Tech Support Scammers Pose as HP Reps

jack-o-lantern keyboard.jpg

 

It’s Halloween, people are supposed to dress up and be someone they’re not! Unfortunately, I’m not talking about people going around, collecting candy. I’m talking about a scam that’s on the rise where fakers pose as HP tech support — having the nerve to demand customers hand over credit card numbers for services and products. The “best” case scenario: You’re paying for help (and drivers) that’s already absolutely free through HP. Worst case: You’re allowing some scammer remote control to a PC.

 

You may recall our first pass at describing how to “Avoid Support-Related Tech Trouble” back in July. Since posting that story, I had a slightly more personal experience. My father-in-law actually needed to grab drivers for a new printer. So, of course, he googles “HP Printer Drivers.” He’s instantly bombarded with links to HUNDREDS of places that aren’t HP’s support page. He calls me asking why we are charging money for drivers….WE DON’T! Fact is, any HP customers (not just my father-in-law) can easily download free drivers for consumer products, which HP currently supports. I had to make certain he understood that the first place he should ALWAYS go is support.hp.com.

 

Recently, Rob Pegorara at USA Today linked back to our story (Thanks, Rob!) when he published an eye-opening article on a brazen tech support scam. In these scenarios, companies set up shop online and prey on customers who would like to receive phone or online support. The trouble is, they charge big money for support which is, again, free through HP and/or covered by existing warranties.

 

We came across an HP customer who was directly called by someone claiming to be an HP representative. He insisted that if she didn’t cough up $300 and her credit card info, her notebook would be non-functional the moment her warranty expired. Unbelievable, right? But she paid it. Thankfully, she will be disputing those charges.  But the best defense for being taken advantage of is to know exactly how to get in touch with HP Support directly. In fact, HP also offers HP SmartFriend Services which completely takes the guesswork out of how to get help for any computer-related issue whether it’s for an HP product or not.

 

HP may get in touch with customers via email or a letter when warranties are about to expire, and they may even call. But here’s the reality: Real HP reps will point customers to authorized transaction methods available online at HP.com so that customers can get the most of their HP products. So, if you feel weird about giving someone your credit card info over the phone, don’t.

 

PRO-TIP: The best way to get HP Support is to go straight to HP. Period.

 

But if you do get a call from someone pretending to be from HP and trying to get credit card information for an issue you’re not familiar with, just hang up and call 1-800-HP-INVENT to confirm the identity of anyone claiming to be an HP support representative. The best advice? Go with your gut. But just to make it simple, here are the best ways to get legitimate, HP authorized help:

  • HP Consumer Support Forums: Connect, exchange advice and research support questions from thousands of forum posts by HP users, for HP users.  Available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.  HP will periodically host Expert Days on the forum, which gives all HP customers, whether in- or out-of-warranty, access to HP’s best and brightest technicians.
  • Phone Support:  Call 800-474-6836 for HP product questions and 800-652-6672 for Compaq product questions and an HP representative will explain out-of-warranty service options.  Available 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
  • Support videos:Just click play for help in troubleshooting out-of-warranty products.
  • HP Technology Center: Get quick, helpful information on PC security, wireless networking, battery health, tuning up a PC and more.

HP Care Pack Service:  Call 866-234-1377 to protect your products

 

 

If you’ve encountered any shady experiences with people posing as HP support that weren’t – let us know!

Tags: scam| support
Labels: support
Comments
by cchuey01
on ‎04-04-2014 10:05 AM

My elderly father almost fell victim to this type of scam.  Somehow he stubbled upon a phone number when he was attempting to locate HP Technical support.  I performed research and discovered the company he called was tech4global.  BEWARE of tech4global! 

 

He needed help replacing the toner cartridge and the tech4global representative convinced my father to allow unfettered remoted access into his computer.  The tech4global representative poked around in his system and then informed my father that he was hacked and if he paid $90+ they could remedy the problem.  My father contacted me and I told him to immediately disconnect his internet connection.  I saw that the tech4global representative accessed the windows logs and was snooping in the local users folders.  I am not sure what else he did (like install any backdoors?)  It also appeared that he planted a message giving the impression that the system was hacked.  Bogus! 

 

I need to further investigate what this tech4global representative did on my father's PC.  In the meantime, I wanted to provide a warning to stay away from tech4global.

