperts", "PremiumLiveSupport.com", etc - but don't be fooled, it's all the same.

Here's a page from someone in Georgia filed just over 1.5 months ago (at the time of this writing) complaining of the same issues I've already outlined. Unfortunately Informatico Experts, Inc. appear to be good at removing online complaints over the years, which is why I'm publishing this article; I've also made a screen capture of the complaint in case it gets removed. In fact, they've contacted me in the past asking me to remove previous complaints online this website about them - but I have not!

Other phone numbers involved in this scam include: 1-888-222-5556, 1-800-677-1839, 1-833-507-0777, 1-800-677-1839, 1-855-559-3255, 1-888-995-0555, 1-888-819-3999, 1-888-331-8954, 1-800-609-7139, 1-888-927-3299, and 1-800-986-4519. Oftentimes the scammers will leave the phone number on the desktop or near the clock. When I have more numbers I will post them!

Does This Sound Familiar?

Once these scammers have your phone number, they will continue to call you repeatedly (at all hours of the day!) and attempt to gain access to your system so they can sell you more fake tech support, bilking you out of hundreds of dollars each time. My wife's colleague got scammed and they would call her at work all the time asking to get access to her machine. She kept telling them "NO!" but they would keep calling back!

Based on my experience they will charge around $199 to $350 for the first FAKE "contract", then the numbers quickly escalate to even higher amounts, providing you've agreed to let them back in and bilk you for more. If you signed a fake contract, don't worry - it's a fake contract. Just ignore the fact that it's a "contract" and keep reading.

They Now Delete Your Files if You Don't Pay Up

Update 20180601: click here to view a fake "contract" from one of my clients who got ripped off for $1200! Initially Informatico Experts called him 3 years ago and sold him a "pc support contract" for $299. Even though he bit on the "one year support", a few months passed and they managed to bilk him for another $700 in more fake tech support services. In May of 2018 they called him again and said his computer was "being attacked by hackers" and he needed to fork over another $1200 to "fix the problem".

Initially my client declined and said he'd take his chances. Moments later, his computer's LCD monitor started going wavy - that's when Informatico Experts claimed his firewall had been breached. Scared that his computer would be inundated with hackers, he paid the $1200 ransom! THIS IS UNEQUIVOCAL PROOF that Informatico Experts will leave an open connection to your computer in which case they can grab your personal files and install hidden programs including: malware, password sniffers, and can even enable your web cam by remote - all in order to scare you into buying more fake tech support. The only way to reverse this is to hire a professional - such as myself (link here) - to look for and remove the hidden backdoors. Speaking from experience there are usually 3-5 backdoors (remote access) on every system I have been hired to clean. You have been warned!

Another one of my clients told me he refused payment, and the Indian tech on the other end of the phone got mad and deleted all his files!

Here's a video showing how the scam operates:

Scammed by Informatico Experts? Here's What to Do

As for the infamous question I receive, "What should I do now?", I have answered that question many, many times already. But, here it is - once again:

  1. It's rare these days that the scammers accept credit card payments because the transactions can be reversed. However, if you did paid with a credit card, call the card company and complain. You can tell the card company what happened. It may take months to get your money back. Based on my experience, if you tell the card company you don't recognize the charge they will refund your money immediately. The latter would be difficult to pull off if you've paid the scammers multiple times using your credit card (and you pay your balance monthly).
     
  2. If you "paid" by gift card (App Store, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon etc) this will be very difficult to reverse. Once the scammers have the card number and PIN code, the money is as good as gone. You can try and call the company in question (Amazon, etc) and tell them you got scammed, but I doubt they will be able to reverse the charge.
     
  3. If you paid by check, this is much more problematic to deal with. First of all, you will need to call your bank and tell them what is happening. They will be able to monitor your account (hopefully without charging you) and block potential fraud. However, this approach has some major limitations.

    The reason here is that the bank can only monitor transactions from a certain company NAME in order to block the transaction. The problem here is that scammers operate with multiple "shell" company names - and you simply don't know what company name is going to take the money from your account. As such, blocking transactions by company name is pretty much useless.

    There are other bullet-proof ways to block transactions to ensure your money is safe, but it is much more involved. Based on my experience this requires some explaining, so if you need help with this I am more than happy to assist - contact link here.
     
