Why you should NEVER search for tech-support numbers

  • 15 June 2017
  • 6 replies

Userlevel 7
  • Retired Webrooter
  • 1376 replies
So you're having some issues with the Canon digital camera you just got, or maybe that HP printer you bought is on the fritz (when aren't they).
What do you do?
Well, how does anyone get the information we need these days? The Internet!
While the Internet is the most amazing tool to instantly get you all of the information you need, you have to always remember that there are individuals/organizations out there that use it for entirely nefarious reasons.
Basically, they want to trick you in any way they can to get your hard-earned dollar.
Let's see what we'd get if we were trying to get in contact with HP about that pesky printer.

As you can see, there are multiple results that don't link to Hewlett Packard's website, but give the reader the impression that they are legitimate and trustworthy. Google will try its best to suggest you the correct number, but the algorithm it uses is not reliable enough to trust. 
The risk you inherit from not taking a few extra minutes is never worth it.
This is where the problem lies. Just from my 2 years of experience working here at Webroot, I can honestly not even tell you how many times I've heard first-hand from users that they tried searching for the phone number of: 
Microsoft, HP, Dell, Apple, Google, Yahoo!, Facebook. The list really could go on forever.
Soooo then what?
Well, you'll get in contact with a "gentleman" that doesn't speak English very well or even sound like he's on the same continent as you. He'll be very quick to tell you he can magically fix every last problem, but first you're going to have to pay the premium they ask for. Now in terms of what the price tag will be, I've heard anything from $99 to well up to or over $600.
Realistically, they're going to start as high as they can and go as low as it takes to have you bite. Super shady.
How do you avoid all of these shenanigans?
  • Only contact phone numbers from the official website of the company you're looking for.
  • Keep in mind that huge corporations like Facebook or Yahoo! don't have support numbers.
  • Always trust your gut. If something seems off, hang up!

6 replies

Badge +8
Hi JP,
Missed this one somehow.:$
I believe that is why Google has been issued a $2.7 billion fine for listing THEIR websites on the top of the page and putting the OFFICIAL pages down the bottom where most people would not look. 😠  It is in violiation of the EU Anti-Trust Law.
A lot of surfers simply click on the first one they notice.
Userlevel 7
Hi, Theresa. No worries at all, thanks for your response :robothappy:
I did see that Story last week. Quite a hefty fine for even the big-shots at Google, I hope that really encourages them to promote the legitimate ones! They alone hold so much influence as to how secure users on the internet will be.
Userlevel 1
Badge +1
WHY don't they have contact phone numbers or email? You have to struggle trying to find answers. It is very frustrating. That's why I LOVE the book the government puts out that has those 800 numbers you so desperately need! You can order now for 2017 at https://publications.usa.gov/ and click on the Consumer Action Handbook. You can also download a PDF version if you prefer that.   Yahoo is on page 92:
Yahoo! Online
Customer Care
701 First Ave.
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
I've found this FREE publication to be indispensable when it comes to finding IMPOSSIBLE numbers to find!
Hope it helps others!
TX dashopaholic
Badge +8
Hello dashopaholic2,
What a great find. I had no idea that such a tool was available. And from the Feds, no less. I have ordered mine and I am quite sure that it will prove to invaluable as I too get frustrated when I cannot find the official website of "whatever". This should be a real timesaver. And, of course, it is free of charge.
Many thanks,
Userlevel 1
Badge +1
Ya'll are welcome and spread the word! It IS the best kept secret!
LOL TX dashopaholic2
Userlevel 7
We sure were not aware of that! Thanks so much for sharing, @
The best kept secret indeed :cathappy: