Please be aware of this telephone scam I have just been the intended victim of.
This con has already fooled many people around the world and continues to, despite being popular for a few years now. It gives the con artists remote access to your computer so they can steal your credit card details or any other information.
I must admit I had not heard about this one until lunchtime today, when a man telephoned (Indian accent) and said that my computer has a malicious infection. Not just a virus; worse than that, which my anti-virus software cannot remove, but he would show me how to get rid of the problem manually. After reading a bit more about this scam afterwards, I believe there are variations on the spiel.
He said they were receiving error reports coming from the PC with my Windows licence ID. I went along for the ride even though I suspected it was a scam but wanted to know where it was leading – without putting my computer at risk in the process (hopefully).
He asked me to hold down the Windows key plus R, which brings up the “Run” box and I was to type in “eventvwr” which brings up the event viewer. No damage could occur so far (correct me if I’m wrong!). He showed me a scary list of dangers, which did concern me, but apparently, it’s just a log and not necessarily a problem.
I was then directed to the TeamViewer website, which I understand is a legitimate product for communicating and sharing online.
When he asked me to click on “join remote control session” and I had to download a file to do so, that’s where the fun had to end. As his thick accent was difficult to understand, I had the time to search for answers while he was speaking.
I asked how much this was going to cost, and was assured it was completely free, but after reading further about the scam, it seems some of them trawl your computer for your credit card details and others present you with a large bill for “fixing” your PC when there was nothing wrong with it.
It’s a problem Microsoft don’t seem to be able to effectively deal with, as the scammers operate out of India and are careful not to claim to be from Microsoft, but just mention the name in such a way that you think that’s where they are calling from. I tried to clarify with the man who, exactly, he was calling on behalf of and he said some name totally unrelated to Microsoft (by this time I could barely be bothered trying to understand what he was saying anyway).
Someone on this forum reckons that Microsoft wouldn’t give you anything for free, so that sounds like one good way to spot a scammer!
Next time, I think I’ll have some real fun, if I have the time. There’s a nice moral message in this video too for “Sandra”.
But he starts off by telling her that, yes, he’s “on” his computer, i.e. sitting on it!
“I don’t have a mouse, I only have a hamster…”