Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Windows scam


I received a telephone call from a scam artist yesterday and I thought I'd share the experience because, although I figured out what was going on, I think it would be useful to let you know what to avoid.

The call is from 24seven PC Care who are (NOT) a Microsoft partner.  It's an Indian accent you'll hear and the person who calls you is based in Manchester (NOT).

If you have caller id then the number may show as 0123456789 but when you ask your caller they'll explain that's because they're using VOIP, except they don't call it VOIP because they assume you're an idiot.  I have no idea whether they used VOIP.

Normally with this type of call I string them along for a bit and then end the call.  I did start by doing that but we had just recently bought some Windows software.  Whilst I started as an extreme sceptic I did start to wonder if the call was valid.

My caller had an Indian accent, and because so many companies have call centres in India I wasn't surprised by the accent.  I was surprised when he said he was based in Manchester, and gave me a Manchester telephone number 0161 408 4448.   Clearly an Indian accent in Manchester isn't impossible but this individual was so difficult to understand I was amazed he'd passed any interview for a job in a call centre.  And he said his name was Michael Davies.  Again this isn't impossible for someone in Manchester with a heavy Indian accent, but it is unlikely.

As the call was just a conversation I decided to give the caller the benefit of the doubt to the point of switching on the PC and following some simple instructions.  I knew that nothing I was doing was changing anything on my machine.  I can't recall what I was looking at, it's in a convoluted menu area that you wouldn't normally access.  The point of this exercise was to persuade me that my PC was infected by a virus.

Once I was wondering whether my machine really was infected I was told to go to the following web address:  I didn't, and neither should you.  At this point I said I was going to leave the call and check the credentials of the company and my caller.

The caller then became quite agitated and insisted he was trying to help me.  He told me it was clear I didn't know anything about computers and my computer was dangerously infected.  I told him he was rude and aggressive and that, if the call was legitimate he'd have no problem with me ending the call, checking credentials and calling back.  And then I put the phone down.

And then I googled "24sevenpccare scam" and found a plethora of information.  You can find it too, here.


No comments: