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Old 27th September 2014, 10:05 AM   #1
JPK
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Windows Tech Security calling. Something is wrong with your computer

Good afternoon.
I assume I'm not the only person to get these calls. I haven't received one in years but in the past month I have received several. It goes something like this...

Caller : Good afternoon sir. I'm calling from Windows Tech department. Your computer has been sending us error messages over the Internet. You seem to have malicious software installed on your machine and it could be causing damage to you hard drive.

Then they offer to help fix your problem but they will need access to your machine.
I would like to think most people just hang up, but I guess they get enough people who let them in. My sister almost did the other day. I overheard her on the phone and took over. I like to waste as much time as I can with them. (Just like 419 emails)
Yesterday I had a call go on for well over an hour. So farI have never had one verify I have a Windows box in the house until I mess with them. I admit I lead them on and sound very excited that they called and if they can check my computer maybe they can check out the computers at my company. I tell them I have hundreds of computers.
I was wondering what is the end game in this? Are they stealing information?
Planting virus? What's up?
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Old 27th September 2014, 10:10 AM   #2
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This previous thread may have useful info: http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=278606
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Old 27th September 2014, 10:12 AM   #3
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Good afternoon ctamblyn.

Originally Posted by ctamblyn View Post
This previous thread may have useful info: http://www.internationalskeptics.com...d.php?t=278606
I didn't see that thread. Thanks.
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Old 27th September 2014, 10:16 AM   #4
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Old 27th September 2014, 11:30 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JPK View Post
Good afternoon.
I assume I'm not the only person to get these calls. I haven't received one in years but in the past month I have received several. It goes something like this...

Caller : Good afternoon sir. I'm calling from Windows Tech department. Your computer has been sending us error messages over the Internet. You seem to have malicious software installed on your machine and it could be causing damage to you hard drive.

Then they offer to help fix your problem but they will need access to your machine.
I would like to think most people just hang up, but I guess they get enough people who let them in. My sister almost did the other day. I overheard her on the phone and took over. I like to waste as much time as I can with them. (Just like 419 emails)
Yesterday I had a call go on for well over an hour. So farI have never had one verify I have a Windows box in the house until I mess with them. I admit I lead them on and sound very excited that they called and if they can check my computer maybe they can check out the computers at my company. I tell them I have hundreds of computers.
I was wondering what is the end game in this? Are they stealing information?
Planting virus? What's up?

Its a scam.

http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles...-support-scams

If you let them proceed, they will eventually lock you out of your computer and demand a large sum of money to unlock it
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Old 27th September 2014, 01:12 PM   #6
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Maybe if you've saved passwords on your computer than an intruder could get access to your bank account. Or the intruder could lock down the computer and demand ransom to bring it back online.

Seems to me if you have those skills then there should be plenty of opportunities to make an honest living, but it's big business.
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Old 27th September 2014, 03:27 PM   #7
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Good evening ravdin.

Originally Posted by ravdin View Post
Maybe if you've saved passwords on your computer than an intruder could get access to your bank account. Or the intruder could lock down the computer and demand ransom to bring it back online.

Seems to me if you have those skills then there should be plenty of opportunities to make an honest living, but it's big business.
It didn't seem like the people talking to me have great skills. They seem to be going
off a flip card. They didn't respond well when I forced them off script. When one got rattled they moved me to their supervisor. I told them I didn't see a Start button. One asked me how I turn off my computer and I told them I had to go outside and climb a telephone pole to throw a breaker. But then I have to reset my watch. I asked them what time it was and what they told me was consistant with India. When I had enough I finally told the guy that they might want to start with verifying the the person has a Windows machine right in the beginning. The guy laughed hard and said "that was a good one. Goodbye ".
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Last edited by JPK; 27th September 2014 at 03:29 PM.
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Old 27th September 2014, 04:37 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by ravdin View Post
Seems to me if you have those skills then there should be plenty of opportunities to make an honest living, but it's big business.
Not really. Think industrialised script kiddies. They can use attack software produced by third parties but they don't really understand it.
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Old 27th September 2014, 05:01 PM   #9
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I threatned them with the police. Haven't heard from them since.
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Old 27th September 2014, 06:16 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by JPK View Post
I like to waste as much time as I can with them. (Just like 419 emails)
Yesterday I had a call go on for well over an hour.
The problem with this is that it wastes exactly as much of your time as it does of theirs. I guess if you enjoy the sport of it, then it's some sort of free entertainment, but I can't keep going with most of them much longer than a few minutes. My time isn't particularly valuable, but it's not worthless.
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Old 27th September 2014, 06:23 PM   #11
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I've gotten the call. I laughed at the guy. He hung up.
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Old 27th September 2014, 06:30 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by The_Fire View Post
I threatned them with the police. Haven't heard from them since.
If you want to follow up, the phone numbers for the Mumbai police are here:

