Indian firm iYogi are well-known for their technical support, but recent claims could see their reputation quickly becoming something they wish to hide. A lawsuit could see iYogi paying out thousands if not millions in compensation for what is being described as scam and scare tactics.
Microsoft estimates that nearly 3.3 million Americans lose around $1.5 billion each year due to tech support scams. With these figures it’s no surprise that Brad Smith, Microsoft’s chief legal officer has applauded Washington state’s hard approach on the claims.
While iYogi, who operate over 5,000 employees in call centres based in India, deny the claims the Attorneys General Office has made several large allegations against iYogi. iYogi are said to claim association with Microsoft, Apple and HP, offering support for those companies while also gaining remote access to users systems before asking them to download diagnostic software and flagging up false reports about files, finally offering users the chance to buy everything from yearly support plans and anti-virus software. The claims even state that the company offer to update PC’s to Windows 10 for $80, a service that Microsoft is currently offering for free to Windows 7 and 8 users.
Seeking $2000 in civil penalties per violation of Consumer Protection act and a further $100,000 per violation of the Computer Spyware Act, the bill could quickly shoot up for iYogi.
While it is hard to go off so little information, the claims sound very similar to something I have suffered through many times. A phone call saying that your computer is sending error messages to Microsoft (or Apple) and saying they can walk you through the support process. If this sounds familiar, please read our advice below.
- Companies can not track down your personal details from your system, any company attempting to call you claiming to be from Microsoft or Apple is almost certainly not who they claim to me.
- Never download software someone tells you to unless you are certain that the person in question only means good for you and only if you know the person, not someone from an email or on the other side of the phone.
- If you do suspect your system is compromised, either by a virus or someone asking you for access, seek help from someone with technical experience such as at a local PC store.
- If you feel like a laugh and want to confirm that the person on the other end of the phone is lying to you. When they state they are from Microsoft, tell them that you only own Apple products in that house. If they quickly say that’s what they are there to help fix, you know they are being deceitful.
Do you have any tips for dealing with fake support calls? Tell us your stories in the comments and let’s see if we can’t help someone avoid the pain of paying for “support”.