Tech Scammers Calling Offering Major Security “Refunds”

Tech Scammers Call Offering Fraudulent Refunds

There have been several reports lately regarding phone calls people have been receiving from individuals claiming to work for “a security company” who is going out of business.  Therefore, they’re claiming this company owes the individual a refund.  Although, we all know, there is no refund.  They simply want your credit card information so they can commit fraud.

These scammers typically call from a 1-800 number or an “unknown” number.  The scammer who called me, played along with whatever antivirus company I mentioned.  He said my security provider is going out of business, and they had to process my refund.  He asked for my credit card information multiple times, and got frustrated with the questions I was asking.  Here’s a basic synopsis of the phone call:

Me: I’m sorry, who are you with?

Scammer: Your security provider.

Me: Which one?

Scammer: The security company is going out of business, and they have hired us to process the refunds.  We will need your payment information to credit the account.

Me: But what security provider are you talking about?  My house, my computer??

Scammer: Your computer.  What is the payment information, so we can issue the credit?

Me: Oh, my computer.  McAfee?

Scammer: Yes.

Me: What?! McAfee is going out of business.  That is incredibly surprising.  I would think I would’ve seen this on the news or something.  When did they begin this process?  How long will I be protected?

Scammer: I need your card information to process the refund.  You’ll be getting over $300 back.

Me: Really?!?!  WOW!! That’s amazing — considering I don’t use McAfee, nor have I ever paid them a dime.  So, tell me really — what did you need that credit card information for?

–They hung up.

As you read above, they’re incredibly evasive and go out of their way not to answer the questions you ask.  Honestly, from a scamming perspective, it’s smart.  The less they say, the less likely they are to provide the wrong information.

If someone is less familiar with these types of scams, it is entirely possible they tell the scammers their antivirus company name without thinking about it.  Like how I mentioned McAfee, but knew it was a scam.

If anyone has received a call like this, please share your story below in the comments section.  The more we talk about this, the more aware people will become.

And to PC Matic customers, no we are not going out of business!!

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55 thoughts on “Tech Scammers Calling Offering Major Security “Refunds”

  1. Robocall 322-437-7626 ‘Name Unavailabl’) for two years refund on security software.
    It said to press a button… I didn’t. It gave a phone number that sounded different, but I didn’t note it.

    Google search: phone:3224377626 +”7626″
    returned 2 results, neither identified it.
    So I searched on a description of the call content and found posts for FTC refunds from years ago and a site that described the scam (but with live callers) https://techtalk.pcmatic.com/2018/02/26/tech-scammers-calling-offering-major-security-refunds/

    I tried calling the originating number with a Google assistant–it said there is a charge for calling that number, so I hung up.

    Reported to:
    nomorobo.com
    http://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov -> Robocalls
    donotcall.gov
    and the website about the scam.

  2. O my God, I’m still in shock, I was this close to being scammed today.
    I had a man with a funny Indian accent call me today saying that he works for a Microsoft anti virus company whose name he mentioned but I can’t remember. He said they where asked to refund everyone who purchased their product as they where not able to provide the service anymore. In my head I’m like I did get a trial anti-virus but I wasn’t really sure and I started trying to remember if I was debuted recently and al that.
    Here is the number that called” 360-745-0272” from Huntington CA according to him. I was to be refunded 399.99 usd. They directed me on how to share my computer screen with them which I stupidly did and then asked me to log on to my online banking. At this point I got really concerned and told them this but they assured me that they understand that there are a lot of scammers out there and I’m just trying to be cautious.
    I went online and they told me that they were going to send a sum of $200 first to see if the transfer goes through then the other $200. They made me type the amount to confirm and when I did an extra “0” was added to 200 making it 2000 so that it would seem like they over paid me.
    They asked me to go get a gift card from target or Walmart and pay the remaining balance to the cards. The whole was weird to me because they did not even want me to answer calls in the store. Luckily for me target had a maximum of $200 and Walmart had a maximum of $500.
    But before I did that since I’m not completely stupid I sent the money I had in my account to my friends account so that I’m extra sure. I believed that since they claimed they sent me money I’ll be able to send it back. The funny thing is that I could only my see tHe money when I was logged with them on my computer but not through my phone which I called them out on but they said it’s because I’m with their funds so they froze my account Which is impossible as you’re not my bank, neither do you ah e a court order.
    I came home and told them that I’ll sort this out tomorrow with my bank. Immediately I mentioned my bank they said that would be a bad idea because the bank will charge me a large fee because the mistake was at my end.
    I shared this with my friend and she called it out as fraud immediately. I called my bank and alerted them, changed my password, and was reassured that they will be on the loon out but that for now there was ko evidence of any external transaction or any 2000 being paid to my account.
    Now I’m just seating here thanking God that I escaped the claws of these people. Please be aware, they are very sly and will make you seem like that know what they are talking about. Never share your screen with someone you don’t know. Any company owing you money can mail you a check or send it back to the card you made the transaction with.

  3. I just received a call from someone trying use this same scam on me. He asked if I was in front of my computer so he could go ahead with the refund. I let him know I was driving and in a lot of traffic so he asked if he could call me back once I was home….in front of my computer. I said, no, call me tomorrow at the same time. He of course agreed. I then went online to Google this scam. I will play along and then let him have it!! Haha

  4. I had a voicemail message today from 855-897-7007. A female voice says that a company (name not given) is going out of business and owes me money and directs me to call 855-897-7007. I did not call the number and decided to google scam calls. That lead me here. I don’t know if this is a tech scam or not but I do know that the companies I do business with do not contact me this way. Beware! I will not even talk to someone that I suspect is trying to scam me. I don’t know if this is true or not, but someone told me that another tactic is to record your voice while you’re talking to a scammer. What is done with your recorded voice is beyond me.

  5. Haaa! I think it’s too funny bc as a now retired etured custom software developer, theres not too much they can skate past me either. Already today, I’ve received at least 7 calls since 6:30am! …but only answered twice, as nobody I k keep calls me until after dinner time (now disabled, so I usually sleep during the day/ up all night) The 1st guy today gave me the schpeal about my security co going out of biz & I was getting a refund – I asked him for which computer specifically. He seemed quite surprised & asked if I really had more than one – of course I do, I said… he told me to go get my computer & read off some TOTALLY BOGUS ID # (?) which should technically be either the software or computer S/N that I did not down & noticed right off the bat that the configuration of #s was totally wrong without ever getting a computer anyhow. I then started my drill of asking – exactly what company are you calling from? What company are you calling about? Which computer-other than ID # are you calling about since that info is always on file & what name do you have for me on file… The second I said I was a computer developer, he hung up – BUT have gotten multiple subsequent calls today, now from a computerized voice that gave me an option to hit 1 to be forwarded OR to call them back at a (206) number, but said it so fast I couldn’t jot it down in order to report it to the FCC and/or the Dept of Justice… which is what EVERYONE should do if possible! I realize most of the numbers are bogus, but every so often the Gov may hit on an actual number that’s traceable – even if it is overseas in INDIA, where most of these scams originate from! Everyone thinks that Anericans are all rich & have a endless amount of disposable income, which somehow justifies what they’re doing in THEIR puny minds. Granted, while I’m not trying to profile here, but the majority of scams like this do indeed originate in India so for me, the accent is the 1st tipoff. (Granted, I worked with almost all computer engineers here from India – but even they agree that back home this is a normal way of doing business – no matter how unethical & illegal it is here)
    I also do have to say (aside from my # also NOT being registered with any of my devices)… I also do have a brand new # bc the last one was a used by these scammers & telemarketers – and in 1 case, I frustrated 1 person so much that he made a point out of calling me like 10 times a day & actually was very abusive speaking to me, aside from the threats he escalated to- threatening to rape & even kill me. Thankfully, the phone company understood my being a bit upset (not that I let that guy ever know) & changed my number without any question or fees normally charged. The down side to it so far, is that aside from these new scammers calling all if the time, I do get a lot of calls for the woman who apparently had the number before – so it must have not been out of use for very long before assigning it to me! Does it ever end?!!!

  6. I’m retired so I enjoy wasting as much of their time as possible before shutting them down. I asked one guy why is it that every phone scammer on the planet has a Middle-Eastern accent? Astonishingly, his reply was, “that is what we do best”. Such honesty should not go unnoticed…

  7. I’ve received many calls from a foreign man with a good old american name …He claims that in 2016 I took out protection for my computer and the company is being ordered to provide its customers with a $200 refund. I just need to say that I want the refund…they dont need any other information from me to get it. If I dont take the refund, in 2 years the company will be back in business and will continue to charge me at that time for the protection to restart. I told them I knew this was a scam because I’ve never bought computer protection for my computer from any company, and the protection I do have is purchased thru my ISP provider so they can contact them about a so called refund and that they should already have that info to contact them with if the refund is legit. The guy kept saying that we did purchase protection we just dont remember doing it…..the bad thing is that my husband has taken one of these calls…..he has memory issues due to brain trauma and was believing this guy.I got on the phone because the call from my end didn’t sound right and told them not to call back.I did not tell them about his memory problems thank god…but we get 2 calls at least a day still. I told my husband to try to remember to just hang up if I’m not home ….and if I am to give me the phone so I can hang up on them…..I’m sure that even though they said they dont need any info from us to get the refund they would have asked me to turn on my computer so they could remove their software or something.

    • I just got a similar call from 714-843-9193 (Huntington Beach, Ca.)saying that a Computer Security Company has gone out of business and owed me $299. Then she asked for my phone number. I asked for the name of the Computer Security Company and she said American Tech. I said I don’t know that company and she hung up.

  8. I have been receiving at least 2 calls a day from a number in Columbus, Ohio with a recorded message when I answer. The message states that my Microsoft Windows security provider has gone out of business and I am entitled to a refund of 2 years of service. I am then prompted to press 1 to speak to a representative to process my refund. Total scam.

  9. I’ve ignored more than a dozen calls today from the same phone # in Colombus, OH, (614-999-1245) and have received numerous calls for days (never answered). It’s harassment. I reported the phone number to the FTC.

    • Yesterday I had a similar situation happen but not to that degree! I think I ignored 6 calls from the area where my phone number is from. It’s certainly time for something to be done by the phone carriers about this number spoofing.

  10. They have called me three times in the last two days. I’ve told them I never paid anything so there isn’t a refund. Doesn’t seem to matter. Today I let the guy, with a heavy east indian accent, give me an ID # but got tired of dealing with him and told him to quit calling because I’d never give him any info. Fingers crossed but it was the same with the guys who wanted to “fix” my problem after getting Microsoft messages about a problem.

  11. Looks like they are still at it, as I received this same call today. I just listened to the automatic message and didn’t “press 1 to get the refund”. I just hung up.

  12. I got a call from my voicemail and it was a computerized call telling me that my data company was going out of business to please call them back for my refund. Haha

  13. Received call from someone saying they were with Geeks Softwarexperts – wanting to refund $200.00 as stated above (I actually bought this service in 2016 and lost hundreds of dollars on their fraud) – she had my telephone number, address and the last four numbers of my debit card – I told her to just credit the account then – she kept on about ‘it was necessary to disconnect their system from my computer before the refund could be processed, etc. and that she only had days to get this done’ – I asked her to send an email or U.S. Mail letter explaining what she was offering – the call ended, but it is unnerving to know that ‘Geeks SWE’ (and this lady) have access to all my contact and banking information from the original purchase in 2016!

  14. Got phonemail saying Microsoft security software had expired, that ‘my card’ (no more info) had been charged $399.00.
    If I wanted to get it refunded, call 614-999-1246 (new twist on old scam, probably). I called to make sure, and when
    I asked what company I was speaking to, a woman with a strong Asian accent said ‘Here’s the thing’, and that Microsoft would refund my money — I gave NO information, other than I called her a fraud, said I owed nothing for any security and that I have her phone number and would attempt to get her arrested. Obviously, nothing I can do, but since they had already called my number (robo-dial, probably) calling back gave them no additional info, and gave me a chance to holler at someone!! 🙂

  15. I receved a call from this number ‭+1 (866) 872-8045‬ claiming the same thing, it was an automated voice stating antivirus company was going out of buisness of course i knew it was ba as i only paid 39.95 for a year and they were offering 299.00 refund, i did not press any option nor did i call back.2days ago someone called claiming they from google, they tried to charge me 699.00 to claim my buisness, when i started asking question they hung up.