https://mumbaipolice.maharashtra.gov.in/telephone.asp

Happy to help.
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Old 27th September 2014, 07:27 PM   #13
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I keep a referee's whistle by the phone. When one of these ********* rings me they get a loud blast right next to the mouthpiece ( keep the earpiece away from your ear if you do this). These whistles are not called "The Acme Thunderer" for nothing.
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Old 27th September 2014, 09:57 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
I keep a referee's whistle by the phone. When one of these ********* rings me they get a loud blast right next to the mouthpiece ( keep the earpiece away from your ear if you do this). These whistles are not called "The Acme Thunderer" for nothing.
NOT a good idea: You could invoke violent rage from the person on the other end. (especially if they have mental health issues) Or, perhaps sued or arrested for assault in some places.


I remember way back in the mid 90's Bottom Line Personal newsletter once advised people to do that to prank callers. Then, they had to issue a retraction, and warn people NOT to do it, because of incidences that resulted from it.
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Old 27th September 2014, 11:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by JPK View Post
I was wondering what is the end game in this? Are they stealing information?
Planting virus? What's up?
Other posters nailed it; they just want you to give access to the computer so they can steal your info. It can be surprisingly easy to cop someone into falling for it if they're not computer literate... which is the point of the seemingly "simple" method.

Rule of thumb I use is if I get an unsolicited offer I verify and check before I give information. It sounds like you already know though.
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Old 28th September 2014, 12:30 AM   #16
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"Put it in writing." That's been my response to sales calls, legit or not, high pressure or not, phone solicitation, etc... I just keep interrupting their script with, "Put it in writing." When they finally hear what I'm saying and do a "Huh?", my script goes to "If this is a legitimate opportunity, then you will have much more details available then I can get over the phone, so put it in writing and I'll look at it. I don't accept phone solicitations so don't call back."

For the modern internet age? Same thing. "Email me" instead of just "put it in writing". But we don't get "we can fix your computer" scam calls, here. Or maybe Thai people do, but no one's tried one on me since I got here. But we do get phone solicitations from people who buy your name from Immigration or get you off the Ex-Pats Club membership list.
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Old 28th September 2014, 01:50 AM   #17
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I string them along (when I have time, that is), asking questions like "what's Windows?" and "how do I use the mouse?". I ask the guy to start again as I'm forgetful and don't want to make a mistake as the security of the Internet is at stake. When I tire of it I say "Sucked in ****wit, I'm an Apple user".

My wife hates me for doing this, but it gives me a bit of petty satisfaction.
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Old 28th September 2014, 04:09 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by geni View Post
Not really. Think industrialised script kiddies. They can use attack software produced by third parties but they don't really understand it.
Reminds me of those animations (the ones I encountered were hidden inside advertisement scripts) that pretend to scan your "C:\"-drive for viruses, which they found and offered to remove for a price.

Those animations run, as is, also on a Mac. With a "C:\"-drive and the Windows specific folder structure.

Now, I'm not a programmer or have ever done any webpages. But I would think it trivial to write a script that at least runs a check on the OS the browser is reporting, and changes the scam accordingly. The scammers don't even know how to do that, or they don't bother, which says something about their victims and what the scammers think of them. Lowlives, either way, with the latter even more despicable.
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Old 28th September 2014, 07:19 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
NOT a good idea: You could invoke violent rage from the person on the other end. (especially if they have mental health issues) Or, perhaps sued or arrested for assault in some places.
Oooh, I'm shaking in my boots, being threatened by the person on the other end of the phone who is in...... India Malaysia China (delete as applicable).

The onus will be on them to prove it was me!! Everyone at my house will suffer from selective memory disorder, and will deny all knowledge! Remember that line by Ritter from the movie "Clear and Present Danger"?

Ritter: "I have no recollection of that, Senator"!
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Old 30th September 2014, 11:39 AM   #20
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Has anyone tried asking callers for information on your computer?

Their answers to questions relating to your computer's serial number, installed RAM, OS version, etc, might be instructive.

Maybe "instructive" is not the right word. "Amusing" might be more accurate.
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Old 30th September 2014, 06:28 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
Has anyone tried asking callers for information on your computer?

Their answers to questions relating to your computer's serial number, installed RAM, OS version, etc, might be instructive.

Maybe "instructive" is not the right word. "Amusing" might be more accurate.
I asked for what version of Windows I was running. The question seemed to confuse the scammer and it became obvious that he did not know that Windows came in different versions. Some "Tech Support" that is.
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Old 30th September 2014, 10:59 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Grizzly Bear View Post
Other posters nailed it; they just want you to give access to the computer so they can steal your info. It can be surprisingly easy to cop someone into falling for it if they're not computer literate... which is the point of the seemingly "simple" method.

Rule of thumb I use is if I get an unsolicited offer I verify and check before I give information. It sounds like you already know though.

An awful lot of computer systems get hacked into by someone just asking for the passwords one way or another.
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Old 1st October 2014, 03:39 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
Has anyone tried asking callers for information on your computer?

Their answers to questions relating to your computer's serial number, installed RAM, OS version, etc, might be instructive.

Maybe "instructive" is not the right word. "Amusing" might be more accurate.
Yup. I have asked "What is the IP address of the offending computer, as there are currently 8 running on this network?"

CLUNK

Or

"Certainly. For security purposes can you please confirm my Microsoft Customer ID and Account number?"

CLUNK
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Old 1st October 2014, 06:00 AM   #24
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First time they called me, I asked a bunch of information to confirm that they weren't putting me on. First I asked them my IP. Their inability to answer that was very telling: how would they know the outgoing traffic from my computer if they don't know my IP ? Second I asked them my Windows version, as they told me they knew my name from my Windows registration. Oddly, they didn't know that, either. So I told them I didn't believe them and hung up. The guy had the balls to call me back to tell me I had wasted his time. Yeah. I wasted his precious time defrauding people from across the world. Get a real job, you bum.

The second time they called I wasn't in the mood so I told them I knew who they were and what they were doing. That earned me a quick "clunk". The third time my wife answered and she just hung up.

If they call me again, I will put some effort into it. My objective is to manage to get their real phone number through subterfuge, then delay them as much as possible to waste their time in a spectacular fashion while playing their game, and then call the RCMP, as their website asks for info on these scams.
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Old 1st October 2014, 08:01 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Belz... View Post
If they call me again, I will put some effort into it. My objective is to manage to get their real phone number through subterfuge, then delay them as much as possible to waste their time in a spectacular fashion while playing their game, and then call the RCMP, as their website asks for info on these scams.

No, no. This is social engineering, not something sneaky like subterfuge.

If this happens, please inform us of the result.
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Old 1st October 2014, 08:05 AM   #26
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I have an old XP box gathering dust. What if someone sanitised such a machine, loaded it with enough stuff to make it look realistic, including a folder called "bank details" that actually contained files with hideous viruses? That would obviously be evil, vindictive and quite probably totally illegal, but I'm a little surprised it hasn't been tried.

If you want a huge laugh about counter-spamming and the like then you absolutely must read a book called "Delete this at your peril" - all about a Scottish guy who went to war with spammers and won. Available from all the usual outlets.
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Old 1st October 2014, 08:16 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
I have an old XP box gathering dust. What if someone sanitised such a machine, loaded it with enough stuff to make it look realistic, including a folder called "bank details" that actually contained files with hideous viruses? That would obviously be evil, vindictive and quite probably totally illegal, but I'm a little surprised it hasn't been tried.
Of course that is completely illegal everywhere -- unless you put a large disclaimer that says, "Downloading files from this machine may harm your computer". Then it is completely legal (see any legal agreement you are required to click on to use just about any software on the planet).
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Old 1st October 2014, 08:30 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
Of course that is completely illegal everywhere -- unless you put a large disclaimer that says, "Downloading files from this machine may harm your computer". Then it is completely legal (see any legal agreement you are required to click on to use just about any software on the planet).
Why would it be illegal?
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Old 1st October 2014, 08:41 AM   #29
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If you want to play with them but don't want to say too much or spend too much time and don't mind tying up your phone line, follow this script:

"You're kidding! Hold on let me get to my computer."
Put phone down and go about your business.

"Okay, hold on it will take me a few minutes to boot it up."
Put phone down and go about your business.

"It's finally started. Hold on someone's at the door."
Put phone down and go about your business.

"Sorry about that. Oh no, looks like I kicked out the plug when I ran to the door. I have to reboot again."
Put phone down and go about your business.

"Looks like it's up and running. Give me a minute while I log in."
Put phone down and go about your business.

"Okay what do you want me do do?"
No matter what they say, you answer:
"That sounds too technical for me, let me get my daughter."
Put phone down and go about your business.

"My daughter the bitch won't help, she thinks I'm being scammed. That's not true is it?"
No matter what they say, you answer:
"Okay, damn, someone at the door again."
Put phone down and go about your business and never come back.

It's amazing how long they will sometimes stay on the line.
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Old 1st October 2014, 10:46 AM   #30
alfaniner
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
If you want to play with them but don't want to say too much or spend too much time and don't mind tying up your phone line, follow this script:

"You're kidding! Hold on let me get to my computer."
Put phone down and go about your business.

