Getting Your Money Back After a Tech Support Scam

If you’ve ever had a virus on your computer, you know what a nightmare it can be — a slow computer that crashes unexpectedly, your contact lists getting messages that you didn’t send, your online accounts vulnerable to hacking.

Image of Computer and PhonePerhaps just as frustrating as a virus infecting your computer? Paying someone to get rid of a virus that isn’t there.

Here’s how it happens: Scammers call and claim to be associated with a well-known tech company like Microsoft. They warn you that your computer is infected, and that you must act right away. They might even post fake tech support ads in online search results to trick you into calling them.

Once they’ve convinced you that there’s a “virus,” they ask for remote access to your computer to get rid of it — for a fee.

The good news? The FTC has cracked down on these scams, and continues to investigate and prosecute them. But that’s not all: if you lost money to one of these tech support scammers, some credit card companies are making it easier for you to get your money back.

If you paid for bogus tech support services with a credit card, call your bank or credit card provider now and follow their instructions to dispute the charge. The credit card provider will open its own investigation to determine if the caller lied to get you to pay for the “repair” services, and will contact you within two billing cycles with the results of the investigation.  

For more information, check out Tech Support Scams and Disputing Credit Card Charges.


I've noticed some of these scam companies are having victims pay them through Western Union or another wire transfer company. For most banks this is considered a cash advance which means the victim may not have disputes rights.

Yes, that's true. Paying with a money transfer is just like sending cash -- once the money is gone, it's nearly impossible to get back. Our article, Money Transfer Scams, warns people about this problem.

This is great news that the FTC is finally cracking down on these scammers! These scammers ruin the online tech support industry as a whole. We work at Boxaid and have been doing tech support for 6 years and it kills when our customers call us and tell us how they just got scammed by a so called "competitor" and just got charged hundreds of dollars to fix their PC and it still doesn't work. This happens with at least 15% of our customers and affects our industry!! down with the scammers!

I am not sure who to believe.Until today i have not get back my money.I am devastated after all i been through.I do not trust no one,not anymore.

I called Kaspersky to renew my subscription. When I had originally joined Kaspersky, they placed an official icon on my toolbar for quick and official contact. I clicked the icon to retrieve their "official" phone number. Next, I called the number and a "so called" technician answered right away. Important to point out, I had tried to renew the Kaspersky anti virus online, but was rejected for various reasons, thus prompting me to call their official number.

The tech began his scheme right away and said the reason I couldn't renew online there were problems on my computer. He needed to gain access to my computer to see what the problems were. Believing he was an official Kaspersky contact, I gave him access to my computer. He kept flashing window after window, finally announcing that my firewall had been broken into many times. He showed me a data sheet of attempts to break in to my computer by perpetrators located both in the US and foreign countries. Then he told me that only Microsoft Special Security Dept. were the only ones who could repair the firewall. He would have to contact that department, but they would need a fee to do that ... $300.00. And yes, I had no alternative but to give him my credit card number. After he got my telephone number, he told me that MS Security would call me to fix the firewall.

MS Security called me within 5 minutes and requested access to my computer, which I gave. He flopped numerous windows, one folded over the other and moved quickly with the speed of a laser. Within 7 minutes, MS tech said he had fixed the firewall and the call was ended.

I became suspicious after the charade and contacted an official Microsoft tech who told me that I had just been scammed and that Microsoft had no association with Kaspersky or TechVantege. Next I contacted the Fraud Div. of my credit card co. They told me that the fraudsters had set up a 3-part payment system and could not stop the first deduction of $100.00 because they had sent me an email questioning the charge. I hadn't checked my email and the credit card took my lack of response as an approval of the charge. The credit card fraud div. took over from there. They disputed the balance.

Next, I recalled Microsoft and spoke with their tech who informed me that he would scan my computer for malware,anything suspicious and it would cost $99.00. I ok'd it and it took him nearly 1/2 hour to check and reverse all malicious activity. And yes, he was legit.

So, the fraudsters were unable to collect the remaining $200.00 from my credit card co. Bad experience, but a learning experience.

To this day, computer programer friends say the only way, the fraudsters could have pulled the scam off was by intercepting the official Kaspersky phone number somehow or possibly Kaspersky had a few wayward reps. who were into working with the fraudsters for a cut of the $$$. That's inconceivable but not impossible!

Bottom line: The name the fraudsters gave to my credit card company was TechVantege and Googling their name brought up nothing but fraud, scammers, etc. So if you ever come across this company based in India, run, or hang up!!! They also solicit business by unexpected phone calls to your home.

We're even getting these in our corporate email - and we have a firewall!

The scammer was a visitor to me by telephone pretending to be calling from Microsoft and charged
hundreds of dollars to fix a virus they claimed to be affecting my computer and asked for access to my computer remotely. I trusted them to fix my computer which was not a fix at all. My computer
was in the same mode of slowing down as it had been
before the scammer had promised he fixed. I'm a victom of the scammers. I paid them with a debit
card which is the same as cash.

All help for us, online, is more than welcome. Thank you for all information and care, indeed precious.

I call my tech support for Windstream but got someone else; probably India. They must have taken the phone number over someway. They got $129 and trying to get another $400. I cannot stop the first but I called the bank and told them they would be trying to get another $400. They used my debit card but I did not give that to them. My billfold was stolen a few years ago and my SS number was on my medicare card. I have been plagued by people taking money out of my account.I even changed banks and it continues. I asked Social
Security to change my SS number but they refused. I do not know what to do.

It sounds like you might be a victim of identity theft. The FTC provides detailed information about what to do at

i paid 99 dolars to us tech support to work on my computor after paying this fee my computor worked worse than when they started after calling over 20 times each time they told me they would fix the problem ps the problems were never fixed these people are scamers do not use these people for any computor problems.

Is it possible to get money back from these scams?

If you paid with a credit card, read Disputing Credit Card Charges. You should be able to dispute the charge. If you paid with a debit card or bank account, contact your bank and ask to speak to the fraud department. They may be able to help .

Im an employee at a scam company like ds. I joomed ds industry out of financial need..wen ur 15, ur mom is dying..u cant pay the medical expences...dat ws da only option i had..but i hated it..bcoz it ws nt a dishonest person.never stole anythn..ever,, killed me to do it..dr r a lotta good people in the states..i fell in love with their manners.their willing ness to tok wid a complete nicely and wid such im nt gng to stand fr it..i quit dat fraud company after getting beaten up fr informing the police bout wat ws happening..den i joined an honest customer care service..wich i thot wud b honest work..i ws tld it ws "genuine tech support"...but im seeing da process is da same..same as quit..but being an insider fr mre dan 3yrs nw...i can snitch on companies wid annual turnovers of mre dan a million dollars. I cn turn dm in. .il w8 fr a respnse in ds blog. . .again im sorry fr what ive dne

I am an employee of tech support.
I dont no weather you guys will belive me or not but every tech support are not a scam, but its true there has few company who are runing their business like this and for that most of the genuine company are getting red flag.

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