I know there are lot of crooks out there. I just thought putting out this information as to how it happened and how I dealt with it might help somebody somewhere. In this case, it is software companies and those pretend to be their representatives.
I am writing this in English so those involved in this fraud may read or somebody may bring it to their attention. All of them involved in this ring are Indians.
Back in August 2019, I wrote a story, and added this note at the end.. I thought I lost $99.00 and that was the end of it.
Now it surfaced in a different form. Make no mistake. This appears to be from a different bunch of people trying to rip off unwary customers.
A week ago, a man called me on phone, introduced himself as Eric Ericson, and said, “I am from Softcrux software company. You paid $99.00 in April 2019 and we want to refund that money. I will give you access to our website and you follow the instructions on the screen.”
I agreed, gave access to my laptop and followed through a few steps.
Then he asked me to open my bank account and check if the money was deposited.
I refused to open my bank account. I told him I would not open my account while he was online.
He tried to convince me that the account was encrypted and there was no risk. ‘
I refused to check while he was online and told him I’d do it later. He said he would call me a couple of hours later and hung up.
I thought about it and called my original contact from last year at Softcrux and asked him about the possible refund.
“No, we have no such plans,” he said.
Now it is clear, the call I’ve received is fraud.
I started to fix the problem.
– Deleted the executable file Eric installed on my laptop..
– Restored the laptop to original factory settings, which removes all other installed software.
– Denied access to my laptop by others
– Blocked his number, so I don’t have to deal with him again.
I thought I was finished with him
I was wrong.
A few days later, I got another call from another number and another name but with the same pitch, “I am from Softcrux … …”
I told him I knew he was fraud, it was harrassment.
He stopped talking. I thought he got the message and hung up.
Again, I got another call after two days with another name and another number.
“I know you are fraud. I will report to the FTC,” I told him straight and hung up.
Then I thought I might as well do it. I went to Federal Trade Commission site, and reported the case with the phone number I had at the time.
I also signed up to stop “unwanted calls” on my phone service website. There is one more I can do is to sign up on the National Registry “do not call list” as additional safety measure.
The phone numbers from which I recieved calls are
Possibly, there are more numbers. One common factor is they all are Indians and introduce themselves with American names, apparently fake.
My previous experience with Softcrux was also bad. (I had included it as a postscript to a story I published in August 2019.) For those who are not familiar with the story, here how it goes.
My bad experience with https://www.softcruxsolutions.com/ went as follows:
I was having bad connection problems with WiFi, and called the customer service of my router, https://www.arris.com/#.
Their representative said they can fix it for $99.00. I thought the charge was because warranty expired. I agreed to pay the amount.
He gave me another phone number, which I thought was tech support of the same company.
While the other company, Softcrux, was working on my computer I realized I was duped. They were totally different company and they were not working on my router. I told them it was fraud and asked for refund. The manager, Bhatia, agreed to pay $50.00 but never sent the money.
I called the Router company, and they had no such records.
In all, all these people at this software company, including the one at ARRIS, who diverted my business to this company without telling me, are Indians.
So, beware, of the crooks out there.
Hope this helps somebody from being duped. And, even more important, enough people need to file complaints with FTC, they can catch these crooks and throw them in jail.
(October 17, 2020)