Latest phone scam – Asian cold caller trying to take over my pc

event log

An event log always contains errors

I had heard about these before, but never had the “pleasure” of receiving one.
Phone rings, an asian accent with quite broken English, barely make out something hurriedly muttered about “not genuine Microsoft software” and errors on my machine, my “licence” expired. Hmm, my curiosity aroused, I said to go on. He asked me to type the Windows key and R – in other words to start a “run” box in which to type in programme commands. He then says to type eventvwr (very clearly and spelt phonetically, much clearer than when the call started and I asked him which company he worked for) So I type this in (to open event viewer) – he then asked me to click on various event logs, which showed several errors and information events. He then asked me to do Windows- R and again and type in a web address. Of course, I first googled the web address and it was the site of a remote access software company. As far as my rapid research went, a legit company. So, with my Firefox running “no script” – to block any potential malicious scripts, I went to the site, still acting like an humble “non-techie” – the next step involved starting a “session” – which involved downloading some software to install on my pc. This would then have allowed him to take over my pc and install whatever he liked on it, trojans, spyware, viruses, key stroke loggers to record passwords etc. I was curious to see what he wanted to do next, but couldn’t run the risk of compromising my pc. So I told him I was a Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician, and asked him for his phone number, company name and website address. He gave me fake ones.

Moral of the story.. if an unidentified person phones you and tries to scare you into handing control of your pc over to them, just hang up, unless you know what you’re doing and want to waste their time (like I did.) I don’t consider it a waste of my time, because I need to know these things to protect my clients, family and friends.
Don’t let them baffle you with IT, every pc will have errors in its event log, so if you have doubts, say no, and ask a technical person. If you think it might be genuine, ask for their phone number and get someone technical to call them back. Chances are the number will be fake.

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80 Responses to “Latest phone scam – Asian cold caller trying to take over my pc”

  1. Jean Says:

    You didn’t tell me about this, Adam.

    • Hoe RightiousBro Says:

      These morons are back at it again…the Ctrl-r scam 2013….
      I was told i was flooding nautica servers…. had a little fun with the asian numbnuts on the line.
      Looks like they are scapping phone numbers off job site resumes. I told him to eat my shorts !
      Fight the good fight

      • The Bobster Says:

        They just called me. I had the pleasure of insulting the Chinaman and all of his relatives for 10 minutes, then hung up. Believe it or not, he called me back.

    • No Way Jose Says:

      Just received a call like this for the 3rd time this year. I went “along” with what they told me to do. I asked to speak to their supervisor and he was pressing keys on the phone and then a person came back on with the same Asian voice and I told them that he was the same person I just spoke to. In the past, when they asked what it says on my screen after I pressed the keys they told me to (which I didn’t), I said, “Your being ******* scammed and don’t call here again or I will call the authorities.” LOL!!!

      • Twixted222 Says:

        Just got the call. I live in AZ. Not sure how they got my number (by dialing numbers at random perhaps)? Anyway, he stopped cold when I told him I was on a Mac.

    • Kristin Says:

      I just got a call as well: 7:23 Mountain Time. Sounded like he was from India. Told me that he represented my business’ virus protection agency and that they detected a virus on our operating system. I asked him to identify some information and he said that he would need me to give him MY credentialing information before he could release any of that information, or I could simply follow the steps and he could walk me through removing the virus. He asked me if I knew where the control key was, then asked what button was next to it. I told him the Window’s button. He then asked me to hold down CTL-R. I hung up.

      • laurie@csc.com Says:

        I just received this call,also from a man that sounded as if he was from India. He said the same thing about virus protection, and asked if I could locate the “crtl” key and “r” key. I asked him why he wanted me to press these keys and he replied “mam, do you see the Ctrl key?”, again I said “Yes, but why do you want me to press it?”. This time he replied “Because you have viruses and I will show you them”. I told him my computer was fine and hung up. I certainly wouldn’t want some random person having remote access to my computer, especially being so secretive and not explaining a reason or who he was.