by MICHAELWILEY
on ‎07-19-2015 11:19 AM

Brainbytetechsupport.com is another scam company. This company posed as an HP associate and the tech showed me after gaining access to my computer a screen full of viruses and errors. He conned me after I told him that I did not have any funds in my personal account. 'Roy' told me that he would perform the supposed cleanup that night and that I could pay him for the $149.99 service in the morning after I would receive anticipated funds into my personal account. He pretended to perform removal of the viruses and errors which last a great while and after I made the payment the scam artist's personality changed completely. His tone of voice became very negative and irritated and he was short in his speech. He also rushed me off the phone and I told him that I was wondering when he was going flip the switch after I made payment. A couple of weeks after the scam was performed the electricity went out at my place of residency and I panicked and called another company for assistance. The tech from that company did the same thing showing me a screen with both viruses and errors, but he informed me that the Brainbytetechsupport tech did not remove any viruses or errors from my system. Of course the second tech presented with some prices to choose from. I selected from the cheapest amount and he became desperate in his approach and attempted me to select the highest amount. Immediately became suspicious and disconnected his access to my computer and hung the phone. He made several attempts to call me back, but I did not respond. I presented this issue with my credit union, but the rep informed me that I could not be reimbursed because I had initiated the transaction...what a bunch of crap. I learned my lessson the hard way. A lot of bogus companies have techs that give consumers their names as plain American names to deceive us as them being Americans when you can obviously hear that they are from India or some other foreign countries. As a consumer I do not like talking to Black female reps from banks or credit unions becaue they take things personally as if they are going through what you are dealing with as a consumer with their lectures and disdain...Consumers beware - please adhere to the security measures that are needed for any type of technical support...

by AngelW
on ‎11-20-2015 03:45 AM

Our issue isn't at all like this but instead is someone posing as an HP financial analyst and saying we have a past due invoice. From last year. This is possibly true - we had our plotter printer go out and had to have HP come out to service it. One of my directors I thought paid the tech or we paid it shortly thereafter - so it seemed strange an email came to that director that originated the repair saying we needed to pay the invoice. But this person's email looked very strange - between his name he had three dashes like this: --- but the end was hpe.com. He had the amount correct but an odd HP order number we didn't see on any of our original requests/work orders. We still wrote the check. But per that email, there was no billing address to send payment so I emailed him directly. He wrote me back promptly with an address - but this address is a care of address to a bank and to a town where I'm not sure HP has a presence: Hewlett-Packard Ltd,
C/o Chase Manhattan Bank, PO Box 4517, Bournemouth BH7 7WR.

 

I looked up both HP Enterprises and HP since they're separate and they don't really help themselves by not having any sort of billing contacts listed and according to customer service, they don't take calls. You can only leave them a voicemail. I did actually get a good email and a valid HP billing rep who is based in Romania followed up with me. She sent an attachment listing the real address for sending payment and none of them are in Bournemouth. We're following up to see if our invoice is even outstanding. But this was really disturbing it was that easy for these people to fool us.

by Lalit4782
on ‎04-08-2016 07:48 PM
Hye.

In india,

There is company name orange tech support pvt ltd which is located in gurgoan , udyog vihar phase 5 plot 512 1st floor.

Website:- orangets.net

They are doing scamm business in the name of HP.

What they do, in U S there are many hp printer users are there. When uhp printer users of US will get any problem . They will search hp toll free number in google.com. but unfortunately they will search unkown number that call routed to this company. I dnt khow how that call routed to india.

Some one come up and now time has come to take stick actions againt this company.

They fooled United States customers and steal money from US people.

If you dnt belive my words, you call to toll free numer which is mention on websites. Call them and told them you have hp printer and request to fix . Then you will see how they smart to handle you...

Please stop this...

Thanks....
by TimothyB
on ‎04-03-2017 09:24 PM

Hello. Today I was called nine times by these scammers. The most disturbing thing was they were doing something I was told was "phone phishing". The number on my caller ID was actually the number to your sales office. 800 565 9917. I called your company, and they said my phone number wasn't even in your system. The first time they called they told me they had detected my HP computer had a virus, and they were going to help me remove it. What the scammers obviously didn't know was that my HP computer has been sitting in my closet for the last 8 months, ever since I got my new computer. It hasn't even been turned on. What also troubles me is how they knew my name, and knew I had an HP computer. Appparently they have, some time ago, gained access to your registration files. Whether you have shared the information with a partner who has sold the information, or your system has been compromised, that's for you to determine. But these people are serious, and wouldn't be too hard to fool people into thinking they were with HP. 

by Cytherian
on ‎04-12-2017 04:12 PM

I received a call today from a fellow with an Indian accent, claiming to be an HP support engineer.  He claimed that they detected my computer was downloading a malicious file from the Internet and that it was imperative that I let him help me.

 

I asked his name and he said it was Joy Parker.  OK... that's not a male name.

The number he was calling from was 161248212910.  Excluding the "1" as the lead-in, the rest of the number does not fit within USA phone format, so this was likely a call from overseas.  Maybe India.

 

First, he asked me if I had an HP Pavillion laptop.  His accent was pretty thick and I couldn't make out the "flavor" of Pavillion he was saying.  He then told me a serial number, but it did not match any of my HP laptop computers.

 

Regardless, he told me to go to the Event Viewer to check for an error.  He clumsily told me to bring up the RUN dialog and then enter the name of the Event Viewer program.  Well, that right there caught me as highly suspicious, because Windows+X brings up a quick access menu and Event Viewer is right there.  So, I let him "lead me" to the Event Viewer where he proceeded to tell me to look for an error in the "Application" log.  Well, as we all know, every instance of Windows 10 has some error here or there, usually nothing consequential. 

