Fortect is a PC repair and optimization service that is being heavily promoted across the web, but is it legit?
Editorial reviews are pretty much unanimously favorable but, considering the history of these types of services and their penchant for offering lucrative affiliate revenue deals, that is hardly surprising. I’ve never really fully trusted editorial anyway because of the quid pro quo arrangements that are often involved.
User reviews through sites such as Trustpilot are also largely favorable with a majority of 5-star reviews. This alone raises concerns for me. Human nature dictates that most folk will only submit a review when they have something to complain about and are much less likely to submit a review if everything goes to plan with no issues at all. The abundance of 5-star reviews for Fortect does raise suspicions of fake reviews.
This is where I struck the first red flag. I could not locate any information about the company that owns and operates Fortect, not even the name of the company. Checking the Fortect URL through Whois subsequently revealed that the domain’s ownership is hidden behind a proxy:
Domains By Proxy is a service that specializes in providing anonymity for domain owners:
There are a number of legitimate uses for this type of proxy service but the main and overriding reason is to hide one’s identity. Whois also reveals that the Fortect domain was first registered in 2021 and is hosted by GoDaddy in the U.S. and that is the only information I could find regarding the company behind Fortect.
Fortect In Action
Fortect initially involves downloading a client application that is installed on the PC. The sole purpose of this application is to scan the host PC for issues and present a final report on what requires fixing – it does not fix anything itself. The initial download consists of a 734KB executable but running the executable then initiates a further 7.96MB download. Personally, I dislike this sort of behavior because it makes it extremely difficult to check what’s been downloaded.
I installed the Fortect application in a brand new pristine Windows 10 virtual machine and the following screenshot shows the results of Fortect’s scan:
351 privacy issues, 3 crashed programs with 4 issues and 67 registry issues… in a brand-new Windows 10 installation? I don’t think so. Clicking the Start Repair button does not initiate any sort of repairs but merely takes you to a website where you are prompted to purchase one of Fortect’s annual plans:
To add insult to injury, there is nothing in those scan results that couldn’t easily be fixed using free software.
Fortect – The Verdict
I must admit, the preponderance of favorable Fortect reviews is enticing. However, the fact that the company behind Fortect is unwilling to disclose any information about itself – name, location, origins, or history – definitely raises a big red flag. I’ll share one negative (1-star) user review posted on ScamAdviser which pretty much sums it up for me:
“Fortect is absolutely a scam; they purchase domain names like “ircache.net” and then use a bot to post hundreds of fake problem-solving articles on those domains. In every article the “solution” is to download the Fortect app. The content of these phishing sites is then indexed by major search engines, so the fake solutions appear in search results when people go looking for help with Windows problems.
I tend to agree. In my opinion, Fortect displays all the traits of a typical scan-and-bait scam. I would suggest that you avoid Fortect.
Stay safe out there!