  2. edie Says:

    You describe 100% what has just happened to me. I fell for it hook line and sinker and am now having to spend days and days to rectify the total harm they did to my computer. It was when they knew my name that I somehow, stupidly, switched off my cynicism and — went for it! Am I upset????

  3. Mark Says:

    I had the same, kept him on for ages about 25 mins had a bit of a laugh at his expense.

  4. Trish Says:

    Had phone calls from this mob today- PC Rescue, in California.
    They said there was no point in giving me their phone number as they were phoning on Wi-Fi and I would not be able to get back to them.
    I refused to confirm any details with them of my computer or address, etc. And would not sit down at my computer to look for the malicious files!! Told them to email me their details – naturally did not give them my email address – if they knew I had downloaded malicious files they should have my email address too!
    Luckily I had received an email about this scam a couple of months ago.

  5. Brian Says:

    This is now happening in Ireland Dublin.

  6. spam « Warriet's Blog Says:

    […] frauds when ordinarily they would not be taken in for a moment? Not strictly spam but there is a telephone based fraud doing the rounds at the moment. A caller informs you that there your computer is severely infected […]

  7. Mark Says:

    Just got this call from “PC Help Centre”, from a bloke with and Indian accent. Played dumb and got them to call me back, though just before he hung up a woman’s voice in the background yelled out “don’t do it! you’ll give him control of your computer!”. He rang back and I then strung him along and pretended to follow all the steps he asked me to do then asked for their phone number to call them back (was given a fake). Told him there was a special spot in hell for computer thieves, and to enjoy it.

  8. carl Says:

    We also got a call from”pc Help Centre” also an Indian. We’ve
    been getting a few of these lately.It was almost 10pm and I was asleep so when I answered I was quite drowsy,he rattled off all this rubbish about how my pc was in danger of serious damage etc etc, my reply to him was”I’m half asleep”, he said wake up,you must fix your pc,wake up, wake up!. I was about to get angry and tell him to bugger off, but I decided to string him along. I pretended to go to my pc as he demanded(still in bed) and pretended to follow his instructions, when he asked me what I saw on the screen, I would say I’m tired,he was really aggressive and keep telling me to wake up! wake up! I was trying hard not to let him hear me laughing. Anyway after about 10-15 minutes of this rubbish I said to him I wasn’t feeling well and I need help, with that he, HUNG UP!. LOL I hope I ruined his night,like he ruined my sleep. Cheers

    • adampembs Says:

      the sad thing is, I reckon these guys are probably severely bullied by their overseers. If they lose their jobs, it can be life or death in some countries. I don’t think there is any welfare benefit in India yet.

  9. Carol Says:

    Had this tonight (New Zealand). Told them my computer was perfectly fine, bye. Wish I’d thought to ask them to phone back after I’d talked to family members who are in IT and the police.

  10. Lee Says:

    Got this type of call a couple of weeks ago in Alberta, Canada. She asked if I was using windows and that they were calling to repair something, insisting over and over that they were reputable and I could check online to see who they were. She was incredibly persistent, despite my refusal to touch my computer or even look at their website. I basically told her that no one does anything for free and if I have some problem, I’ll contact my computer rep. I had to tell her that I was getting angry with her and was going to hang up beccause she would not stop pushing. She said she would call back, and of course, never did. And she was Asian, but her english was fine. I guess some people have nothing better to do with their time than create trouble!

  11. adampembs Says:

    I would love to hear from anyone who went further with one of these calls and investigated what exactly happened. My suspicion is they will remotely install one of these ransomware type of programmes, that give you fake virus alerts etc, and lock your machine down until you pay for the “premium” version. I certainly believe it is more than just wanting to annoy!

  12. Jenn Says:

    I received this call yesterday and followed their directions for awhile. He transferred me to some lady I couldn’t understand and she really rubbed me the wrong way. After showing me all the “errors”, I was then in a site to download a program. As it was downloading I read what it was for and immediately canceled cause it was for accessing computers from ANYWHERE. I let her keep talking until we were then at another site but this one was gonna cost. I told her I had no money and she got snotty and said nothing is done for free and that I needed to fix the problem. I told her to go screw herself that I would get REAL computer person to see if it is broken (I have warrenty) and she started laughing at me so I hung up and brought my computer to a computer specialist to get them to look at it to see if she corrupted it. He said it was fine but a scam. He was concerned why she had me go into the command prompt cause this can let people access everything on the computer. I wrote down everything she made me do EXCEPT what she made me type into the command prompt. We r hoping it was nothing severe and so far so good. But does anyone remember what they made u type into the command prompt??? Also, they tried calling again today and I laughed so hard cause how stupid can u be. I thought about it after though, I should have let them get to the command prompt part to see what I was typing in so I can tell my computer guy:(

  13. julian rowe Says:

    My aged father (86) fell for this scam, and unfortunately allowed them to have access and download stuff onto his desktop. Luckily he felt uneasy about this afterwards and rang me (I’m 4 hours away in N Yorkshire). I told him to switch off the router, to cut internet access. The following night the PC switched itself on, and started to do so several nights. I told him to unplug the PC.
    When eventually I came to see him, I saw nothing unusual on the PC in downloads, program files etc. However Kaspersky showed expired licence (should have 119 days left, if I not mistaken), the firewall were off and there appeared to be internet connection problems, but though it seemed not be connected I found evidence that bytes were being sent. At which point I shut down the desktop. I am unsure what to do next.

    I will try and contact Kaspersky. Any other suggestions? Thanks

  14. adampembs Says:

    Julian,

    Its quite possible that they have opened a backdoor on the machine, to use for malicious purposes. It might be a legitimate program or even something like VNC or remote desktop, which allows remote control. Unfortunately, as these are all genuine programmes used by support professionals, they may not show up as malware, therefore Kaspersky (or any other antimalware wouldn’t reveal anything) This is why they get the user to configure things, so their “backdoor” doesnt show up as malware.
    Your best bet is to get professional help on this, however, if you want to try yourself, firstly I would download Malware Bytes and run that in “safe mode with networking” – just in case they have installed a known trojan, then I would look in the windows firewall settings to see what “legitimate” programmes have been allowed as exceptions then check those programmes out (google them) to look for remote control type software, eg “log me in” or “vnc” – or simply disable them all and then just allow them individually when you find they are needed (eg mine is showing Firefox, Windows Live Messenger and a few others)

  15. Gary Says:

    Julian what you need to do is cancel your credit cards/change all your passwords and restore the computer to factory settings.This way if they have left a trojan on your pc it will be wiped of

    • adampembs Says:

      I agree with Gary that this is the only 100% safe route, which is why you should get professional help, as this procedure is quite complicated for the average user. It does depend on the scenario though. Perhaps your father has never carried out financial transactions on the pc, in which case, there is no need to cancel the bank cards. However, he might use it for this in the future, so still best to wipe the drive.

  16. Richard Says:

    One of these snakes called me up today, exact same thing.. I was curious because my computer has been crashing but he didn’t sound like he knew PC’s at all, he was called the desktop my ‘homepage’. I cut him off at the part where he said type in eventlog, I said I’ll take my chances. He said I wasted his time and I said ‘I’m busy as well :)

  17. Hennie Says:

    I, at 70, also fell for a similar call from those P-I-b******s. I could hardly make out what they blabbered about but was told they work for Microsoft and that I need to have those threats on my computer fixed. My PC was slow at that time. Like a fool I trusted them and followed their instructions. After that they suggested I subscribe for a year and only have to contact them to have them clean my PC and make it faster. A day or so after signing up I realized that I did sign up with another company for their service a month ago. I phoned them back (718-717-2648) and after explaining what happened, they agreed and promised me the refund ($289 CAN) within 2-3 days. After no refunds appear on my card statement for a week or more I phoned them various times they keep on promising a refund. It is now well over a month and still no refund. The phone are now permanantly in recording mode. They all have “English” names ie. Darren,Kevin Nelson….and still have that strong accent???? Give me a break. So, they took off with my money. So please, don’t like me, be fooled and sucked in by those rats, scumbags (to put it mildly)……

  18. Mark Says:

    Same here in the UK; using the name “Steven Lee” – I kept him on hold whilst googling – then told him he will burn in hell …

  19. Janine Says:

    This has been happening to almost everyone I know, those with and without computers. I had them ring me 3 nights in a row, even after I told them “I’m not falling for your shit, go scam someone else and get F*****d!. (I really enjoyed that). I had a relative ring the phone number that they gave and it was answered in the name of the scam (Microsoft/Windows) Luckily my relative was just playing along and had no intention of allowing them access to his pc.

  20. Jason Ploeger Says:

    I had the call in Northern Ontario, Canada last night. Sounded a bit off from the start and as the said press the windows and r button I realized they were trying to get me to run a command. I politely asked them to call back tomorrow and that I would talk to my friends in the RCMP in the morning. I was proud of myself, I was in polite terms told to F OFF and then they hung up for a change. Quite an interesting scam though and unfortunately they probably catch a lot of people.

  21. Hayley Amanda Says:

    I’m sick of these calls too. I’ve told them to remove all my details from their database as I know it’s a scam, but they hang up or keep calling. Next time though I’ll be ready for them! I’m going to ask them to just ‘wait a minute’ – then won’t come back so that they run up a huge bill waiting! If everyone did this they’d soon get tired and make a memo not to call your number again.

  22. J.Barker Says:

    Yes this just happened to me but i couldn’t get past the window/r wouldn’t start for me so the guy got really angry and told me to go and “**** myself you bloody Australian”….hahahahaha…but i had to get him to keep repeating it as his accent was too strong for me to understand him ……….very funny moment really.

  23. Sam L. Says:

    Here it is January 2012 and they are still at it. I got the same phone scam call. After being a “bit difficult”, not doing what they asked, starting with hit Control R, and taking up 15 enjoyable minutes of their time I got passed on to a “Supervisor”. They had a fair amount of correct information about me, sourced from the internet no doubt, but balked when I asked for a call-back number. The call ended when the more fluent “Supervisor” in clear second-language English said “you Mother F**ker” and hung up. Oh well! Coffee break over and back to work.

  24. Cold callers claiming to be from Microsoft « PC Rescue Says:

    […] am hearing more and more cases of the cold callers claiming to be from Microsoft and claiming that “you have errors on your Windows computer.” I blogged about these […]

  25. Ray C Says:

    Just had one of these calls in Northern Ireland. Thay knew my operating system number – how? Became slowly aware not all right andhung up, but not before telling them a 7 digit number from my PC accessed via windows key and ‘r’. Can they make use of this number in the future? They are supposed to call me back tomorrow so thanks to you lot i’ll be ready for them. Ray C

    • adampembs Says:

      It sounds like the pin number used by them to start a remote session. Did you go to a website and install something like “log me in”, “Teamviewer”, “VNC” or “Go To Assist?” If so, you should uninstall that software, and then go to your windows firewall, via control panel, security centre, and make sure any such programmes are removed from the exceptions list.

  26. jenell Says:

    This happened to us today and my boyfriend fell for it. Let the bastard into my computer. How will I know if there is anything wrong? I already went and uninstalled what had been installed today. Is there anything else I can do?

    • adampembs Says:

      If you know what was installed, you should be ok, but check your firewall settings, in the exceptions tab to see if any remote access software is listed. Do a full scan with your antivirus, and do a full scan with Malware Bytes too.

