Protect Yourself From Tech Support Scams Learn More
October 14, 2019
Tech support scams are an industry-wide issue where scammers trick you into paying for unnecessary technical support services. You can help protect yourself from scammers by verifying that the contact is a Microsoft Agent or Microsoft Employee and that the phone number is an official Microsoft global customer service number.
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This just happened to me too. The number came in as Novatel 1.210.249.0540
Indian Man who claimed he was calling on behalf of Windows. I cannot remember what he said his name was. Told me that If I didn't do it my computer would crash without his help. I asked for a phone number to call back and of course he didn't have a call back number.
I sent this to a my list. thanks!
Please read. This is going nuts. I receive at least two a week. So many people fall for this. Usually costs $500 to have them "release" your computer plus they leave the malbot on your pc and call every few months demanding more money. They bury the malbot where it cannot be removed. Most people scammed end up tossing their old computer and buying a new one. The WORST version of the scam is one put on your computer buried it in the registry of your e-mail file and documents. NOT easy to do - thank heavens!
So you move those "MUST HAVE" files to your new pc but the da ---- criminals STILL have you forever. Until you abandon your email and all documents. Bummer! This scam has been narrowed down to one city in "tech city" part of a city in east India. This is serious enough Microsoft and others has gone to the Indian government demanding they shut down the dozens of companies doing this. THOUSANDS OF PEOPE ARE DOING IT!
As an aside = WHY CALL CENTERS DON'T USE SOUND DEADENING MICROPHONES?? I CAN always HEAR DOZENS OF BAD PEOPLE SCAMMING OTHERS IN THE BACKGROUND.
On the entire AARP list you have 30(?) million people all with wired telephones and mostly not computer saavy- being older. Many just have a pc to see their grandkids on Skype and do a few emails with friends. So they are prime targets. Since I am a retired senior level computer engineer (I have patents, still do a lot of consulting, etc.) if I have time I play with them with some of my hacking software (I NEVER EVER hack for bad reasons- only to mess up hackers themselves -- I back trace them and do things like add a porno redirect to their pc. I even have software I wrote that destroys their pc if I want to. But I have NEVER destroyed a computer. NEVER been that mad!
Most of these scammers have NO computer protection. Zero. Takes me just seconds to take over not just one PC but an entire call center!
Guess they figure not many AARP people have techie smarts plus hacking software. I do! I heard my phone number is on a SHORT "NEVER EVER CALL THESE NUMBERS = NEVER!" list. But the list is usually ignored I guess. I had four call last week. So many people are dropping wired phones and just doing cell "targets" fall in number every day. I'd drop it if my wife allowed it. Says "we're not real people unless we're in the phone book".
One guy I convinced I had his house surrounded by the police! I told him "if you show up at your house within an hour in your underwear that is the police secret code that you are OK and they will not arrest you! The guy sent me a message the next day mad as Hell.
Oh, I also wrote "you MUST yell all the way home "I am out here in my underwear for punishment for being a bad immoral con man!". I wrote the police have one detective already watching him. I wrote he had to then climb on his roof and keep yelling for 0 minutes.
He wrote me "my neighbors laughed, took pictures etc". Could have been worse. I could have made him go home naked but I figured he might not do it.
His wife was NOT happy. Called him a FOOL for falling for the prank. I would have loved to have had someone video it but no way to know in advance who would be the fall guy. NO ONE now falls for the "underwear prank" as it is now known.
His message said "we are moving - all because of you - you are a very bad people man! Americans are not supposed to be bad people! You are a bad American people!". I locked him out so he could not trace me or get my IP address. He could send me a message but that was it. I
I'm sure his "call center" people laughed as he walked home in his underwear. I suspect he is now driving one of those Indian pedacabs!
Gosh! "Gee wilikers Wally and Beaver! You have fun in life where you find it" is my philosophy! Moral: do not get one Gary Yantis upset! I am RARELY upset BTW.
No matter what they do their pc goes to porn sites. But not forever. I'm NOT cruel. I turn the pc loose after a week with a closing message of "see what it feels like to scam people! Go find another occupation or do GOOD stuff with your computer skills". I then list a dozen companies in India who hire locals to do needed things. Like Odesk. There are many more GOOD Indian computer companies! India is becoming a HUGE techie country. 99% are all in one area of the Indian east coast.
Gary *** Email address is removed for privacy *** all of India is now locked out of my computer for tracing so having my email will do them no good! I read a rumor some government types get BIG bribes for allowing this. Guys like me cost crooks money!
"Steve" just called me. Same MO. Indian, large noisy call center. Told me he was calling from Microsoft Service Center and that I needed to press cntrl+Windows+ little r or else terrible things would happen to my computer. I told him this sounded strange, and he said he could prove it by telling me an ID number on my computer that no one else in the world has.
I asked for a callback number and he gave me - 210-888-9063
Then I told him I would call back. Yeah right.
Very simply, the whole rather obvious scam is to get you to log onto a website (in this case it was MICROTECHRESOLVE) and download malicious code.
The rest of the stuff with getting you to type CTRL+R and ASSOC or MSCONFIG or EVENTVWR is just to make you think you have something wrong. The average joe with a PC should be able to spot this in about 2 milliseconds after picking up the call (I actually kept them going for 55 minutes!).
It is the oldies that are more likely to get confused.
This happened to me this morning. East Indian woman... very busy call centre... lots of different languages in the background. The call id was from Montreal, QC, Canada 514-320-0874.
I kept her on the line as long as I could and she finally said... "Sir... I think you are fooling me." I replied that I was part of an international task force... Homeland Security, FBI, NSA, CIA, Mounted Police, CSIS, FSP and that I'd kept her on the phone in order to track her location... which we had done... and an armed force is now entering the building. I wished her good luck and said I hoped she said goodbye to her family this morning.
I was called by an unknown number just now, which in and of its own is a huge red flag. I was told by a woman who was obviously Indian and claiming that she was representing Microsoft that my computer had started sending out error reports at random, and that social networking sites, e-mails and search engines were corrupting the files in my operating system.
Now, I knew it was a scam immediately when she said she was from Microsoft. I am pretty damn sure Microsoft would send an e-mail if such a thing had truly happened, instead of calling with an unknown number.
Anyway, she asked me to press Ctrl + Windows + R. I lied and told her that I did. She asked me what I saw, and at that point I figured I had to bail on the call, because it is a waste of my time. Told her that the power in my town went out, and guess what she said? She told me to turn my computer on. As if I could do that during a power outage. I explained the "situation" further, and my call was moved to some dude whose Indian accent was a lot more subtle than the woman's. I explained the "situation" to him as well, and then he asked if there was a better time he could call back. This just told me how stupid these people are. A power outage can last anywhere from a couple minutes to several days where I am from (The latter being extremely rare, though), and I assume how long power outages last varies a lot most other places, too.
So the dude said he'll just call me at some random point later, and when he does, I am gonna tell him that I researched what his associate wanted me to do, and tell him to get a job that doesn't depend on ruining people's computers.