Strange advice off F Secure
I am 70 yrs old and am not an expert with computers. Recently my laptop started getting slow & at least once a day I had the dreaded blue screen. I have F Secure Internet Security on my desktop PC but I didnt have it on the laptop even though I have a 2 yr licence for upto 3 computers. I did have an anti malware programme on the laptop which found 102 'objects' and 3 viruses which it quarantined. I then got intouch with F Secure via the instant messagin 'chat now' to ask how do I put their antivirus onto the laptop. She said she'd get an Engineer to ring me within 20mins. As promised the engineer rang and took over the laptop using remote control. I thought he was an F Secure engineer but found out later he was working for JMK Technical Services. Why did F Secure lady pass me onto a 3rd party? He then rang me to say that he'd found over 30,000 problems and the laptop was wide open for hacking . He asked if I banked or purchased things over the Internet & I told him I buy from Amazon & Ebay. He said that they are ok & the hackers hadnt got into there. He then told me he can put 35 engineers onto this problem to clear the 30000 plus problems but it will cost £79 ($130 US Dollars) . Being a Senior Citizen I was worried about being hacked so I agreed to pay. He then tried to talk me into paying something like £120 for a more comprehensive repair & said my laptop will then be as good as new. I declined & settled for the $130 repair. After thinking about this I think I've been hoodwinked. All I wanted was to put F Secure onto my laptop. He also removed my malware programme which held my History records showing it had just scanned & removed over 100 objects & viruses. When I re-installed it later all the history had gone .
What do you expert computer people think of this?
Thanks for reading this. I have now lost trust in F Secure & when it is up for renewal later this year I will consider another Anti Virus . I hope someone at F Secure reads this because it does seem a strange way to treat customers. Incidentally my laptop is no different but I do have F Secure on it now.
Hi Norm, and welcome to the forum.
Having done some quick research, it does appear as though JMK Technical Services are a legitimate company, offering remote or online computer support services, and I can only guess that F-Secure outsource some cases to them. It may have been that as the problems on your laptop appear to have pre-existed before you tried to install F-Secure on it, they felt that it required more specialist attention than purely support for the F-Secure product. Again, I stress, that's only a guess, as I don't work for F-Secure, so can't speak for them.
JMK appear to charge a standard set tariff for a 'one-time' repair, which, according to their website, seems to be $79.95. Obviously, as a business, they would try to sell you more of their services, so I guess that's where the further sales pitch came in.
With regards putting F-Secure on your laptop, this would indeed require the removal of any previous anti-virus / anti-malware programs, otherwise conflicts can occur, so I believe they were correct to do this. The removal of previous products, if done correctly, would wipe them out completely from your computer, so this may well include the removal of historical logs from those products.
So, you say you now have F-Secure on your laptop, but it is 'no different'? Does that mean that it's still running slowly and crashing (blue screening) daily?
I hope that the above may have put your mind at rest, in that it does seem as though JMK are a legitimate company. Do come back to us if we can be of any further help.
EDIT: REMOVED POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS LINK
Thank you for your post Simon.
When I contacted F Secure via the live chat I did not tell the lady that I'd had any problems. All I asked her was 'How do I put F Secure onto my laptop'. Actually just after she said she'd get an Engineer to ring me I figured out how to do it myself but then the phone rang and an Asian chap who I found difficult to understand proceeded to get me to allow him remote access to my laptop.
Why did the F Secure lady not just tell me the best way to install? She didnt know anything about my laptops previous problem
I was charged £79 which is $130 .
I dont get the blue screen now because Malwarebytes found the 100 plus 'objects' inc a few Trojans. When I shut the laptop down last night it took quite a while. (I'm on my desktop just now so havent gave it a really good check). The Malwarebytes doesnt conflict with F Secure and finds malware much better than F Secure. I have both on this PC.
Thanks again for helping. Much appreciated Simon.
THANKS again Simon.
I'm pleased you seem to agree with my complaint.
The F Secure lady could be on commission passing on vulnerable customers to JMK and it is so easy to do.
Because I was plainly obviously not computer literate she just passed me over to JMK and it cost me dearly.