  27. Henrik Says:

    It just happened in Sweden!, i knew what it was about so i just tried too make fun of the asian i was speaking with, i told her that i was a computer engineer and said that she was talking nonsense ^^ then she hung up the phone.

  28. Andre Says:

    It just happened in the Netherlands as well. They used 0016072719258 as their telephone number (shown on my phone, but can that number be spoofed). When I asked further on how he got my number he hang up. By the way: he did not get access to my PC!!!!

  29. DSChamber Says:

    Don’t fall for these trolls…. they call my number a lot and most times I don’t have time to tell them off and just hang up… but sometimes I act like a really “PC illiterate” and answer questions with questions, tell them to stop and start over,… they ask me to go to the website and I say that I do (but don’t), they ask me to download the software and I say I do but don’t … lol… sometimes it can be a laugh….these times it always end in me telling them to f(&k off in some way or form

  30. bob Says:

    I’ve had a few of these calls from India. The first time, I just told him to bugger off, as I didn’t have the patience.
    But it happened again this morning. I pretended to follow his instructions, and when he asked what the pop-up RUN said, I said, “It says, ‘ I am a Mac. Don’t listen to the scammer on the telephone'”

    Well, he went ballistic. “Fck you motherf***er, I am not a scammer, I work for Microsoft!!”

    I had such a good laugh.

  31. doyle timaru Says:

    They called me tonight, in New Zealand. I had read something about the scam about a week earlier. I enjoyed talking to her for about 20 minutes pretending to do as I was told (while i carried on doing the dishes!).
    Eventually, I said, “Oh, I’ve just realised that my computer is an Apple!” She was very agressive and said, “What? you’ve had having me on and wasting my time!” I proudly said, “Yeah, doesn’t it really piss you off when that happens!”
    Then she hung up!

  32. MarySue Says:

    Had it happen tonight, in California. The caller said he was in Beverly Hills at the Microsoft satellite office. Yeah, right. He said they were getting error messages from my Microsoft Licensing Key. I did have a bit of fun asking a lot of questions, then gave a pointed response to what I thought he was if he believed I would fall for all this. I then hung up. He called back several times, verbally abusive, yelling, etc. Btw, I called Microsoft and they were very nice.

  33. alan Says:

    just had the same call (SOUTH WEST SCOTLAND) kept them dangling for a while then said why dont we just cut to the chase and I’ll email you all my bank details then you can come round and I’ll cook diner while you try on my clothes….. they hung up !

  34. David C Says:

    Me too. Engaged the guy in conversation, he claimed to be calling from England, and indeed the call originated from 02044859787. But I don’t think he’d ever been in England, he gave me an address in England and the ‘ZIP code’ in London. I told him I knew he was lying but he was very persistent, ‘I have been here for 2 or 3 years’.
    He wanted me to do Windows R. etc., eventually I told him I didn’t have access to the internet and he hung up. Wasted about 20 minutes of his and my time.

  35. oliverD Says:

    My wife (cos I seldom answer the phone!) has been getting these calls about once a week for 6+ months. How she has the patience to ‘play’ with them I’ll never know.

    Since I’ve been working in IT before PCs were even thought of, we’ve not suffered. At first I told her to tell these guys that we were running Ubuntu but he still carried on regardless. Next call, she told them we’re a Mac house (which we are). The muppet still carried on as though I was about to press the ‘windows’ key on a Mac keyboard – Ha!

    Unfortunately, you can’t block the calls since they’re often Skype and / or come through with the CLI blocked. But once we got the number – it was from UAE. But like DavidC says above, the call probably didn’t originate from there.

    I’ve even asked a colleague at work who’s Mr Security for Europe’s largest Telco. He knows of the scam and where he can will work with the police to prosecute. But it’s very difficult.

    There’s only one way to stop them – change phone number and go ex-directory.
    And if it does happen, it’s not just your PC you should be concerned for. They might have bank / credit account details and then…!!!

