Wed, 23 Jun 2010

PC support phone scam // at 20:00

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For the last three days we've had mystery phone calls shortly after 6pm, each day they hang up after I answer the phone — a sure sign of a call-centre, the auto-dialler has dialled, you've answered, but all of their operators are busy and nobody is free to piss you off. Until today...

All heavily accented, echo-ey and garbled, sounding typically like the Indian call-centres. Around 6:10pm this evening:

Scam man: "Is that Mr ....? Hello? Hello? I am calling from Globalmax ??? IT a Microsoft partner"

Me: "Hello? Hello? You're very garbled, hello?"

Scam man: "Do you have a PC or laptop computer"

Me: "yep, sure do sunshine"

Scam man: "There are reports of widespread computer problems in your area"

Me: "I'll bet there are". At this point I start chuckling to myself, this is no ordinary call-centre trying to sell me carpet cleaning or life insurance, this is a real honest-to-goodness rip-me-off scammer.

Scam man: "are you sitting at your computer?"

Me: "Why it just so happens I am."

Scam man: "can you open the desktop?"

Me: "Easy, there."

Scam man: "Do you know how to do a run command"

At this point I couldn't be bothered playing any more and asked him "do you know how to run a linux computer?"

Scam man: "oh, ah, you are running the linux operating system, I will put you through to our Microsoft Linux support engineer, can you please hold"

...a long pause...

Scam man: "are you there?"

Me: "Yes, I'm waiting..."

...another long pause...

Scam man #2: "Hello, no linux". CLICK

Aw, such a pity. What a shame I didn't have the time and the setup to play along a little longer. A few minutes digging found mentions on Whirlpool — http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=1057308&p=5 — and a reference back to http://www.digitaltoast.co.uk/supportonclick-systemrecure-scam.

So take care out there if "Global Max" or "Max global" or "SecureMyPC" or any other cold-caller tries to take over your PC or credit card.

Updates

[2010-07-01 Thu] the scam is now so prevalent its even made it to the local newspaper — http://www.theage.com.au/technology/security/pay-up-or-your-pcs-toast-20100630-zm8i.html

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