January 13

The international trade in trying to scam computer users…

For the first time ever today I received a cold-call which was designed to defraud me.

“Hello,” said the caller. “I’m from IT Support. We’ve discovered you have some malware on your computer which is why it is running slowly.” I realised it was a con straightaway. I don’t have an IT support contract with a company in India – and my PC is actually running fine. I decided to play along. “Oh ok, thanks” I said.

The fraudster must have thought it was his lucky day. “I need you to press the Windows icon on your keyboard and F at the same time,” he said. (This brought up a “Command Window”). He then instructed me to a type a program name into my PC. Obviously I didn’t.

He then transferred me to a colleague who he called “his supervisor.” Now it was my turn. “What’s the name of your company?” I asked. “24/7 IT Support,” he said. “Do you think I’m stupid…” I said. “Why are you trying to defraud me?” At this point he hung up…

What I found most shocking about this call was how sophisticated it was. This was more like a call centre operation than a lone fraudster… and what’s most disgusting about this kind of fraud is that it tries to take advantage of vulnerable, perhaps elderly computer users…

Apparently some callers claim to be Microsoft. Some tell users victims that they know they have unlicensed copies of software on their computers. Microsoft has some tips and information here and I urge you to share my experience with anyone you know who might be taken in by a call like I received…

PS: I read about one person who received a call from fraudsters and kept them on the phone for half an hour while he was “rebooting his computer” – what a great idea! It was half an hour which they couldn’t spend trying to con someone else!

 

 


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Posted January 13, 2014 by admin in category Random