    • adampembs Says:

      I just hang up whenever its a call like this or similar eg someone on about PPI, which I don’t have as I haven’t had a loan in 10 years. What is it about these fads? I remember a few years ago, you got called as you had “won” a free holiday! When I asnwer the phone and there is a delay, or a click, I usually just hang up, unless I’m bored.

      Also, when people ring me up, say from my bank, or ISP and then start to ask me security questions, I find that odd. They have called me, why should I verify who I am? But I can’t ask them any security questions as they are anonymous, so I have no secret information on them.

  36. cjbbrussels Says:

    I just got one of those phone calls from a Microsoft Windows Support person. I live in Brussels and thought it strange that he was speaking English, but sounded like he was from India. He said my computer was generating lots of error messages ad was going to show them to me. But he kept insisting that I do the Windows key/R and I knew that was to run a program of some sort. Being a bit suspicious I wouldn’t do it. He insisted he could show me a licensing number that was on my computer when it was shipped. (Beware, they all have this same number.) I finally said I would not press Windows key/R and he said “you can go to hell & bye”. Obviously, he does not work for Microsoft.
    I had noticed that it sounded like he was in a call center as there were a lot of other phone call conversations going on in the background.
    How do they get our phone numbers, or is it random?

    • adampembs Says:

      They probably buy the data like any telesales operation. They often know some details about people, like names, but nothing about the computers. People with macs, linux machines, or no pc at all still get calls.

  37. ron Says:

    February 6, 2013 5 p.m.
    Just got off the phone with the ‘Microsoft’ person who noticed a lot of error messages. He was going to help me how to find the virus and remove it by a ‘control r’ operation. I was suspicious. Lots of call center chatter in the background. He addressed me by my last name. He stated that he wanted to gain control of my computer and fix my problem. I just didn’t feel right about it and told him to send me an email. I doubt that he will comply. Be careful out there. Don’t fall for the scam!

  38. Erik Says:

    I am also getting these calls and can see from the number it is them. Its fun to keep them on the line for as long as possible and make them repeat all they say pretending you don’t understand them clearly. (They do talk a lot those indian idiots) So they will get tired of having to repeat themselves over and over again. Next time I see they are calling me I will answer the phone with “Hello, Microsoft head-office, how can I help you?”. Would love to be able to see their faces, but too bad we can’t. They will probably hang-up immediately and probably never call back.

  39. Steve Says:

    3 years on and these characters are still very much active. Adam’s description above is almost exactly what happened to me a few days ago. The difference being that, being an idiot, or so my wife tells me, I very nearly parted with money to these creeps. As it is I have had to sort out some serious problems since their little visit. I should have known better but they caught me at a bad time and trust me they are very very insistent.

  40. dick Says:

    Just got off the phone with your friends who tried to do the same with me (even though I gave up Windows for the Linux and Mac world long ago.) Here’s their phone number (that I hope search engines will pick up as many people look to intercept fans based on the phone number:

    [phone number removed – don’t want to advertise their no.]

  41. B.Rod Says:

    Got this call as well about two night ago. The guy on the phone was having a difficult time trying to explain what the windows key was, and for some reason kept repeating “are you looking at your keyboard”?

    During the five or so minutes of his rambling about windows keys and event viewers, I had already googled the 1st step of instructions and immediately found the true purpose of his call.

    At that point I simply hung up and haven’t received a call since.

