A reader has a question about the best service for keeping his PC cleaned up and problem-free.

“I have been using a paid p/c optimizing service called Geek America. They take control of my p/c for a few hours and do what they do to clear away problems on my p/c. Do you have a small list of alternatives I might try?”

I was a bit concerned when I heard the name Geek America. Geek America(s) and American Geeks are two names that are linked to phony tech support scams.

How it works is that they call you and say they’ve detected problems on your PC or there’s a pop-up ad on your PC that says there is some type of issue and gives you a tech support number to call. The pop up can look quite real, like the one shown below.

fake-security-warning.jpg

The scammers will then often talk you through opening your Event Viewer which may show all sorts of things that look like problems, but really aren’t.

event-critical.jpg

They then want to charge you to take control of your PC to take care of the problem. There’s no reason that a company should need to take control of your PC for a few hours to keep it clean. Basic PC maintenance doesn’t take that long.

If this company is who I think it is, this reader may need to get the help of a professional to get whatever these people have installed on his PC off.

Unless you have a real problem with your PC, most basic PC maintenance is pretty easy to do yourself.  I’m going to tackle how to handle those basic tasks and look at some legit alternatives for people who want some extra help.