Tech Support Scams

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Thread Starter
Dec 4, 2012
Just wanted to share this experience with you all. Viruses can be a tricky thing, causing all kinds of damage and ruining your day, week, month, or even year. In times like that the weekest cowardly people come out of the woodwork and scare you into financial submission, and i want you to not be fooled by fast talking snake oil salesmen.

desktop win7 wired connection
desktop win XP sp3 wired connection, installing wireless adapter.
laptop winXP wireless
Belkin router

I had a desktop that was a wired connectoion and wanted to give it to my kid, so i got a wireless network card and installed it. The card seemed to be working fine, but it would not connect to the internet. (it would hang on "aquiring a network address" then error out saying windows coudlnt connect..)

I called Belkin tech support who tried a bunch of nonsence scare tactics to make me believe my registry was corrupt and that i had a virus. end result- pay them money and they would fix the issue, AND i would be protected for some amount of time. I believe it is 30 days, 90 days, 6 months a year or even 3 years.

What they didnt know/ask/think about was that the router and network card were both brand new, and that the computer I was having issues with had a fresh install of win XP with paid antivirus program. When I told them "No, if I have a virus then my antivirus company needs to deal with it, im not paying both of you to solve the same issue". Well, the tech agent hung up the phone on me.

I called back and the exact same thing happened. They used tactics such as opening a command window and typing the command "tree". then at the prompt- and very quicly I might add, the tech typed "Network is infected". hit return and ran the tree command again. The tech then ran the tree command a 3rd time and and then said I had a virus, scrolled back up to where he had typed in "network is infected" to prove his case. He then gave me the "pay us for your protection" speach and when I said no, they hung up. the tech try to close the command window but i booted him off my system before he could.

Well, I called my PAID antivirus people, who worked with me and scanned and looked around, and they could not find any trace or hint of a virus. we ran malware programs, hijack this, scanned for viruses, checked the vault etc etc. no infection was found, so then I called the wireless card manufacturer who could not figure out the problem either- they didnt offer to run any registry programs nor charge me money either.

So, I called back to Belkin tech support.

The 3rd tech, looking into his notes, pulled up my processes window and identified csrss.exe- a necessary file, but known to have been used for trojan infestions in the past. while trying to explain that i had a virus and selling me their protection, he tried to google search the file and pulled up an advertisement site from the top of google list, and of course the file is infected and i need to run their registry cleaner and disinfect my system.

I'm calling BS!

In the end, I resolved the problem myself- the network card was not setup for wpa- which it was supposed to have been, it was set for wep. (yes it makes a difference)

Please beware- this is happening in all kinds of tech support issues. had an issue with windows 8 install- they tried the same thing on me- but if it is an incomplete fresh install on a repartitioned hard drive, then HOW DID IT GET A VIRUS?

dont buy into it. Yes there are times you actually do have a virus. but be carefull to understand what they are telling you. LISTEN to their tone of voice AND how adgitated they get when you ask them to back up and repeat what they just said. ask questions to prove it to yourself. it's your money, protect it!

My reasoning:
If the wired network adapter is able to see the internet, and the wired adapter isn't, then a virus may verry well be present and active- but most certainly it is not causing the issue. If it were, then the wired network adapter wouldnt work either. (especially after a few dozen reboots) And btw- what use is a trojan virus if it prevents you from connecting to the internet? Trojans are supposed to allow for hackers or malicious code to steal information from you. if the door is shut, then it cant get in or out- can't do its job- common sence.

Hope this helps!
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