Thu, 11 Nov 2010

A letter, to me? // at 18:00

Today I received a real honest-to-goodness paper letter, a letter in an envelope, a letter posted from faraway France. “How odd,” I thought, who would write to me from France?

Aha, it would be "ESQ. Philip ROSSLARE" of "ROSSLARE CHAMBERS LLP," or so I discovered as I opened the letter and saw the opening lines:

Dear Tritschler

Firstly I must solicit your confidence in this transaction; this is by virtue of its nature as being utterly confidential and top secret. Though I know that a transaction of this magnitude will make any one apprehensive and worried, but I am assuring you that all will be well at the end of the day.

…and so on and so forth for a page worth of Nigerian fee-forward scam. I guess there are still enough idiots around who fall for it to make it worthwhile mailing letters to random people half-way round the world.

Seriously, an Irish sounding company out of a supposed Belgian office and email addresses in Spain? At least try and get the little details more consistent and believable next time guys! I do feel sorry for the law firm that really is at Vlaamse Kunstlaan 3 in Antwerp, seems that the scammers are trying to muddy the water by including that address for their office.

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Wed, 23 Jun 2010

PC support phone scam // at 20:00

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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Fri, 15 Jan 2010

A real life scam! // at 14:00

Only a week or so since we were at Lorne and read in one of the newspapers an article about the millions and millions of dollars that Australians lose each year to various scams, then today we got to experience one first hand! Not just that, but it was almost word-for-word as laid out in the newspaper. Supposed tradesmen offering goods and services “on the cheap,”

...

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