  42. Josie Says:

    I fell for it. I’m fairly new to computers and I was half asleep when they called. Anyway, the person with the STRONG Asian accent took over my computer and showed me all my errors. He told me what would happen if I didn’t fix them bla bla bla said he would fix them for me and then gave me the $150.00 price tag. I told him I didn’t have it and he said I could get a six month protection for $49.99. That’s when I started waking up and asking questions. He said his name was Robert Robertson and that he was in California but my credit card company said it was coming from China. RED FLAGS EVERYWHERE!!! But now they were in my computer so I was scared to back out. Turns out, it was the wise decision since I already had the gun pointed in my face, because a few days later the same thing happened to my friend. But he went part of the way and then tried to back out and they basically stole his computer. They call him daily and try to sell him back his password for $99.00. They even used the same name. (Robert Robertson) The snakes are holding it hostage and my friend is refusing to pay the ransom, hence…no computer. The geek squad has offered to fix it for twice the ransom but I think my friend may be saving his money for a trip to China.
    “Wise” may be too strong of a word for my stupid mistake but at least I still have my computer. There’s nothing for them to steal on here and my credit card company wants to nail them more than I do. I’ve got IC3 and the FBI on speed dial if they ever call back. But oh…if I could only turn back time!

  43. TS Says:

    I strung the idiot along for about 10 minutes, while I recorded the entire call on my iphone. Eventually, told him that I haven’t worked on windows for about 10 years now and I own a mac. He asked me what I do for a living and I said report scammers like you, by recording this call. Don’t know if it can be used to sue them. But will be more than happy to share the recording of an innocent non-techie being maliciously duped with anyone who wants to try get back at them. Considering they are using windows to scam people, I am surprised Microsoft isn’t doing anything about it.

    • adampembs Says:

      Yeah, you gotta laugh, I’ve heard of other people who don’t even own a computer getting these calls!
      I’m sure Microsoft would like to stop it, but not sure what they can do. It’s not a fault of their products if someone is impersonating the company. I know Microsoft has been instrumental in closing down some of the worse botnets, and capturing internet criminals. When these companies operate from places like India and Singapore, it is hard to do anything that isn’t considered serious crime, and falsely claiming you are from Microsoft pales against serious crime such as terrorism, credit card fraud, child abuse etc.

  44. Maile Says:

    I recently got a call from an Indian sounding guy. Since I just knew right off that its a scam, I have a mac, and my windows computer was sending error reports. I decided to waste his time. I just told him “yes” or “no” or “I don’t see it?”. Just wasting his time. Finally when I felt enough of my time was wasted and I had enough laughs I told him that he was a scammer and he got mad said he was not yelled something unintelligible then hung up. I had a good laugh. :)

  45. Judith Says:

    Just got a call he told me to press the windows key and the letter R after that came up he wanted me to type in eventvwr don’t know what this would have done I hung up on him…

  46. Pat Brueckner Says:

    Thanks for posting this online for all of us. They are still at it. Got a call this morning from the Indian voice. Said he was investigating performance problems with Microsoft Windows. Asked me to press control-R. Fortunately, it smelled fishy to me — told him I wasn’t having problems (of course, untrue, there are always problems, depending on the weather, the alignment of the starts or whatever), and immediately hung up. Googled out of curiosity and found this post. Spread the word. Be vigilant. Stop these crooks in their tracks!
    Pat B

  47. Antonio Says:

    Got a phone call from these guys today, very insistent said I would lose access to my PC unless I work with him to correct this issue. Hung on him once and he called back (a little surprised by this). Kept asking for his name and what company he is with and how I got on his list, he then hung up, guess he finally figured I was not falling for it.

  48. Howard Says:

    This just happened to me. However I fell for it because I have been contacting Microsoft about this code thing that keeps popping up before I can get into hotmail. My (older Dad) answered and thought it was concerning me, problem is I don’t know if how far I got with him did any damage. He said looks like your having problems with your internet connection at the end of the call, and to unplug the cable connection to the modem, which I did, problem for him… we have VOIP
    And his call was disconnected. Haven’t heard back from him yet!
    Am running a full scan of computer with Bit defender, and anti-malware. Dont know what else to check for, and am more than pissed at myself. If only my Dad didn’t pick up the only phone in the house without caller ID, the phone would have never been picked up.

  49. Philip Matrooz Says:

    Since I switched my telecoms company, I haven’t been receiving any of these. Being retired and with lots of time on my hands, I used to really enjoy baiting them. In fact, I miss them.

