At my research for the roots of the Tech Support scam offers in the call center industry I have found the company Systweak India - domain systweak.com. It is one of the sources of the "Tech support calls", which are getting traded at Facebook in the call center and outsourcing groups all over the Asia and India.
The scam is working the following way:
- Once they have programmed system tools on shareware base. Maybe at this time they had some sense, but with the further development and improvement of Windows this tools have been coming obsolete. Other companies are even providing already such tools for free or including similar products into their own offers. So they have been coming greedy and added to their products scare warnings and are showing a phone number where their victims have to call for help.
- This incoming calls get sold to call centers, which have more or less a script and some provided tools for giving paid help to the caller. The call center is billing for their service directly the customer. This makes the scam dangerous for the call center, because in this case the money flow shows that the call center is the scammer. They will get prosecuted even they know it or don't know it that they are helping in scamming others.
- If their victim calls the phone number he has to pay a high price for the help. If their victim agrees and pays the scam fee, then they are installing more fraud software on the victims computer. Even the call center agent, which should solve the problem does not know about the scareware which is included in the provided tools.
Even if the scam has not been planned from the beginning, the system "Pay Per Sale" leaded to the scam. The greediness of the call center owners has driven the agents to sell as much as they can. Each business need to try to earn from their investment. If they buy something on stock then they need to try to make profit out of this stock. Nobody can work for free because we all need some money to pay our daily needs. This leads to such a fraud behavior too. If this has been the real case then it has been the self shot for Systweak. Even if the paid help is planned for one or more years, the problem exists, that the customer is reaching another call center then this one he has paid for his subscription. This new call center likes to get money too and does not work for free - remember the service is a "pay per sale" offer.
They are selling the calls, because they are thinking that they cannot get prosecuted by doing this. The first, which is coming into the spotlight is the owner of the phone number and this one, which takes the money. Indeed it is difficult to follow all the trades, which are done between the brokers, but it is not impossible. The first one, which are getting prosecuted are the helpers of the fraud and scam. In this case are it the call center owners, their agents and the owner of the published phone numbers.
At easycounter.com can get seen how much traffic is generated by the site systweak,com, With this counters can get calculated how many computer user are falling into their trap. You can see a screenshot from April 21, 2015:
In the following screenshot are the top countries listed where the traffic comes from:
It was a coincidence that I found the right domain. As the domain has been suspicious for me, because nobody can give up to 70% commission on his products if the product is competitive priced. I made my standard search procedure as following:
A short reputation research at scamadviser.com brought the result:
ALERT: Low Trust Rating. This Site May Not Be Safe to Use.
I found the following comments at scamadviser:
By taking a look at http://systweak.com/ I have found the Microsoft PartnerGold Application Development Logo and the Norton SECURED powered by Symantec logo.
The Norton secured logo means only that they are using a security certificate from Symantec. This only confirms only that the correct server is communicating with you and certificate can get reviewed by clicking on the Norton logo. The result is shown in the following screenshot:
More interesting is the Microsoft Partner Gold Application Development, which really leads to the site https://pinpoint.microsoft.com/en-IN/Companies/4295548206 (see the site at the pdf attachment) and confirms the partnership of Systweak India.
As Systweak is offering a Premium Support at their website and the customer complains about "Owes me a $400 refund but said I had to pay $200 to get it Put a startup password on my computer but told me I had to pay to get the password." makes all the surroundings of this company a little bit suspect. So I decided to search a little bit at Google and other sites.
WOT (Web Of Trust) is rating them based on user comments are from 100 ratings 92 complaints about scam, malware and scareware.
Information about Systweak Inc. was first submitted to Scambook on Sep 10, 2011. Since then the page has accumulated 4 consumer complaints. On average users reported $106.80 of damages. Scambook's investigation team reached out to this company a total of 1 times, Scambook Investigators last contacted them on Apr 23, 2013.
In a comment at downloads.cnet.com we find:
"STOP!!!! DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT!!!!"
Initially it seemed to be a great system to search my entire computer, find errors and fix them, but....
I installed the program after what I now know were fake "HP Help" guys from India recommended it. First off, it would install older versions of drivers that would end up causing more problems. My computer ran fine prior to the program and continued to slow down more and more over time. Eventually it got to the point where my computer would freeze after 5 minutes of use. I bought a new hard drive and loaded ASO first, and immediately my computer began to run extremely slow, using 100% of CPU space. I called the tech support number and got another guy from India who again tried to sell me the same "maintenance plan" as before that cost $350. It is an absolute scam to try to get people to pay for more unneeded service.
DO NOT USE THIS PRODUCT. If you have any version of it on your computer, get it off, it will cause you nothing but problems. It is a Trojan Horse that actually introduces more problems to your computer, which Systweak will "fix" for hundreds more dollars. STAY AWAY!!!
Similar complaints are getting found at the site RipoffReport.
