In the sea of tech support scams we come across, we sometimes forget how unscrupulous the people behind them can be. They have no shame in defrauding victims for imaginary computer problems and could not care less about ripping off legitimate companies in the process.
Take this latest example, where fraudsters went as far as stealing all of our company’s logos to create a Twitter account and website in order to advertise for their ‘tech support’ services.
Does this company actually provide a helpful service to save them from ‘only’ ripping our brand but at least not tarnish it? The answer is no.
Contrary to what is indicated on their website and profile, this business is not in the US. The technicians are clearly from overseas and certainly have no affiliation with Malwarebytes whatsoever.
After remotely connecting to your computer, the technician will upload a ‘security check’ script which could perhaps be part of a routine to verify whether the user’s system has all the patches and is configured properly.
But that’s where things turn fraudulent. The script is nothing less but a few lines of codes programmed to display fake error pop ups and scare the victim. Simple but effective against a lot of people that aren’t tech savvy.
The scammers’ entire business model can be summarized in the diagram below:
The practice is not new and many other brands have been abused before in that way, obviously starting with Microsoft which recently revealed just how big the problem is:
This year alone, an estimated 3.3 million people in the United States will pay more than $1.5 billion to scammers
In addition to robbing consumers, the scammers are also affecting our reputation because most victims assume Malwarebytes was the one providing this service and leave angry comments on the Better Business Bureau site or consumer fraud forums.
Almost every day, people come through our legitimate support department to report an issue with the service ‘we’ supposedly charged them. It is hard when we have to explain to them that the $699 they just spent was for nothing but a scam and that they may be victim of identity theft as a result of it.
The sad reality is that scammers are going to scam, no matter how many people or companies they hurt in the process. We have reported this company and website and blacklisted it as well.