Tech Support Search Scams Growing

Tech Support Search Scams Growing

WARNING: It has come to our attention that companies are deceptively promoting PC Matic “Support” via Google & Bing ads (like the one below). The company behind the majority of these ads -iYogi – is in NO way associated with PC Matic or PC Pitstop and is exploiting ‘loopholes’ in search engine advertising policy.


Consumers who respond to these ads are charged a minimum of $149.99 – for answers otherwise available for free in basic online documentation or via official PC Matic support.

PC Pitstop has repeatedly petitioned Google and Microsoft to have these ads removed.

Google’s response:

“Per our Reseller and Informational Site policy within Australia, New Zealand, the US, the UK, Canada, and Ireland we permit a trademarked term to be used in the ad text of ads that appear to be submitted by resellers, informational sites, the makers or resellers of components or parts for the goods and services related to the trademark term, or compatible components or parts for the goods and services related to the trademark term.”

Other Coverage of this Issue:

Last year, the FTC cracked down on similar scams. This very detailed account was posted last May on ArsTechnica:

Inside the US government’s war on tech support scammers | Nate Anderson – May 18, 2014

The tactic reached huge numbers of people. One PCCare247 ad account with Google produced 71.7 million impressions; another generated 12.4 million more. According to records obtained by the FTC, these combined campaigns generated 1.5 million clicks—a 1.8 percent clickthrough rate. Rather than cold-calling people—a preferred tactic of many tech support scammers—PCCare247 instead placed its ads and waited for the calls for help to roll in.

Why you should never Google tech-support numbers | Rick Broida | February 9, 2015

Googling for tech support? Beware of some of the ads that pop up | Ken Colburn Special for The | March 19, 2015

Despite Crackdowns, Tech Support Ads In Search Are Still Cause For Consumer Confusion | Ginny Marvin – August 5, 2014

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8 thoughts on “Tech Support Search Scams Growing”

  1. Obviously Google’s Reseller and Informational Site policies do not conform to US trademark requirements. Use of ‘Trademark’ by other than the trademark owner is customarily accompanied by written documentation from the trademark owner permitting its use. You would think that Google would require submission of these permits prior to trademark display.

  2. i get these popups that say a threat has been detected, call this support number. i know its a scam but have to restart my pc to get rid of it. i push escape, alt f4 and it will not close it out.

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