  16. Just say the words “sounds like a scam” or the like. Lately, that seems to be working well, as the scammers immediately hung up, at least for this $399 software update. Time for caller ID.

  17. I get these type of calls all the time – its becoming the norm – these guys sound like they are from India – i play along with them now because im retired and have plenty of time – LOL – its become a joke actually – i asked the guy today if he feels bad scamming people. I asked him if he was married and did he have kids, He said he was married with 2 kids but told me he has no choice but to work in this business because he cannot find a real job. I told him he will someday have to answer to his God. He actually sounded contrite and embarrased.

    • @edward: I’ve been getting these calls for years too. But today the guy said my name. Creeped me right out, but I guess it makes sense they would know my name since I’m on their calling list?

  18. Recent call back number for this scam (706) 749-1361. Understand since government shut down that scammer activity is increasing. Informed people likely will not fall for it but they tar\get the most vulnerable people and make it hard for them to answer the phone.

  19. I get this call from the “computer service company” every 4 minutes now. They call from different numbers (they actually use real phone numbers so when you call back, its a real person’s number who is not the spammer) so blocking numbers doesn’t help. They also call my work line. I just spoke to someone there (usually I ignore the calls) and I said “please put me on your do not call list – you call me every 4 minutes” and he just said “fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou” and hung up. HOW DO I GET THEM TO STOP?? It’s driving me nuts.

    • Try telling them you know they’re scammers, you have written documentation of every number they’ve called you from, and have filed a harassment complaint with the authorities due to the ongoing calls. Typically, once they know they aren’t going to get one over on you — they’ll quit wasting their time.

  20. I just got a call claiming my credit card had been charged $399 for security software. The yleft a number. No doubt a new take on the old scam. If I want a refund I must give them a credit card or a bank account number.

    • No doubt that’s an attempt at a scam you’re right Anthony! If you have any concerns just hang up and contact your credit card company directly or check your transactions online.

  21. So, how many times has someone tried to scam me? Let me count the ways …

    1) My Antivirus company is going out of business and I am entitled to a refund
    Ya, right. Don’t bother listening to the message; just hang up.

    2) My computer operating system is/has expired and I need to renew the license.
    But which computer? Which operating system? Again, I just hang up.

    3) My computer is infected …
    Again, hang up

    4) Getting an email from a friend who is on vacation, somehow, managed to get arrested and now needs $$
    to get out of jail.
    Delete

    … but, my most favorite of all …
    4) I owe the IRS money and if I don’t pay NOW, they will send someone over to arrest me and deport me.
    I asked them if, since being a U.S. citizen, do I get to pick the country I will be deported to and can I take a friend?

  22. For a few days I was getting a call from a number I had saved (maybe mistakenly) as Apria a medical equipment co. I use for cpap equipment/supplies. I have been very busy with many things. When I did get a chance I called back 3 times and got a busy signal.I don’t remember who called when I finally talked with them it was an Indian man (with one in the background). He was saying that the Microsoft software I had purchased a year ago is expiring and he is subcontracted by Microsoft to refund my 500 deposit that they had originally put aside to secure my payment of 399? This did not make sense and I did not remember any deposit but I was in a hurry and thought lets get this over quickly (it is an asset not a debit so why worry about verifying it).Wellll….about an hour and 1/2 later I end up with a locked computer and I am being told I made a mistake and the 500 dollar refund went into my account as 5000 and I have to go to the Bank and return the 4500 right now or he will lose his job due to my typing error and I am supposed to withdraw cash, and send it fedex to the name and address given to me. Of course I was livid and did some cursing. I was supposed to stay on the line (cell phone) or he would have to fill out his closing statement and that would involve IRS, Taxes of 40%, see you in court,audit, etc. He also told me my computer would be locked forever or he could crash it if I did not listen. I got mad and told him I have separate back up and I am due for a new computer so I will use his deposit mistake to buy a new one if he threatens me. So I went into the Bank and went to my banker and told him what was going on. We transferred some money I had in my account and the banker saw the 5000 in my account and said I had to give the guy my social security # for this to go through as a credit….I know for a fact I did not so that is a blank (as I had medicare anyone could get my # as they stupidly used it for our medicare # for years)…I ran my computer in to my fix it guy, he is replacing the hard drive, I will have access to my old hard drive only if I stay off online when accessing it as he can not promise they did not infect many places to have access again.

  23. For the past 2 to 3 months, I have been receiving almost daily calls from one of the fabled Indian call centers, always with the same “going out of business”, and “want to provide a refund” pitch. Mine is from MyTechBay, which later became SmartBytes. They got malware on my computer in March of last year and suckered me into paying them a substantial amount of money to unlock my computer. I used to listen patiently to the pitch, then , after asking them to stop calling, hang up.
    Have had two such calls already this morning, and it’s only 10:30. I’m not going to answer anymore calls with caller ID numbers I dont recognize I don’t know what else to do. Any suggestions anyone?–8

    • @Jim Sprouls:
      I told them that I recording and would turn this information over to the State Consumer Fraud division. They stopped calling for a long time. I still get periodicacalls that I do not respond to other than to laugh & hang up.

  24. I’ve gotten numerous calls like this from a “computer service company” wanting to refund money to me. The operators have Indian accents. When I ask them what the name of their company is, they hang up. The call number is “unknown” and I have not been able to block “unknown numbers” from my phone. Very annoying.

    • That is a common one. They will often be generic with their responses if you ask where they are from, and say things like “your computer company” or “your antivirus company”. That way you’re more likely to say something along the lines of “oh, Microsoft?” or “My antivirus? PC Matic?” And then they will say yes, in an attempt to sound more legitimate. I’m glad you realized it was a scam!

  25. I’ve been getting these “Microsoft” calls literally for years. Gotten to the point that I play with them out of sheets enjoyment

    Although we can’t make them stop, I have been successful at getting a break for months at a time since they “block” my number for at least 6 months

    I started hitting redial on my phone repeatedly calling them back as many as 36 times in a row. They begin to recognize the number and threaten to block me. Lol!!!! Please do!

    They’ve offered to take my number out permanently (ya, right!) if I pay them $400.

    I did have one time that I asked him not to hang up and had questions. We spoke for quite some time. Told me they’re paid $2000/month to make these calls then get a % of any money that they scam. Asking him why he would knowingly steal, he replied his family is poor and he hates Americans

    By the time we were ending the call I was actually offered a job!!!!! Swear it’s true! Told him it would not work for the reasons:
    I don’t steal
    I don’t live in India
    I don’t have an accent
    And I know where California is vs New York (they don’t)

  26. I got this scam call today. Again vague, yet another scamming call center in India. I was going to get “a refund,” he told me. From which company? I asked. “From the company you hired for computer support.” I told him I never hired any company for computer support. He tried to tell me I had. Then I told him this was yet another scam from India and asked him why he won’t get a real job instead of stealing from people all day.

  27. Just received a scammer call claiming to be from Norton refund Dept. Said he owes me $240 for prepaid security that Norton will no longer be able to furnish. Trying to get my credit card or PayPal information which I wouldn’t give. He did have a good email for me which was kind of surprising and claimed he was going to send a link which would explain the refund. Under no circumstances am I going to open any link this Joker sends me.

  28. @cara: norm sez: An extremely familiar story. Two things: if you should have a landline phone with multiple receivers, should they accidently come together- with both on speaker- you’ll hear the awful sound of a poor scammer in the throes of an unfortunate blaring feedback loop, especially if both receivers had been accidently left at TOP VOLUME. It’s awful and should of course be avoided at ALL costs!
    Of course a rape whistle works fine too. I mean of course, for attracting attention to your truly unfortunate assault.