I feel I was the subject of a scam & always thought I'd never get caught out but you dont suspect this when you are dealing with a company like F Secure.
Hopefully F Secure will look into this otherwise in Nov when my 2 yrs is up I shall try another antivirus
I agree that it seems odd that you were passed onto a 3rd party support service, if all you wanted to do was install an F-Secure product, but obviously, in fairness to F-Secure, we haven't heard their side of the story yet, and I find it difficult to believe that you were the subject of a scam, as I've been with F-Secure long enough to consider them a reputable and trustworthy organisation.
Let's wait to hear from them before making any judgements.
We couldn't trace any ticket or chat session in our systems with your email address.
Note that F-secure is not partnering with the named company and do not provide any support services in any affiliation with the stated company.
Could you clarify from where you started the chat session ( location of the "chat now " button you clicked )?
Good Morning Ben,
As soon as I saw your reply it hit me that I've been hoaxed by a company pretending to be F-Secure.
I googled for F-Secure & saw this link http://XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/f-secure.html
It looked legitimate so I used the Chat & it was Rosy Handa who dealt with me & within a minute or two she advised she'd get an engineer to ring me. Sure enough the 'engineer' with an Asian name rang me. He asked if he could remotely operate the laptop then he said he couldnt find my records so asked for a copy of my F-Secure details which I put up on the Screen for him. He showed me a file on my laptop which had thousands of error messages on it & thats when he said he can get 35 engineers to work on it & it will end up as good as new. I paid him the £79 requested ( $130) and am pleased I didnt opt for the £120 or thereabouts option he advised me to take. I paid because he said I was wide open to hackers who had already been into the computer. I now realise the page with thousands of errors was one' he'd made previously'. Is there anything F Secure can do to get me my £79 returned please?
Thank you for your involvement.
EDIT: REMOVED POTENTIALLY DANGEROUS LINK
Well, that does throw some new light on the situation, and it also appears that my initial views of the company you paid for support may have been a misjudgement, for which I apologise.
I hope that you can get this matter rectified somehow. If you feel you have been the victim of a scam, then maybe your credit card company might be able to help with recovering the funds?
Thanks for your post. I am hoping someone from F-Secure will read this thread because that website is pretending to be F-Secure . This would be in their interest because I do feel I have been tricked.
Because you and Ben are computer savvy and honoured contributors etc can you possibly get FSecure to investigate. I will see if I can get intouch aswell. Thank you all.
@Ben is part of the F-Secure support team. I'm sure he / they will be onto this.
As a rule, though, always check the url, and go via http://www.f-secure.com for support.
You might want to scan your system by running our Online Scanner.
Hi Ben and Simon,
Thank you so much for trying to help and passing this on internally. Hopefully it might get resolved and I'll get my money back. I forgot to mention that JMK Technical who took over my laptop by remote, left quite a few little programmes inc one called 'trusted installer' hidden on the laptop after they said they'd finished. I deleted what I could find but still have a 'Command Prompt' in the Files that I cant delete.
Thanks again for the excellent help I've recieved from you.
As well as running the F-Secure Online Scanner, as recommended by Ben, it might also be worth running a full scan with Malwarebytes, which I think you said you have installed.
I think you should try to remove everything they might have left behind, and I would also suggest that you might be wise to inform your payment card company, just to be on the safe side.1 1Like
Thank you Ben and Simon once again. Ive taken your advice and have done a system restore and also deleted quite a few little programmes that were hidden in the files. System restore unfortunately didnt remove them as the only restore point was the same day this event happened. Ive also left a message for Barclays asking if I am covered for this and told them F-Secure are looking into it thanks to help from you guys. I gave Barclays the url of that site pretending to be part of F-Secure aswell and I'm sure they'll agree it looked professional. Many thanks guys.
Hello again Ben,
Sorry for the inconvenience but I closed this case too early and I really wanted to get some feedback from F-Secure . This JMK company passing itself off as F-Secure anti virus support should not be allowed to hoax vulnerable people. Surely F-Secure should act on this and get them stopped. Can I trouble you to undo my case closed post please. Thank you Ben & Simon for your help,
Hello again Ben,
Ive been speaking to Barclays today and they are going to send me a Form to fill in and hopefully I may get refunded after being hoaxed by the company pretending to be F-Secure anti virus support. Not only did that Company pretend to be F-Secure they also charged more than the £79 . Barclays tell me they took £89-64p .