 

I asked Mr. Parker what error I should be looking for.  And he could not articulate it.  That was the next suspicious thing.  Because, if there is some trojan virus on my computer downloading a malicious file, I'm not going to get any error in the Event Viewer for the simple act of downloading a file.  It would happen if there was some failure in the download.  Or, if it completed and ran, started removing essential files that would throw errors by being absent.

 

At this point I could not put up with this scam any longer and I hung up.  He did not call me back.

 

I don't know how he got my number.  I suspect someone hacked a list of registered HP computer owners.  Or, he simply guessed lucky on my computer, as he did not have a matching serial number.

 

So... I have no idea what this guy was trying to do.  Maybe get me to believe that some error I see in the event viewer was the indication of corruption and then I'd need to pay him to fix it.  It never got that far.  Idiots.  However, someone like an 80 year old grandmother might not be armed with enough knowledge to know a scammer when she sees one.

by hprinter
September

Nice Post !! Keep Sharing 

 

See this Also: http://www.printerhealthandcare.com/

by Pterobyte
a month ago

So I post a problem on the HP forum and I get an email from HP.  But what I didn't know is that HP allows user to send private messages to people that post on its forum by default.  I get this email from HP, yes I checked the domain name and everything before I took the next step.  It contained the HP logo next to the user signature, it came from the HP domain name and the certificate for the domain name is valid.  So I have no reason to expect this to be a scam.  Except it is a scam. 

 

I called this number they appeared to be legitimate knowledgeable support people.  Except they are not.  I allowed them into my PC to see if they could fix the problem it was only after they wanted payment to cover a cross shipping a replacement in form of an iTunes card did I get suspicious.  Then I realized they had just remoted into my pc.  I spent the next hour re-imaging that machine and changing all my bank account passwords.

 

==============================================================================

 

From: Ruby-Newton 
Subject: HP Helpdesk 
Note:

 Dear Customer,

 

Welcome to HP Support Forums!

We appreciate your concern regarding your HP Product. But its hard to provide you the appropriate solution for this issue in community. In order to get easy and hassle free HP Technical support for your peripherals. Kindly call +1(800) 322-2414 (US/Canada) for assistance.

 

Thanks & Regards
  Helpdesk

===============================================================================

I was not expecting direct private messages from the HP forum, I did not know that was a feature on the forum so I figured the only way they could have my email address is if HP was contacting me directly.  When I post on other sites, I don't get private messages, why would I expect that from HP, a tech savvy company, really? There is a simple fix to this and by failing fix this security hole HP  is liable for damages.   In essence they are allowing anyone to appear to be an official HP.  When I called Palo Alto they confirmed that his happens all the time, well folks if you know it happens all the time then fix it.  Simple fix, don't allow private messages.  Also you can put in a filter on messages blocking phone numbers.  You do have a disclaimer not to trust anybody without the HP banner next to their user name, well they seem to have gotten past that one with a private message.

by Myddad1
a week ago

The same happened to me as one of the others 

 

I also got an email from the forum saying I should call hp directly with this number 800-322-2414

 

They spent a lot of time going through my  computer supposedidly trying to fix my display drivers 

 

remotely, It took me awhile to figure out they were fake

 

When I finally realized it it was too late, I saw a command promt running, and them telling me it would cost

 

80 dollars to fix. well it's under warranty so that was another clue, Anyway I did find a good number 

 

in search for hp support get human and got a real number for hp tech 

 

The tech told me (after i told him what happened) I needed  to erase my hard drive completely because these people put in a backdoor virus that stays running sending them info and can't be found by virus protectors, which makes sense. So after just install a new hard drive spending a lot of hours getting it set up like i wanted. I have to start over,  

 

for anyone interested i'm using  western digital data lifegaurd dianostics  it's free and so far works with any hard drive i've found, Also good for testing drives 

 

erasing the drive takes awhi;e for a real good erase, mine took 6 hrs for a 500 gig 

 

 

Seaching that number i see they also have a site that says microsoft tech support and looks real

 

and other sites like that with the same number 

 

 

I really hope this won't happen to anyone else, but I know it will sadly 

 

anyone that has let them connect to your computer should back up important files and erase the hard drive

 

full erase is more secure than reformatting  

 

by Myddad1
a week ago

 Changing all your passwords only, may not help if they remote controled your pc and installed a backdoor

 

as they probably get keystrokes sent as you type in your login info

 

these people are very smart

 

 

by Myddad1
a week ago

this is in the forum like the email I got and it's one of the hackers and fake hp support

 

Do not call this number 

 

 

 

From: Ruby-Newton 
Subject: HP Helpdesk 
Note:

 Dear Customer,

 

Welcome to HP Support Forums!

We appreciate your concern regarding your HP Product. But its hard to provide you the appropriate solution for this issue in community. In order to get easy and hassle free HP Technical support for your peripherals. Kindly call +1(800) 322-2414 (US/Canada) for assistance.

 

Thanks & Regards

 

  Helpdesk

 

 

 

 

 

 

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