the control key

tags: , , ,

Time-off work to have a cold involves:

  • drink gallons of tea
  • sleeping
  • sneezing
  • working from home
  • making phone calls to co-ordinate town planners reviewing my pre-planning application for PV roof tiles
  • answering 3 urgent phone calls from “24/7 PC Care” about my infected PC -sounded like fraud
  • reporting potentially fraudulent phone calls to the local police

The potentially fraudulent phone calls were fascinating, I was trying to keep them on the line to find out about them  without revealing much about myself or my computer. It was tough. They quickly became irritated by my questions and in all 3 calls they got angry and hung up on me.

The calls went something like this:

Potential Fraudster: Hello, I’m from 24/7 PC care and I’m calling you because we’ve noticed that your computer has an infection

wendy: how did you find that out?

Potential Fraudster: Because you are a windows registered user

wendy: Oh, you have my registration details, so you know which version of Windows I’m using?

Potential Fraudster: No, we don’t have your registration details, but your computer shows as infected

wendy: how do you know my computer is infected

Potential Fraudster: if you turn your computer on and go to…

wendy: can you give me your company registration number and a call back phone number?

Fraudster: Yes, after we’ve finished mending your computer, see the key on the bottom left hand side of the keyboard marked c t r l That’s the control key

….

Be careful out there


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7 bits of lovely banter on “the control key”

  1. James Sutherland writes:

    I’ve had several of these calls. At one point I tried following through his script, hoping to extract enough information to track and terminate the scam, but sadly they use TeamViewer, which doesn’t seem interested in helping to shut them down. Being international calls with fake caller ID is apparently enough to escape most law enforcement, too.

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    wendy writes

    These calls are probably effective because they play on people’s fears, use common (if inaccurate) terminology and the callers all sounded confident, well-practiced in their script at avoiding questions they couldn’t answer and determined to get to my computer.

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  2. Miss Scarlet writes:

    Thank you for this warning. I will listen out for these callers and make sure that I also have a bit of a game with them.
    Sx

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    wendy writes

    Oh Ms S! I’d love to hear you playing games with these calllers 🙂

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  3. Will Watts writes:

    I had one of these calls from ‘Microsoft support’ a few months ago – it was my third too, so I was mentally prepared. As usual, he had detected errors in my machine, while I was online. I greeted him warmly, and did everything he said, expressing the gratitude and sentiments of a puzzled punter.

    But we got stuck when he asked me to press Windows key plus R. It took him several more minutes, and a consultation with a colleague, to discover I had elected to use my Linux Netbook for the exercise.

    ‘Does this mean you won’t be solving all the errors you found?’ I wailed, but, as with your experience, the rude man hung up on me.

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  4. Andrew writes:

    if you do it right, the “bit of a game with them” can run to about an hour, and involve 4 or 5 people at their end – escalating up the ‘seniorority of their ‘technicians”. I’ve very successfully played a clueless punter at least two of the many times have got one of these calls – including one time following ALL their instructions (slowly and with many errors in typing etc), and for some reason though my hearing went even more poor when they asked for credit card number… and then I dropped out of character. Interesting stream of abuse before they hung up.
    Using a linux machine with virtualised mswindows….
    Other times I’ve started the calls by saying “oh good, I’m not going to hang up. You can do that.” And then talked garbage about the next random thing I’ve thought of, like asked them when they’re going to send me the cheque for my monitor, which I claim I threw on the floor, under the instructions of one of the earlier of these calls. That time was fun, I could hear him stifling his laughing as he thought I was thick, the questions I was asking. He was really pissed off when he realised the truth – I’m not stupid, just stupid (if you know what I mean…)

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    Andrew writes

    (just noticed the ‘reply’ thing. This should have been a reply to Miss of the Redness’s comment.
    Well, not this, but the thing this is a “reply” to)

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