Searching for Tech Support in the wrong way can cause your computer harm

In the past several month’s we’ve seen a rather interesting phenomenon with clients. I previously wrote about the fact that someone pretends to call saying they are Microsoft and attempts to take control of your computer. Hopefully you won’t fall for this scam because you are an active reader of my blog.

However, what if I told you the way you are searching is causing these people to call you, or even worse, you might accidentally be calling them. Like many of you, when I need information, I search Google. However, Google results can be rigged and people advertise on Google. For example, if you search for “Computer Repair Lawrence KS” you can see we are the first “real” search result. But when you look at the page that isn’t 100% true.

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In fact, there is a company at the top above us and numerous ones on the side. They pay to be there. I’m not paying for my results as it can be expensive. Companies use these ads sometimes to trick customers and it’s causing major problems for people.

Take for example Gmail technical support phone number. Guess what–they don’t have one for consumers. That doesn’t stop people from searching for it

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Look at all the ads on the side and top. None of those are Google, but simply companies that you can pay for support for your Gmail and all of those are of varying levels of trust or authenticity.

What’s worse is when you search for a company that has a legitimate tech support phone number such as Dell

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or Gateway

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and worst of all in my opinion is Yahoo Email Technical Support

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In all these cases the top search results aren’t the legitimate company, but companies trying to trick you into calling them and possibly charging you an outrageous rate for support.  Our clients have reported problems searching for Norton technical support and even WOW (our local cable provider)

In order to protect yourself it’s important to read search results properly. The results on the side and top are almost always ads. It’s not just Google, but Bing as well

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In this instance someone is searching for iTunes to download, but the first result is NOT from Apple and is deceptive and possibly malicious

When in doubt, simply go to the manufacturer’s website section and look for a Help or Contact Us link. Another great website to find tech suport numbers (and avoid hold times ) is GetHuman http://gethuman.com/. Note that many free services don’t offer tech support over the phone so don’t be tricked by “sponsored” search results

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