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#22216 - 06/13/12 09:02 AM IT Phone scam: I finally got the call
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
There's an IT Support phone scam been going around for a few years, but I never had that phone call and was wondering why I'd been left out.

Today it came, calloo callay*!

Me: hallo

Long distance phone call, strong Indian accent: This is name-of-company (hard to hear), we are IT Suppport professionals licensed by Microsoft and are calling to tell you that your computer has been spreading a virus on the internet for the last 20 days.

Me: (thinking, at last the lying scumbag thieves have phoned me) what is the name of your company again?

him: we are licensed Microsoft IT professionals and are phoning you about your computer

me: I'm sorry, was it Redoubt? You said it very quickly

him: You are more interested in the name of the company than in spreading viruses for the last 20 days?

me: Yes, please repeat the name of your company.

He rang off! Can you believe that! I only got a few seconds into it, and he'd rudely rung off!

Now I'll have to wait for them to phone again, so I can really waste their time by pretending to go to any of the four Macs here, pretending to find "Windows Event Viewer" and so on.

It amazes me that anyone at all savvy could really believe that Microsoft's (alleged) IT support would have the telephone numbers of all their licensees, AND be monitoring their on-line activities. All billions of them.

........

It has just occurred to me while typing this, that since the majority of people here are in the USA, you mightn't as aware of this as I'm assuming?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/18/phone-scam-india-call-centres

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/phone-scammers-target-pc-users-with-phony-virus-reports/4198

* ©Lewis Carroll


Edited by Bensheim (06/13/12 09:02 AM)

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#22219 - 06/13/12 02:12 PM Re: IT Phone scam: I finally got the call [Re: Bensheim]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Originally Posted By: Bensheim
Today it came, calloo callay*!
* © Lewis Carroll


Shame, shame. smirk
In honour of LC and rhyming, you should have said: "It came today, calloo, callay!"

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#22221 - 06/13/12 02:47 PM Re: IT Phone scam: I finally got the call [Re: Bensheim]
ryck Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Okanagan Valley
Originally Posted By: Bensheim
It amazes me that anyone at all savvy could really believe.....

It used to amaze me, but no longer. Considering the number of people still falling for things like the Nigerian inheritance scam, I've concluded that Barnum is still right.

I've received three of the Microsoft IT scam calls. The first time I was caught off-guard, got ticked, and just hung up. The second time I was ready. I said, "Really? Wait a minute. I'll turn on my computer".

I then left the phone off the hook and went about my business, hanging it up about a half-hour later. Ditto the third time. I haven't heard from them since.
_________________________
ryck

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#22226 - 06/14/12 09:16 AM Re: IT Phone scam: I finally got the call [Re: ryck]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
I hope they phone here again. Next time I'm thinking of saying:

"Really? (or Oh No!)....... what IP address do you have for me?"

They won't know, of course. Do you think they'd just hang up, and I'd have blown another chance?

If I respond next time with a straight "You are lying", they'd hang up immediately.....

Or, should I say "Really? What do I do next?" and then make clicky clacky keyboard noises trying to find their Microsoft thing which of course, I do not have........just to keep them on the line?

laugh

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#22228 - 06/14/12 10:01 AM Re: IT Phone scam: I finally got the call [Re: Bensheim]
grelber Offline


Registered: 08/05/09
Loc: North of 49th ||
Follow ryck's example. I've been doing that for 3 decades ... with a number of variations. Be creative.

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#22229 - 06/14/12 10:09 AM Re: IT Phone scam: I finally got the call [Re: grelber]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
I thought I was being more creative than just leaving the phone off the hook.

So how's about I reply immediately with:

"What's your star sign?"

(I have done this in the office with persistent stationery salesmen. One was stupid enough to reply "Pisces". My immediate response was "Oh, I don't speak to Pisces on Thursdays, goodbye."


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#22241 - 06/15/12 12:11 AM Re: IT Phone scam: I finally got the call [Re: Bensheim]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Originally Posted By: Bensheim
It amazes me that anyone at all savvy could really believe that Microsoft's (alleged) IT support would have the telephone numbers of all their licensees, AND be monitoring their on-line activities. All billions of them.


People don't think that way. We are all the centers of our own universes, and sometimes folks DO get phone calls when their machines are infected with viruses. I have been known to call the owners of Web sites whose servers have been compromised and are being used to distribute malware, for instance.

The more general truth is that our brains are hard-wired to make us gullible. Brains are not instruments of reason; they are organs of survival, just like teeth and claws. As social animals, we have brains that are highly tuned to believe and obey those we see as authority figures--it's a survival trait. A full discourse of how our brains have been optimized to make us incredibly gullible is beyond the scope of a post on a Web forum (though I can recommend a few good books on the subject).

All of us--every single one of us--makes cognitive errors and mistakes in logic and reason that, with the right argument on the right subject, makes us incredibly gullible. Whether it's anti-nuclear or anti-GMO folks who believe that nuclear power is more dangerous than other forms of power or genetically modified food is harmful, or folks who believe that abstinence-only education is a good policy to prevent teen pregnancy, or folks who think that the collapse of the mortgage industry had to do with greedy poor people buying more expensive homes than they could afford, or people who think that vaccines cause autism, all of us are potentially gullible if the right misinformation that touches the right fears or hits the right social or political frameworks comes along.

We are not reasoning beings. We are rationalizing beings. Becoming a reasoning being takes a lot of hard work and a good deal of training, and even being educated in one particular arena doesn't make you smart in any other. (The Nobel-Prize-winning neurologist who diagnosed Ronald Reagan's Alzheimer's fell for a Nigerian 419 scam.)

This is, as you can probably tell, something I feel very passionately about. I've written several essays on the topic, and even created a poster that lists some of the most common errors of reasoning.
_________________________
Photo gallery, all about me, and more: www.xeromag.com/franklin.html

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#22250 - 06/16/12 06:32 AM Re: IT Phone scam: I finally got the call [Re: Bensheim]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: Bensheim
It amazes me that anyone at all savvy could really believe that Microsoft's (alleged) IT support would have the telephone numbers of all their licensees, AND be monitoring their on-line activities. All billions of them.
This kind of scam does not target those with any level of technical knowledge. It is aimed at persons like my sister-in-law who considers a toaster to be high-tech and at the same time happily does Google searches, Facebook chats, email, and writes her memoirs on her MacBook Pro. Given those I know and work with I would have to say she is easily within one standard deviation from the norm as far as technical expertise goes. On the other hand many of those who hang out here are somewhere out on the tails of the technical knowledge standard distribution probably two or three standard deviations from the norm.
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