At Postseek,com is documented, that the software is not easy to get uninstalled and it is very hard to get rid of all the pop ups.
At the Microsoft community is the scam well documented too. There are 11 pages full of this topic
At the complaintsboard.com you'll also find their fraud described,
2-spyware.com: Lists an uninstall solution and a lot of user comments about the Systweak product RegClean Pro:
As you can see from our review, RegClean Pro is legitimate application, but we do not recommend using it. After testing it, we found that it fails to detect all registry errors and also displays exaggerated scan results that are filled with doubtful issues. If you have already purchased it, its owners offer a money guarantee. We would recommend you to use it. If you want to remove RegClean Pro from the system, you can do that by using SpyHunter or STOPzilla, or by following these manual removal steps:
Bleeping Computer.com has a removal instruction for the people, which cannot get rid of the Systweak product regclean pro. It shows how difficult it is to uninstall the malware from India.
Spybot has published a removal instruction for this kind of malware too,
This list can get endless continued. A Google search of "systweak scam" returns around 285 000 results, a search about "systweak malware" returns around 343 000 results and a search about "systweak scareware" 74 100 resuilts.
Even a court order for a similar scam gets found at onguardonline.gov:
A U.S. District Court recently ordered the operators of several international tech support scams to pay more than $5.1 million for convincing people that their computers were riddled with viruses and then charging for bogus support services.
We’ve (onguardonline.gov) written before about tech support scammers. They call and claim to work for well-known companies like Microsoft, Norton or McAfee. They say your computer is infected with malware and then ask for remote access so they can “fix” it. Or they place ads in online search results to trick you into calling them.
So don't use their software. You'll get scammed. The calls for the provided numbers are getting traded in the call center industry in Asia. There will be even some others get found, which try to copy the system.
Products from systweak:
- Advanced Disk Recovery
- Advanced Driver Updater
- Advanced Email Backup
- Advanced Email Printer
- Advanced Email Utilities
- Advanced Privacy Protector
- Advanced System Optimizer
- Advanced System Protector
- Anvanced Vista Optimizer
- Boost XP
- CacheBoost Professional
- Cacheboost Server Edition
- Disk Speedup
- Memory Zipper Plus
- Mobile Junk Cleaner
- Mobile Registry Cleaner
- Mobile Startup Cleaner
- Netbook Optimizer
- RegClean Pro
- Right Backup
- System Speedup
- Systweak Photo Album
- Systweak Photo Studio
- WinClean Pro
Domain Name: SYSTWEAK.COM
Registry Domain ID: 77920662_DOMAIN_COM-VRSN
Registrar WHOIS Server: whois.enom.com
Registrar URL: www.enom.com
Updated Date: 2013-07-29T07:59:02.00Z
Creation Date: 2001-09-28T11:40:21.00Z
Registrar Registration Expiration Date: 2022-09-28T11:40:00.00Z
Registrar: ENOM, INC.
Registrar IANA ID: 48
Registrar Abuse Contact Phone: +1.4252982646
Domain Status: clientTransferProhibited
Registry Registrant ID:
Registrant Name: SHRISHAIL RANA
Registrant Organization: SYSTWEAK INC
Registrant Street: E-73,CHITRANJAN MARG,
Registrant Street: C-SCHEME
Registrant City: JAIPUR
Registrant State/Province: RAJASTHAN
Registrant Postal Code: 302001
Registrant Country: IN
Registrant Phone: +91.1412367857
Registrant Phone Ext:
Registrant Fax: +91.911412562982
Registrant Fax Ext:
Registry Admin ID:
Admin Name: GO4HOSTING HOSTMASTER
Admin Organization: CYBER FUTURISTICS-GO4HOSTING
Admin Street: D-61,SHIV HEERA PATH,C-SCHEME,
Admin City: JAIPUR
Admin State/Province: IN
Admin Postal Code: 302001
Admin Country: IN
Admin Phone: +1.911412770440
Admin Phone Ext:
Admin Fax: +91.911412363604
Admin Fax Ext:
Registry Tech ID:
Tech Name: SHRISHAIL RANA
Tech Organization: SYSTWEAK INC
Tech Street: E-73,CHITRANJAN MARG,C-SCHEME
Tech City: JAIPUR
Tech State/Province: RAJASTHAN
Tech Postal Code: 302001
Tech Country: IN
Tech Phone: +91.1412367857
Tech Phone Ext:
Tech Fax: .911412562982
Tech Fax Ext:
Name Server: DNS1.STABLETRANSIT.COM
Name Server: DNS2.STABLETRANSIT.COM
Systweak India _ JAIPUR,...an _ Microsoft Pinpoint.pdf (308.08 kb)
Update Jan. 18, 2017:
Link to the Facebook profile Susan Swanson Speulda (https://www.facebook.com/susan.speulda) removed as it returns error 404 - not found.