"Okay, hold on it will take me a few minutes to boot it up."
Put phone down and go about your business.

"It's finally started. Hold on someone's at the door."
Put phone down and go about your business.

"Sorry about that. Oh no, looks like I kicked out the plug when I ran to the door. I have to reboot again."
Put phone down and go about your business.

"Looks like it's up and running. Give me a minute while I log in."
Put phone down and go about your business.

"Okay what do you want me do do?"
No matter what they say, you answer:
"That sounds too technical for me, let me get my daughter."
Put phone down and go about your business.

"My daughter the bitch won't help, she thinks I'm being scammed. That's not true is it?"
No matter what they say, you answer:
"Okay, damn, someone at the door again."
Put phone down and go about your business and never come back.

It's amazing how long they will sometimes stay on the line.
Totally unbelievable because at no point in there do you mention getting the BSOD.
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Old 1st October 2014, 10:57 AM   #31
William Parcher
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Originally Posted by Wowbagger View Post
NOT a good idea: You could invoke violent rage from the person on the other end. (especially if they have mental health issues) Or, perhaps sued or arrested for assault in some places.


I remember way back in the mid 90's Bottom Line Personal newsletter once advised people to do that to prank callers. Then, they had to issue a retraction, and warn people NOT to do it, because of incidences that resulted from it.
Isn't there some kind of built-in technology that limits the volume coming from a phone earpiece? Seems like if phone noise could be used to seriously injure someone it would have already been exploited.
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Old 1st October 2014, 11:10 AM   #32
dudalb
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Absolute Scam;Microsoft has issued several statements and warnings that it never contacts people in that way.
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Old 1st October 2014, 12:45 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Spindrift View Post
Why would it be illegal?
Poster GlennB in the post that I was replying to speculated that it might be. I only suggested that an appropriately legally phrased disclaimer would resolve you of responsibility . . . as FaceBook & etc say when they sell your soul personal info.
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Old 1st October 2014, 01:55 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by dudalb View Post
Absolute Scam;Microsoft has issued several statements and warnings that it never contacts people in that way.

I don't believe that anyone contributing to this thread thinks it's not a scam. However, people are taken in by it.

People also give money to 419 scammers, and others hire scammers to spread used motor oil on their driveways in the belief that they are getting asphalt sealant.
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Old 5th March 2015, 08:59 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
I don't believe that anyone contributing to this thread thinks it's not a scam. However, people are taken in by it.

People also give money to 419 scammers, and others hire scammers to spread used motor oil on their driveways in the belief that they are getting asphalt sealant.

I am quoting myself here to note that a friend recently informed me she was the victim in the "Microsoft is calling" scam, not once but twice.

The first time, the caller persuaded her to install TeamViewer on her computer, did whatever he did, and charged her some large amount which she paid by credit card.

A week or two later, he called back to tell her that the credit card transaction had failed and she needed to authorize another payment.

The end result was that she lost $2,500. She is trying to get the credit card company and her bank to honor their "100% safe" agreement.

I remoted in to her computer via TeamViewer to be sure the scammer had not left any sniffer or key logger programs. Within two minutes of my accessing her computer, the scammer was calling her. When I finished the remote session, I instructed her to delete TeamViewer.
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Old 5th March 2015, 09:31 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by xterra View Post
No, no. This is social engineering, not something sneaky like subterfuge.

If this happens, please inform us of the result.
Unfortunately the last time they called I didn't have enough time to do that. They really should be more considerate and call me when I'm bored.
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Old 5th March 2015, 02:43 PM   #37
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I had a customer come bring a PC into the office here after allowing a scammer remote access. When she declined to pay the charge they gave her to "fix" her PC, they encrypted part of the registry so the computer would no longer boot. The only solution we had was to reinstall windows.
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Old 5th March 2015, 03:02 PM   #38
Peter i
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A wonderful old lady we have around here:
http://nyhederne.tv2.dk/2015-01-20-7...lefonsvindlere

She has made a sport of playing, old, frail, gullible....... and very slow and incompetent.
Her game is to keep the scammer occupied for as long a possible.



When I was called last time, I did spend quite a lot of time "switching on my computer", then asking the scammer to find a piece of paper, because he had to take some notes.
And then I saw how many colourful names I could call him before he hung up.
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Old 5th March 2015, 03:04 PM   #39
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I just told the guy on the phone that his mother ***** elephants.
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Old 6th March 2015, 08:04 AM   #40
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I have done three different things;

-when I had the time I will follow their instructions especially when I get to say "Avast says that is a bad program" and then laugh
-tell them they should pray because they are going to hell
-tell them to let me remote to their computer
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