Scammed by Expert4help.com? Here's What to Do

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Tricia B. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I stumbled across your article on PC / Web Network Experts after researching Expert4help.com scam. A few weeks ago I was using my PC when suddenly I received a popup virus alert stating that my PC was infected. I called 1-833-257-8555 and spoke to a man with a thick Indian accent. They then connected to my PC remotely and installed some antivirus software to 'fix' the 'problems'. They then wanted me to sign a 3 year contract with them for $898. I told them 'No,' and that I would pay $350 for a 1 year contract. They kept insisting that I pay for 3 years. I'm really computer illiterate so I reluctantly agreed to a 3 year contract and handed them a photocopy of a void check. When my son came home from work, I told him what happened and he said it was a scam. I immediately went to the bank and closed my account. They called me today and left a message on my voice mail, stating that I now owe them $6000. After reading your article about PC / Web Network Experts, I'm scared that they still have access to my PC. What can I do? "

My response:

I did a bit of research on Expert4Help.com and their web site has all the makings of fake tech support written all over it. The website domain name was registered on 2019-04-06 (through Godaddy.com) by someone in India. The website IP (182.50.132.58) points to a server in Singapore. If you look at the Expert4Help.com webpage near the bottom, it says that they are located at 4200 Great America Pkwy, Santa Clara, CA 95054, USA with a 1-833-257-8555 as their phone number.

You have to wonder - if this was a legitimate American business, why would they have their web server in Singapore, and why don't they have a local phone number listed on their site alongside the 1-800 number? The answer is simple - it's a scam!

Update 20191009: A page on the BBB (better business bureau) states that they have tried to send a written letter to the company's physical address (the same as I have listed), and it was returned by the post office. This means that the company does not reside at the address they are claiming. Also, a user complaint about Expert4Help on the BBB website explains that she was scammed similar to Tricia B.

Now to address the issue.

" I Closed my Bank Account. Is it enough? "

First of all, you did the right thing by closing your account as that will stop them from getting your money for now - but it's not enough.

The main issue now is that they still have access to your PC and can access other financial information, or worse.

Here's why:

Once they connected to your PC the first time, they use a remote hidden command line (DOS prompt) to upload and install programs to your system without you seeing it. Once this infrastructure is set up, they are able to install additional remote access backdoors so they can get back into your computer whenever they want at a later date, even after the original connection has been closed. This also allows them to install other programs (malware) on your machine, delete your restore points and even infect your system reset image so that the remote access is still enabled even after a system wipe.

Why Do Scammers Install Remote Access Backdoors?

Scammers will install remote access backdoors for many reasons.

In most cases, they do this to propagate more scams in the future. Even after paying for a 1 or 3 year fake tech support contract, a few days, weeks or months later you will encounter yet another 'problem' with your PC. For example, scammers can make your screen go wavy and then cause another virus alert to appear (along with their 1-800 number to 'fix' the 'problem'). Of course, this new 'problem' won't be covered by your original fake tech support contract. And, that's when they ask you to fork out even more money - usually a higher amount than the first. This scam goes on indefinitely until you either run out of money, or wise up.

Another reason they put remote access backdoors on your system is so that they can spy on you remotely. In this case, they can record your keystrokes, monitor what websites you visit, and sniff for credit card or banking information. One of my clients had $18,000 stolen from his bank account only a few days after letting the Indian fake tech support scammers into his system!

Yet another reason they install remote access backdoors onto the system is to punish you by remote if you don't pay. In this case they will either delete all your files, encrypt all your files and hold them for ransom (demanding payment to unlock your files), or lock you out of your PC by changing your password.

Visually, the scam looks like this:

Scammed by Expert4help.com? Here's What to Do

Now that you know what the scam is about, here's what you can do:

If you paid by credit card, call the credit card company and complain. Be advised that if you attempt to reverse / block payment, the scammers will punish you remotely (as I've previously mentioned above) by deleting all your files or lock you out of the machine. In this case, I suggest you contact a reputable tech support firm (such as myself - contact link here) to remove the backdoors before making the claim.

If you paid by gift card - for example, App Store, Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, etc - you can kiss the money goodbye. Unfortunately this method of payment is irreversible once the PIN is divulged.

If you paid by void check, this is one of the worst things you could have done because now the scammers have your name, phone number, address, bank name, bank address, routing number, account number, etc. In this case I suggest you cancel your account and open a new one. That will stop the scammers from getting your money - for now - but it is absolutely paramount that they don't have access to your machine, otherwise they can sniff your financial information and drain your bank accounts.

Finally, hire a REAL professional (such as myself - contact link here) to look over your system to undo the damage caused by the scammers. Based on my experience, these scammers will 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 to undo the damage.

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.

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (7 votes)