software support - asked (on phone) for $500 for lifetime maintenance contract for a laptop...

25112 used Ask the Experts™
my friend is naïve to Tech field and new to having  a laptop of her own..

months ago, the below folks had called and said 'if you pay 500$, then we will maintain your pc for lifetime, and it will always be fast/clean etc'.. she went for it..
cyberpc experts software support

they have access to the laptop.. but laptop seems slow at time..

how/where/what should I check first in the laptop if it is infected or loaded with spyware etc that will be aiding that company's interests on this machine?

I also suggested never to pay for anything for which someone calls in, without verifying/researching.

if I want to clean up this machine of any mess this company might have done, what routine do you recommend? if I bring this laptop into my network to test/look/troubleshoot, what precautions should I take so that it does not infect my network?

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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018
I would NOT accept a random phone call / supplier and pay them $500 to look after a PC. They will only do this remotely and whether honest or dishonest, they could screw things up.

Why does a computer run slow (assuming it has enough memory and used to be fast)?

1. Viruses and malware.
2. Temporary file build up (run Disk Cleanup in admin tools)
3. In infrequent cases, bad fragmentation (run Disk Defrag in admin tools).
4. Dirt build up and CPU overheating.
5. Memory issues (run memtest86)
6. Windows Updates and Indexing (goes away after a couple of hours).
Lee W, MVPTechnology and Business Process Advisor
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Never heard of them... and even if the company is real, who is to say the person who called up wasn't simply pretending to be from them and really just installing malicious software.  There are a LOT of scams out there - anyone calling you to offer such services should be SERIOUSLY suspect from the beginning - I'd demand a call back number and name, then research the company and call the company's PUBLICLY ADVERTISED number if they were legitimate (not the one they gave me).  

Bottom line - I think she was VERY LIKELY scammed and is now out $500.  Hire a professional to fix the computer - or better still (because you don't know what malicious software was installed), buy a new one - which can cost less than $500).
Most Valuable Expert 2013
Get her to try her CC company to cancel the payment - their security advisers can let her know if it's worth closing the account and reissuing her with a new card number.  Flatten the drive and reinstall. - It's one of life's lessons unfortunately but at least when "Microsoft" call to repair her machine because it's reporting to them it needs fixing she'll be wise to it.

Worth knowing but possibly not telling her is that if this is a scam her contact details are likely to be passed around on lists for a few years as someone who may well fall for another similar deal :(

Also assume that any password details for accounts used on that machine are compromised.
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A friend was fooled into something like this. He allowed the company to remotely access his computer. They only set up some freeware security programs. His credit card company blocked the charges as the company was on their blacklist. My friend had to pay to have a factory restore on his new computer and legitimate anti-virus software installed.
If you want to get rid of their „support“, then 1st I would try to detect and uninstall their remote control software. I would look on Control Panel – Add/Remove Programs and check what I do not know and need.
Then to clean I would use in the beginning next free programs: CCleaner, SpyBot Search and Destroy, AVAST antivirus.
I would download these programs on another PC, move them on your friend PC and install/run them there. I would stop the wirelesses and I would not need to connect it in your network. Just use a USB stick and scan it every time.
In case is really infected you may use Kaspersky and Avira Rescue CD:
I agree that the best bet is to nuke and reinstall from scratch.  Use DBAN to autonuke.  Otherwise you can start by trying chameleon from MBAM.  Run the svchost file within th e chameleon directory.  This will  kill any known rogue processes (not as good as running RogueKiller, but almost), then update MBAM and run a scan.  Unfortunately this doe require an Internet connection, so you may not wish to go that route.  You can run RogueKiller and then MBAM (make sure it is updated).  Check to see if your friend's computer has been botted with Trend Micro's RUBOTTED.  Check for bad Browser Helper Objects and DLLs with SpyBHORemover and SpyDLLRemover from


thx experts.. yes, costly lesson, but lesson for life :-)
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)
Most Valuable Expert 2012
Expert of the Year 2018

@25112  - You are very welcome, and, yes - costly lesson.

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