  29. I have been continuously called, up to five times daily, for over three years! probably because I once kind of believed them, followed by humiliating them to the point, i guess, towhere they increased their scamming campaign- out of spite.
    As soon as you say something logical, they will prevaricate and straight up lie. Make EVERY ‘security tech’ person calling you give you a ‘special case number’ which they will ask you for! When you saying, “Oh, how wonderful of you. I look forward, and will pay special attention, to my mailbox as I await your refund check! I’m sure there will be no problem with it, or between you and the bank; whichever you prefer.”

    At this point they begin calling me awful names- which they have no doubt learned from those they scammed!

  30. I just received a scam call today. Yes, it sounded like a boiler room in the background and I was told that they had a refund to give to me as my security protection has ” gone out of business”. I was told I would get a 600.00 refund. I told the fraudie that I will not give out my credit card information and if they owe me money,” email me and tell me they are going to send me a check.” They hung up, after trying to talk over me. I need to get a loud whistle to blow into my phone. I got 4 calls today. Some just ring and when I answer no one is there, but the number shows as weird area codes and fake names like ” Apple security”. One left a message to call with a phone number that was “Out of service”. I guess all they need is one person to fall for the scam and someone in an impoverished country can live like a King….Geez, they stop at nothing.

  31. Just received a call from an unknown #, sounded foreign….but his name was Kevin Smith….he said I had a refund due to me because of some computer work I had paid for a long time ago….
    I said, “really?” and he said Oh yes…not a problem…I just need your credit card info to process your refund….I said…”You know….I’m sorry to tell u but as much as I would love to get a refund…u got the wrong gal…I have no computer…..he hung up! hahaha….

  32. We took a page from PC Matic…we have a “white list” of callers we will respond to. When phone rings, we look at the “caller ID”. If we don’t recognize it, we don’t answer…PERIOD! We feel that if it’s important, the caller will leave a message. Simple solution to a simple problem.

    Another “scam” we have encountered recently, is that callers are now using local area codes to give the appearence of it being a local call, so you are more likely to answer thinking it’s someone you know. I.E., if your first 3 local numbers are “123-XXXX”they use that instead of an out of area number such as “456-XXXX”.

  33. After getting cussed out and threatened when I asked them to please stop calling me, I simply reported the numbers to the FTC fraud site. Same scam, but since we leave the ringers off, they just kept getting the answering machine (robocall message). I only called back the one time to try to get them to leave off but it didn’t work.

  34. @Dave: This is a new scam and a friend of mine in Goderich ON. received a call and got out of him that Norton was his security app. They wanted to give him a refund but needed his banking info. Being the naïve person he Is, he gave it to them. Lucky for him it was on a week end and when he told a few people about the call they screamed at him scam scam scam !! . He called his 1-800 bank number and warned them to watch for any suspicious activity. He then had to change debit numbers and passwords. So yes it can happen very easily.

  35. I have been called by these people many, many times. Always from a different number, until recently. I have asked questions very similar to those mentioned above. The calls Egan coming more frequently as of late. I decided to be very nasty with the callers. One day last week, they called five times in a row! Same number. All from Angels Camp, CA. They would hang up after my very nasty response every time, but immediately call back. I actually got nastier with each call, and on the fifth call I picked up the phone and told the caller I could sit here and do “this” as long as they liked. They have not called since, but I expect they will try again. These callers are truly aggravating.

  36. I’ve received a couple such scammer calls claiming to be from a Microsoft connected entity that also claims they’re shutting down and are also giving out refunds.

  37. This is politically incorrect and very very wrong, but if the scammer is Pakastanian or indian , I go along impersonating their accent and pretending that I too am a scammer, asking for their credit card details , and that they also have a computer problem and could they please turn their computer on….

  38. You played him like a damn fiddle haha. Seriously, though, it’s easy enough to realize when someone is trying to scam you cause they are avoiding questions like that and are not acting like professionals at all.

  39. Having had my identity stolen in 2015 from blue Cross/blue Shields holding company I have enjoyed many such calls including telling the scammer I have to go get my billfold for the card. Laid down the phone and went outside. and did not come back to the phone for 15 minutes. the scammer was still there and was mad at me for taking so long? I told him I had just been robbed and the cards were in the thief’s hands. I asked him if he wasn’t a thief too? as I do not use Mcafee but wanted to. “”click””

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