Tech Support Scammers Pose as HP Reps

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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 April

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.

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