Something to watch out for

While answering a reader question about a fee for updating router firmware, I came across a site/company that I thought I should make you aware of. We’ve discussed fake tech support numbers before, but this is a little different. I’m not saying that the company is a scam. Because they may provide actual technical support for all that I know, but the way they get people to access their site is pretty darn deceptive. Let’s see how they work it. Say, I have questions about an update for my router, so I search for Belkin’s support number. Here are some results I got. Only one of those results is the actual contact site for Belkin. All of the other results lead you to sites that are going to attempt to sell you tech support services.


I also get a result from this company when I search for Linksys support.


If you click on the link, you’re taken to a realistic-looking support page.


Linksys isn’t the only company they have landing pages for. I’ve found Belkin:


D-link and others.


If you scroll down the page, you’ll see what appear to be legitimate tech support articles. And some of the advice is fine.


However, this is not the official support site for the product. If you call the support number, you’re going to be charged for any help they give you. Sometimes for things that are perfectly easy to do yourself and free if you’re on the real manufacturer’s site.

What to look out for here is this web address with that “call support” address at the start.


The legitimate D-link site looks like this.


If you scroll down to the bottom of the “call support number” page, you will see a disclaimer that the number will connect you to a third-party site for support.


And they explain that they’re sending you to a third-party site in a poorly-written paragraph.


If you carefully read the page before dialing the number, you’d be clued in. But a lot of people don’t read carefully before dialing the number. This isn’t the only site like this out there. Misdirecting folks searching for tech support is one of the most common tricks out there.  Always look around the site and check it out. Your best bet for getting the address it, so check the information that came with your device. The actual support website or phone number will be in the paperwork that came with your device or perhaps affixed to the device itself. When you get an item, look for that information, write it down, and file it properly so you can find it when you need it.

2 thoughts on “Something to watch out for

  1. I’m confused about the perceived difficulty of updating a router. I’m on my (at least) 3rd or 4th model. All of them have been essentially the same in that regard. You do need to know how to “talk to” (log in) to the router, but this should be in your “quick set up” instructions. And, you should have done it before, first thing you plugged it in, to change the administrator’s password, maybe change the SSID, and set whatever other security you want. Doesn’t require a geek. Log in to the router. Look for the link that says “update firmware.” For my current router, it’s in the upper right corner of the screen, but it could be under “about,” or “settings,” or whatever. Click the link and the rest will take care of itself: “Checking for updates.” “Downloading updates.” “Installing updates.” Or maybe, “No updates. You are up to date.” You will not have any (other) Internet access while the router is playing with itself. 🤠

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