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softtree scam

I just spent 45 minutes with a "tech" person trying to set up my extender as I have a new U-verse network. This person was IN my computer. I followed a netgear.com link. He goes through all these commands on my computer remotely and tells me there is a conflict andI'd have to pay $99 to update the firmware so I could use my$69 dollar less then a year old extender. I shut it all down. This seemed really not above board to me. Not sure I'll buy netgear again.  I am so upset

Message 1 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

Following directions from the manual, I ended up at the same scam netgear link. 1st person listened to my issue and said "Let me transfer you to Tech Support". 2nd person said he was tech support for NetGear and would definitely be able to help me but he would need remote access to my computer. I believed I was dealing with NetGear so I allowed it. This guy did get the extender working but then said Wow, you don't have a firewall and look at all the breaches in your network and scrolled through a list so quickly. I told him I do have a firewall and he said that is just on your computer not your network, We went back and forth about this and he tells me OK, but DON'T do any banking or shopping until you get a firewall. He went on and on with the dire warnings and then said I can fix this for you with a lifetime premium firewall for all of your devices no matter what router or modem you use. So I relented and purchased a $299.99 firewall. He did some more stuff scolling through my computer and said I was all set and emailed a document for me to docusign.  The email was from Technical Support but the paperwork was from Soft Tree.  When I asked about that, he said "Oh, we do the tech support for NetGear." and we wrapped up and ended the call.

Then I get an email from my credit card company that a charge from outside of the United States had occurred on my account.  Warning bells went off and I immediately called Symantec/Norton.  I explained what happened and they said they have been getting a rash of calls like this. I gave them remote access so they could see what had been done to my computer. Surprise, Surprise there was NO firewall: not the one I had from Norton nor the one "NetGear" supposedly installed, my Norton virus detection had been disabled, and there was a remote access program left installed.

Norton took down all the information about the company to help them in dealing with these scams, I have called the credit card company, they froze my account and told me to call the police. I talked to the real Tech support for NetGear and she told me to post this on the community board because she couldn't handle it. So there you have my sad story and I hope the right person at NetGear sees this and does something about it.

Model: EX6120|AC1200 Dual Band WiFi Range Extender
Message 2 of 33
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NETGEAR Moderator

Re: softtree scam

Hello mlefmann and DianeB13, 

 

Thank you both for posting. We can confirm that Soft Tree is not an authorized NETGEAR support channel. I would like to work with the both of you directly on any issue(s) you maybe encountering with your device. When you get a chance, feel free to send me a message regarding the issue(s) you're experiencing. 

 

Furthermore, to ensure you are getting in contact with our Support Team, please use the link below. You will have the option to register your device(s) and open a support ticket. 

 

https://www.netgear.com/support/default.aspx
 

Respectfully,

Christian 

Message 3 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

I got caught up in the softtree scam. I thought the link i used was from netgear support
Model: EX6110|AC1200 Dual Band WiFi Range Extender
Message 4 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

Re: softtree scam

My situation was almost identical to the one following.  I have changed the facts that pertain to me.
Following directions from the manual, I ended up at the same scam netgear link. 1st person listened to my issue and said "Let me transfer you to Tech Support". 2nd person said she was tech support for NetGear and would definitely be able to help me but he would need remote access to my computer. I believed I was dealing with NetGear so I allowed it. This women did get the extender working but then said Wow, you don't have a firewall and look at all the breaches in your network and scrolled through a list so quickly. I told her I do have a firewall and she said that is just on your computer not your network, We went back and forth about this and she tells me OK, but DON'T do any banking or shopping until you get a firewall. She went on and on with the dire warnings and then said I can fix this for you with a lifetime premium firewall for all of your devices no matter what router or modem you use for $299.99. I resisted so they offered me another deal, a 2 year coverage plan with 1 year tech support for only $199.99.  I hesitated so after talking to her "supervisior" the price became $149.99. I relented and purchased a $149.99 firewall. She did some more stuff scolling through my computer and said I was all set and emailed a document for me to docusign. The email was from Technical Support but the paperwork was from Soft Tree. 
I paid with PayPal and noticed the charge was from outside the US.   I called NetGear and they acted as if they never heard of this kind of a deal, but they said they would open an inquiry and let me know what they find.  I gave them remote access so they could see what had been done to my computer. I find no indication that any firewall has been installed.  Evidently the right people at NetGear do not read our comments since they maintain that they never heard of this company. I do not intend to pay for this so called service.
Model: EX6200v2 AC1200 Dual Band WiFi Range Extender

Model: EX6200v2|AC1200 Dual Band WiFi Range Extender
Message 5 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

Received this reply from NetGear Support Group today:

 

Good Day!

 We looked into your concern and we were able to verify that The Soft Tree is not affilliated to NETGEAR.

For any dispute it would be recommended for you to contact The Soft Tree directly or you can conrtact your Local Fair Trading.

Thank you for contacting NETGEAR and have a great day!

Sincerely, Maurene Pramoso

Customer Care Advocate

NETGEAR Support

I will NEVER deal with NETGEAR again I will tell all that I know about them to everyone.


@RHam wrote:

Re: softtree scam

My situation was almost identical to the one following.  I have changed the facts that pertain to me.
Following directions from the manual, I ended up at the same scam netgear link. 1st person listened to my issue and said "Let me transfer you to Tech Support". 2nd person said she was tech support for NetGear and would definitely be able to help me but he would need remote access to my computer. I believed I was dealing with NetGear so I allowed it. This women did get the extender working but then said Wow, you don't have a firewall and look at all the breaches in your network and scrolled through a list so quickly. I told her I do have a firewall and she said that is just on your computer not your network, We went back and forth about this and she tells me OK, but DON'T do any banking or shopping until you get a firewall. She went on and on with the dire warnings and then said I can fix this for you with a lifetime premium firewall for all of your devices no matter what router or modem you use for $299.99. I resisted so they offered me another deal, a 2 year coverage plan with 1 year tech support for only $199.99.  I hesitated so after talking to her "supervisior" the price became $149.99. I relented and purchased a $149.99 firewall. She did some more stuff scolling through my computer and said I was all set and emailed a document for me to docusign. The email was from Technical Support but the paperwork was from Soft Tree. 
I paid with PayPal and noticed the charge was from outside the US.   I called NetGear and they acted as if they never heard of this kind of a deal, but they said they would open an inquiry and let me know what they find.  I gave them remote access so they could see what had been done to my computer. I find no indication that any firewall has been installed.  Evidently the right people at NetGear do not read our comments since they maintain that they never heard of this company. I do not intend to pay for this so called service.
Model: EX6200v2 AC1200 Dual Band WiFi Range Extender


 

Message 6 of 33
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Re: softtree scam


@RHam wrote:

I will NEVER deal with NETGEAR again I will tell all that I know about them to everyone.

What do you expect from Netgear? Netgear is not involved with this type of scam at all. Every big tech gigant resp. thier customers are in the scope of the scammers. Revoke your payment with PayPal or your credit card company. The real problem is located between your chair and keyboard and not with Netgear.

Message 7 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

Technical Support - I was also scammed.  On September 13, 2019, I called the number for NetGear Technical Support from the website and was connected to Rashmi, a Technical Support person.  Convinced that it was through NetGear, I gave her access to my laptop computer.

 After 2 1/2 hours, I (foolishly) agreed to purchasing a 3 year contract for tech support through Softtree Inc.  Later, I called back and the first time the recording said there was no one there to answer my call.  Called back later and a male said there was NO such person there.  We contacted our "computer guy"  who came over and removed all the spyware that SHE had installed on our computer. (paying him for HIS time),  Also changed all of our passwords.  We contacted our bank to remove this fraud charge - still in the process- and cancel the credit card that was used for the transaction.

This is SO upsetting.  Money and time have been lost, as well as my trust in anyone on the computer.

Now I see posts stating that NetGear is NOT responsible?  I called NetGear Help at 1-888-927-4505 and received a phone call back from 1-323-433-9898.  I don't know where the problem is, but I believe that NetGear should look into this as many people are experiencing the same scam/fraud.

Message 8 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

what number did you call for Netgear support and where on the website did you find it?

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Re: softtree scam


@Chernon wrote:

I called NetGear Help at 1-888-927-yyyy and received a phone call back from 1-323-433-xxxx.  I don't know where the problem is, but I believe that NetGear should look into this as many people are experiencing the same scam/fraud.


Again: No, you have not called Netgear. Do not use search engines to lookup"support" numbers for any kind of major hardware or systems provider. The same or similar worldwide active scammers have set-up large amounts of similar looking or sounding Web pages, Facebook accounts, Twitter, or Instagram accounts. 

 

I agree in one point: Netgear should be slightly more pro-active locating spam and scam (faux phone numbers, faux Web pages and URLs, on their own sites, e.g. the community forum here.

Message 10 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

I had problems setting up my router where internet was unable to get started. After spending hours to fix problem on my own, which I was doing by following the guidelines by kb.netgear...I thought of calling support number. Netgear official support number was not reachable. But other websites which came to get me some troubleshooting, I tried one toll free number where I got connected instantly. It was softtree company. The support staff was very helpful. Though they charged me some money but fixed my problem in quick few minutes only. They also cleaned my PC for junk files and disturbing ADs etc, which made my PC run faster than before. I think paying a little amount of money for what people are helping us is genuine and we should pay for work done by someone who is indirectly saving our precious time. Softtree has promised me that I can call them again for support. Infact they are very professional and have even disclaimed on their website that they are third party independent support provider. This company is helping Netgear customers in setting up their products otherwise buyers will never buy their products if they struggle to configure routers like I did. Thank you softtree!

Model: AC2100|Nighthawk AC2100 Smart WiFi Router
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Technical Support

That was a quick fix to setup...thank you softtree!

I would not hesitate to pay because they saved a hell lot of my time. I was struggling to figure out how to get this thing to work. The staff was polite and helped me in quick 30 minutes to get wifi extender working. I'm in my basement and enjoying the wifi signals here Smiley Happy

Model: EX2700|N300 WiFi Range Extender Essentials Edition
Message 12 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

I find it amazing that people still fall for this scam tactic considering this tactic has been going on for over 15 years now.
Always use the official phone number from the manufactures website not from a search engine.

Never let someone remote into your computer unless you 100% trust that person (but lets be honest, no one is 100% trust worthy when it comes to your personal details and financial data) or your running a VM with no personal data on that machine.

If this information is new to you; Welcome to the internet.

 

Here is a websiteI dug up some time ago about tech support scams.


If You Got Em....I'll Chew Em!
Products: (MC227BL|VMS5140P|AAD1001|AC1001|RAX200|XR700|CM1100|CM1000|C7500|R7500|
Netgear & Arlo Beta Tester
Message 13 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

I was also scammed by SoftTree. I came home from vacation and my husband told me our router wasn't working. I tried the usual fixes, then went online for recommendations. After all else failed, I called a number that appeared to be Netgear support. I had a few days of free support left on my new router, so expected no charge for the call. I, too, was told my router had been compromised and I needed to purchase additional firewall/security and with it would come extended free support. I asked specifically if I was dealing with Netgear and was told, "We are Netgear's partner that provides technical support for their products." I didn't know I was dealing with Softtree until after the deal was signed. I had to take my computer and router to a reputable repair shop to have it wiped, the operating system reloaded, and the router reset. Just so you know, thesofttree tries to look legitimate by mimicking the name of a company (Soft Tree) in California (they even call you back from a 323 number that says Los Angeles, CA on the caller ID) and a company in Canada (Softree). The company address is in Guelph, Ontario Canada and is a vacant lot (viewed on Google Earth). After a lot of digging, I found that the call center is in Marathahalli, India. I have filed a dispute with my credit card company, but SoftTree sent a "signed" contract (not the one they sent to me) and tacked on a customer satisfaction survey for good measure (they asked only if my device was working and if the tech was polite, but it said a who lot more), I need a response from Netgear again to prove that Softtree is not affiliated with Netgear or a partner in any way for the credit card company. I am filing consumer complaints with the FTC and my state's Attorney General and would recommend anyone who's been taken in by this scam do the same. P.S. When looking for contact info and refund policy on their website, I was constantly receiving Dolohen.com pop-ups (which redirect to adware and malicious sites). Luckily, I was not tricked this time.

Model: A7000|Nighthawk AC1900 WiFi USB Adapter - USB 3.0
Message 14 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

I am in Australia and seem to have been scammed.

I had trouble installing a Netgear Range Extender for my home wi-fi and found myself in contact with Soft Tree.

Very polite, they said they were the "partners" for Netgear.

And yes, I allowed them into my computer to assist in the Netgear instalation process.

And now I am unsure just what they were doing - did I get a Firewall for example?

And how did they come to be in contact with me if I was following the Netgear printed instructions?

Message 15 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

Hi AzzaF,

Could you please tell me where you got the manual? Was it online?

Message 16 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

If your experience was like the rest of us, I think you'll find that they did not install a firewall, but perhaps disabled yours. You should check that. Also, if you purchased anything from them, you'll find that the invoice is only for a tech support plan and does not include any of the software they said you were purchasing or told you they installed.

Message 17 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

It was some months ago but they must have made contact via the web.

When I had a problem with the installation and set up I must have gone to Netgear for help and somehow Apple Tree came on line.

However the Netgear Genie seems to function.

Not sure how I check that my laptop is secure.

Model: EX6110|AC1200 Dual Band WiFi Range Extender
Message 18 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

The easiest way to check if your firewall is on is to type "windows defender firewall" in the search box near the windows icon at the bottom left of your screen. The windows defender firewall will come up in the control panel system/security for windows 10 users. From there, you will be able to see if your firewall is enabled (green check) and change the setting if it isn't.

Message 19 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

Funny, how ready you're story, this is exactly what happened to me tonight.  I'm concerned now that my network has been compromised. How it is that NetGear allows there equipment to have instruction to a fraudulent site? 

Model: EX6150|AC1200 WiFi Range Extender
Message 20 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

Wild, this is insane reading this.  This is exactly what happened to me tongiht and now after reading this I'm concerned that my networks been compromised.

What was your outcome?

Model: EX6150v2|AC1200 WiFi Range Extender
Message 21 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

Because of the DocuSign they send to you, I was unable to get my credit card company to refund the money. Am trying to get SoftTree to provide the 50% refund they promised because they said they didn't want "problems." As far as my computer and router, I took them to a local, trusted computer repair place and I paid them to wipe my computer, reload windows and reset my router and update the firmware to eliminate any threat.

Message 22 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

I think I may have just been a victim of the Soft Tree scam....I tried to set up the extender and it wouldn't work...I followed the links and someone did get it set up and put the Genie  software on my computer.  I paid for it.  Please let me know if I have made a huge mistake and if our network is comprimised.  

Model: EX6120|AC1200 Dual Band WiFi Range Extender
Message 23 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

Me too.
I granted them remote access.
They connect through the website leaflet that comes with the Netgear bought from amazon.
I didn’t pay anything but worried they have installed a spyware.
How do I find out?
Message 24 of 33
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Re: softtree scam

Did you find out if there was s pyware or malware installed?

I am in the same boat :-(

Message 25 of 33