Another Unfortunate Scam

Its sad when someone tries their best to solve problems for them selves and get scammed by some lowlife. This customer of mine had a small issue with her log on to get her Yahoo Mail, just a bit of a password problem. So she went onto the yahoo website, and saw what she thought was a link to the Yahoo help desk. She contacted the organisation, and was given a local (Auckland) number to call.
These people apparently spent several hours working on her machine, and other than thick accents seemed reasonable people. But bear in mind this customer is probably well passed retirement age and so thinks any body who helps her is wonderful.
Anyway, the service technicians politely but forcefully told her that her software was out of date and had to be replaced otherwise they could not help her. Fair enough she was using Windows Live Mail, but I have no problem with that. So they sold her a copy of the full version of Office 2016 for $399 NZ (including Visio and Publisher). If this was a valid sale, and had she needed this software, this price is quite reasonable. They also told her that her anti virus was not good enough. When she told them she had Windows security Essentials, they told her that this no longer ran on windows 7 and she had to replace it. So they sold her a copy of Norton 360 with a 3 year licence. All this was paid for with a bank draft via her local bank, who actually allowed her to do it!
Office was duly installed, her account switched over, emails moved from windows live mail to Outlook, and her contacts moved over. Except the contacts weren’t moved correctly, the mapping between the two system was not done correctly, and no email addresses were transferred over. In the p0rocess of trying to fix this, the technicians created a second profile for outlook,set up a duplicate account on it, and half fixed the contacts.
What she ended up with was an outlook system that just did not work. It defaulted to a profile which dod not have any of her email folders moved over, and only had half her contacts. If you forced it into the other profile, the emails folders were an appalling mess, with gmail folders within her yahoo folders. This caused IMAP synchronisation to take 30 minutes or so, every time she started outlook.

This is where I got called in. At this point she was still convinced that these people were honest and decent, but just a bit frustrated with her account set up. I spent a couple of hours analysing what they had done. I deleted all the profiles created by the technicians, created a new profile, set up her yahoo account in it as a pop3 account, and moved her emails and contacts order from windows live mail, giving her a usable email system on outlook. All well and good so far.
I also got rid of LogMeIn GoToOpener, their means of getting access to her PC. I changed her email password to as they had access to that at some time.

As a follow up I looked at how office had been licenced, and did not find a COA on her system, nor had she been sent one. And this is where the real scam comes in I think. Office has been installed and activated using a microsoft account, probably belonging to the organisation. If anything goes wrong with office she will have to get back to them to fix it. More importantly, they can, at any time remove her computer from there microsoft account, and her version of Office will not be activated.

So these low lives have taken NZ$500 of this customer and given her nothing. If office continues to work, we have no idea if it is a legal copy or a pirated copy, but I doubt if it is a real licence in her name.

So who are these people? They go by the name of MacGeeks PTY Ltd, and are supposedly based in Australia, but have offices in the USA too. The name of the owner of the domain name and the accents of the techicians makes me think this is just another Indian scamming company. They have a web address that is no longer working macgeeks.com.au, and they also use this web address for emails https://www.mycsdesk.com/

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