  4. Finally, hire a REAL professional (such as myself - link here) to look over your system to undo the damage caused by the scammers. Based on my experience, Informatico Experts leave ON AVERAGE 3 to 5 hidden, open connections on your system. That means they can get back into your computer and do whatever they want, whenever they want. They could have also installed surveillance / malware on your computer to sniff passwords and financial information. A real PC expert, such as myself, can find these backdoors and threats and eliminate them. Based on my experience, antivirus and antimalware won't find these threats because they are often legitimate software programs used in nefarious ways. You have been warned!

For the record, I have helped countless people with this scam and know exactly where to look.

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If you are reading this article right now because you've been scammed, I can help. I get emails all the time about this scam; some people even ask me "How do I know you're not a scammer, too?" My response to this is that you can read my articles I've published over the last few years and also review my resume. Based on that, you should be able to understand that I am in fact legitimate, compassionate, and am more than willing to lend a hand - simply contact me, briefly describing the issue and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

Did you get Scammed by Informatico Experts? Leave a Comment!

I want everyone on the Internet to know that Informatico Experts, Inc are scammers. If you got scammed by these idiots, please, please, please leave a comment with your story below and don't forget to include the 1-800 number (as it changes all the time) - so that others can find this article. Thank you!

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Comments

davolente_10330's picture

And I'm not being derogatory here. It is a sad fact that people who have very little technical knowledge are ripe for this sort of skullduggery and will fall for fake schemes. Unfortunately, it also follows that a little knowledge is also a dangerous thing. A friend of mine's partner is a somewhat brash person who thinks he's incredibly street-wise and computer-savvy (quite the reverse, in fact!), and managed to fall foul of these types of villains on my friend's Win 7 laptop, allowing some sort of rogue software to be installed, despite my friend's protestations that: "Perhaps you shouldn't be doing this". It was running like treacle afterwards and I concluded that the best solution was to copy off documents, etc; (as the machine hadn't been customized or had many additional programs installed), do a factory restore and then upgrade to Win 10 (when it was offered for free). I then simplified everything for her, (as she's not very keen on using the beast anyway!) and everything was then looking good. In her case, the machine was not far off factory condition anyway, so it was relatively easy to do a complete re-set but I wouldn't be so keen on doing it to my own machines with years of accumulated stuff on them!

dafarrington_5803's picture

Hello.
I have not ask for help from Dennis but I have read his writings for over two years. Don't use the phone calling tech. support. Contact Dennis. Pay him his worth if he asks. He is worth it. Just by him running this helpful website tells me of his commitment and concern to helping others understand their computers.
I hope this helps to give you the confidence to ask Dennis for help.
Mahalo.

petershaw's picture

It never ceases to amaze me just how stupid so many people are to fall for these scams.

It seems fairly obvious to me that to "fix" a computer for a cost that is several multiples of the price of the computer is pointless. You may as well buy a brand new machine which you know will be error free.

If someone approached you in the street and said the zip on your bag is open and that's a security risk, would you pay them hundreds or thousands to close the zip? Of course not, but when it comes to computers common sense seems to go out of the window.

And there lies the root of the problem. Over the last 20 years the world has become a politically correct, protocol driven place where the only action ever taken has to be in a rule book. Common sense has been discouraged and replaced with naivety and stupidity.

IronBorg198's picture

My case is similar to that of John S. in your description above. The critical message was made by a feminine charming voice with clear English-spoken capabilities. I called the referenced phone number they indicated in the message: 1-855-474-7067. As you mention, the interlocutor at the other end of the line had a strong Indian accent. My first question to him was to identify himself and to tell me what proof do I have that tells me that he is really from Microsoft. He told me that his name was "John" and that he is working as part of a support staff from Microsoft. Right off the bat, I told him if you are John, then I am "Jesus" resurrected and I hung up. I know for a fact that Microsoft will never, ever call one for problems regarding one's machine (PC).. I still keep a screenshot of that critical message just for reference.

aquaman100_2510's picture

Last years I received one of those east Indian calls from Micro Soft. I happened to be sitting at my computer when the call came in, I asked which computer since we have three in the house. Just give me the key number I asked then I can tell you which one is "infected". He said just do as I say and I can tell you which one. I played the guy for an hour just getting to the point of giving him access then hit the "wrong key" then start over again. The poor guy got so frustrated he put the "Micro Soft Supervisor" on so I played him for a while. I finally told him that no he was getting access to my computer and that the police had traced the call and were now monitoring the call. The guy swore that he was legit but when I told him it was a total scam and why he hung up. They tried again the next day so I wasn't very polite in my reply that time.