I hope F-Secure take firm action because how many more people have they hoaxed?
Norman, I suggest you consider asking the bank to block your payment card and send you a new one. This may be a short term hassle if you have payments set up with other companies, but I wouldn't like to think of this company having my card details, and it would at least give you peace of mind that they won't be able to fraudulently charge your card again.
Hello again Ben & Simon,
Yesterday I emailed Coventry Trading Standard's to investigate this company who hoaxed me into thinking I was dealing with F-Secure as I found an address in that City. They replied & told me to contact y local Trading Standards as they couldn't help . I contacted South Tyneside TS and this morning got this reply which I've pasted below. They say it was a Scam & the website cant be opened up with the URL I gave them.
Good Morning Mr XXXX.
Thank you for your email to this authority, I have looked at the information you sent us and have conducted some investigations.
Firstly, I’m sorry to tell you that I believe that this is a scam. The link that you gave me of f-secure.antivirussupport.co.uk is not available but I did find another very similar page of antivirussupport.co.uk which appeared to ‘belong’ to the business JMK you mentioned, based in Coventry – could that be the site you looked at
Assuming it was, I did what is called a “Nominet” search (http://www.nominet.org.uk/ then place the web address in the whois box on the bottom left of the page – highly recommended for searching prior to using any website) on the web address. This identifies the owner of the website, so, can give a clue as to whether the site is legitimate or not. For example, the registrant for www.bbc.co.uk is the BBC, based at Portland Street in London, as you would expect, whereas a site which claims to be selling legitimate Nike trainers but is actually based in Hong Kong should be avoided as the chances are the items they are selling are not legitimate.
In this case the registrant for www.antivirussupport.co.uk was based in America, which set alarm bells ringing as F secure (the legitimate business) is based in Finland. Also, general searches have shown that the address in Coventry is a private residential address rather than a business address. Finally, the business JMK is a dormant (non-trading) company with directors based in New Delhi, India. All of these tactics are often used by scammers to give their site an heir of legitimacy so they can attempt to scam unsuspecting visitors to the site. This leads me to believe that this is a scam.
As far as getting your money back goes, I’m afraid it will be nigh on impossible to retrieve it from the company. As mentioned, they appear to be based either in the USA or India (or both!) and as such, are not bound by UK law. These scammers are aware of this and that is why they are based away from the UK. I think your best chance of retrieving any money is to fill in the forms that Barclaycard have sent to you and hopefully they will be able to assist.
This authority works closely with the Trading Standards National E-crime unit and London’s Met Police (who lead on E-crime nationally) and I will refer this information to them as it may assist them in further investigations. Please note that they will NOT contact you directly. May I also suggest that you report this incident to www.actionfraud.police.uk/ .
Please also find a link to Get Safe Online (www.getsafeonline.org/) which will give you advice on staying safe when using the internet.
I hope this helps
Fair Trading Officer
South Tyneside Trading Standards
EDIT: REMOVED POTENTIALY DANGEROUS LINK
Hello again Ben,
I have just this morning received the Forms to complete from my Bank so hopefully I'll get my money back.
I noticed today that JMK are once again using the f-secure.antivirussupport.co.uk website which they seemed to have removed when you looked for it.
I am a bit disappointed F-Secure promised to investigate & so far have not told me the result of their investigations.
Thanks for your help Ben & Simon.
I'm guessing the investigation may not be a quick process, Norman, and it may be quite a complex legal procedure to get a website taken down. If you consider the global efforts which have gone into removing websites such as the pirate bay, which is still up and running even now, I guess it can't be easy.
That said, I've no idea what the situation here is now, so perhaps it would be nice to have an update - @Ben ?
Hello again Simon,
Thanks for your reply.
I've completed the Bank's paperwork & sent it off.
Yesterday I checked to see if JMK had put their website back up because Ben couldn't find it & neither could I when I checked.
I found it & saved the page for evidence to give my Credit Car company.
I was going to try & attach it to this post but cant see how I can.
Thanks again to you & Ben.