Victim Location 13156
Total money lost $549.95
Type of a scam Tech Support
1-20-2016 I telephoned 1-800-642-7676, the number provided in a ‘security alert’ pop-up message on my computer screen from Microsoft. On the phone, I heard the other end of line ring, then a click, then a transfer, then the call was answered by Nadim, who stated he is the technician (I thought with Microsoft). He told me that the pop-up message is triggered when threats are on my computer. He was given access to my computer to check the security threats. Nadim explained to me that my computer has been hacked, the hackers are from Nigeria in Africa, and they have taken over at least 85% of my computer. Once the computer is overtaken to 85% the pop-up message displays. Nadim states that I am in an urgent situation with my computer. (I think I am talking with Microsoft technician) He displays on my computer screen all the programs the hackers have disabled. There were so many ‘stopped’ programs.
Nadim displays on my computer screen the different plans available to purchase for the maintenance of my computer along with Malware protection plan. I choose the plan covering my computer for the life of computer. Nadim states he must transfer my call to a higher technician who is more qualified to clear my computer from the hackers. A higher technician? yes he says ‘we work with Microsoft for windows support’. I am transferred to the manager of Vap Blaze, LLC, John Wright. John Wright explains the method of payment is by check. He does not accept credit card payment because my computer is infected and the charge card information could be stolen. I must write the check to Vap Blaze, LLC, put it in an envelope addressed to Vap Blaze, LLC, insert envelope in a sealed envelope marked the same way, and FedEx will come on 1-21-16 between 1 & 3 pm to pick up my envelope, FedEx will insert envelope into a FedEx packet, and deliver to Vap Blaze, LLC. It went as he said it would. Malware bytes was installed on my computer – an absolutely foolproof protection – so I was told.
1-21-16 I phone the Microsoft help support and discuss what took place on the 20th. Microsoft has no idea who I was talking to on the 20th. Microsoft doesn’t know who Vap Blaze, LLC is as Microsoft has no outside support.
I buy a one year support subscription from Microsoft. Microsoft goes through my computer and finds no threats, no viruses. (I think that Vap Blaze, LLC did the job they charged me for, this is actually a legit business.)
4-05-2016 My computer screen has a pop-up stating my Malware Bytes protection is obsolete, click here to receive the new version of protection. Since I have a life-time plan on my computer, and this protection was installed by Vap Blaze, LLC, I phone Vap Blaze, LLC to ask them to upgrade my protection. I call the toll-free number to Vap Blaze, LLC, 1-800-218-8589. Technician, Jason, answers the phone. I ask if he will provide me with Malware Bytes newer version since I have a life-time computer plan with his company. Jason informs me that when a pop-up like that comes up, there could be a problem with my computer and since it has been awhile since Vap Blaze technician has checked my computer for viruses, he will do that now. Within minutes, as before, I am shown on my computer screen all the many programs that have been stopped, am told that my computer is 92% taken over by a hacker. The hacker is from Russia. In order for my computer to be cleaned I must go to a level 5 technician. I need protection from the Network in addition to protection on my computer. He must transfer my call to Cisco, Texas Tech Connect, LLC. They charge $799.99 but will give me a deal for $499.99 since I already have a plan with Vap Blaze, LLC. Once I pay for the network shield for the life of my computer I will be all set. Jason kept flashing various news articles from the internet about hackers getting into peoples’ computers onto my computer screen as scare tactics to get me to buy. He then flashed Texas Tech Connect LLC pngage onto my screen pointing out all the reviews of people so grateful for having their computers worked on by this $799.99 level of protection provided by this Cisco, level 5 tech. Then Jason was reasoning with me how it would be cheaper for me to buy the service to clean out the hackers internet worm, get the network security protection along with my computer security protection for at least $499.99 than to buy a new computer for $1,000.00. Once the hackers take over my computer, I will have to throw away my computer anyway because it will crash and be no good. Now I know this is too much, too desperate, too hard a sell job, too much information. I tell Jason that I am overwhelmed and need to take a break, and I will call him back. I start to click on the red X to stop his remote control and kick him off. He is already disconnected. Good. No service was provided, just a scare tactic to get more money. I didn’t call back and Jason never called me back to check on my computer.
I immediately phone Microsoft help. Enable technician remote control of computer. Romel goes through my computer (it takes many hours, not just a couple minutes). Romel informs me that there are no hackers or viruses in my computer. The internet address Vap Blaze, LLC told me was a hacker in Russia was just my neighbor’s wifi connection!! My computer is in very good shape. Microsoft did install a protection plan on my computer. There is no such thing as having one protection for the computer and one protection for the network. Romel did say that my computer didn’t have any protection at all. Apparently the Malware bytes installed by Vap Blaze in January was only an icon installed on my desktop screen, not an actual plan. All the many ‘stopped’ programs listed and displayed on my computer screen – all fabricated by Vap Blaze, LLC in order to get me to send more money.
The Vap Blaze, LLC pngage is a front for a scamming operation. The pngage for Texas Tech Connect, LLC that the Vap Blaze, LLC technician wanted to transfer my call to may also be just another front for a connection to a scamming operation.