    Tricks I’ve used in the past include making out I have to go ‘upstairs to the computer room’. Problem for them is I ‘live’ in a huge mansion, so it takes a long time to get there (lots of huffing and puffing as I negotiate endless flights of stairs and corridors).

    Finally, I would arrive in a totally wrecked state at the door of the computer room, only to find I’ve left the key ‘downstairs’. By the time I’ve ‘retraced’ my steps, I’ve ‘forgotten’ who they are, so have to ask them to tell me all over again. All the time I’ve been wearily making my way to and from ‘the computer room’, I’ve been engaging them in friendly chit-chat about such things as ‘How’s the weather where you are?’ etc.

    When I finally get into the ‘computer room’, I then ask them which of my six various computers and laptops is the one giving the problem. The crunch line comes when we supposedly reach that seemingly endless list of ‘errors’ that they are hoping I’m gazing at in horror, and they ask me what I see there. The answer? “Nothing! It’s empty. What should I be seeing?” This really freaks them out and the screaming starts. I kept one of them going for about 55 minutes.

  50. Pedro the Bookworm Says:

    Just got the call myself. The fellow actually said he was with Windows and his office was in LA. I could hear lots of conversation in the background. Obviously a boiler room with lots of scammers working the phones.

  51. Wayne Fernandez Says:

    I saw something about this in the news a week back.. today I just got off the phone with one of these douche bags.. claiming to be from Telstra technical support.. indian accent..claiming he needs to protect my PC from viruses & errors.. asking me to click the windows icon & r ..( i m predominately a mac user, but have theres a family PC too ) i had a gut feeling that he was a scam from the get go..but i wanted to know what its all about .. half way i told him i m heading out, and to call me back later .. he had me confused ..now after reading this website i get a better picture of the deal ..

    Just a heads up to everyone that they are still going strong and they are seem to be getting better at their game ..
    I m a telstra customer and when they say they are calling from Telstra tech support.. it can raise a doubt maybe or maybe not :)

    Thanks to whoever created this site, You have confirmed my suspicion now ..
    “oh and I hope he calls back .. ” Is there anyway to get back at them .. not that we have the time .. (thou i like Philips take on this, its funny as hell )

    • AndyA Says:

      If you are in Oz, the chances are that you’ll deal with Telstra in some way or other, so it’s a good bet for them.

  52. Danielle Says:

    Yup, they’re still at it. Just had a call from one (i didnt know of this scam and didnt ask their name) at work – I work in the IT department – he specficially asked if i worked in the IT department? Low hit rate!

    When he asked me to press windows + R i asked why – i said our company has virus and network protection so that wouldnt be the case. Asked me to do it again and i said no and explained why again. I asked for what purpose he was trying to do this and he said “dont you like me” – i said i dont need to do what you are asking. He then asked me what my plans were for this evening??!?!?! i said what?? he repeated it, i said “i dont think thats relevant to this conversation!” – he then tried again and i said i was hanging up. The call came from a London number but must be cloned.

    “what are you doing this evening” – thats a new one!

    tempted to play along if i get another, but this was my first one so im still learning.

  53. graham Says:

    They are still at it,i heard my wife talking to some guy on the phone this morning, luckily I jumped in before she let him get too far, he wanted her to press the windows & R key, do these people wver give up.He even rang me back after I put the phone down on him.

  54. MikeH Says:

    They are still at it – just received a call. Asked me to do windows + R, then “eventvwr”. That part was harmless, just brings up the windows event log. But googling that quickly brought me to multiple sites mentioning the scam. He didn’t even pretend to be from Microsoft – just from my “computer manufacturer’s support department”. Following a script word by word, with lots of other voices in the background. Clearly a phishing attempt, and a poor one at that. Told him off and hung up. DON’T let them have remote control or run any scripts.

  55. Richard Says:

    I have received the same call several times. On time, the caller who sounded indian said that their system found an issue with my computer. I asked “do you mean your system is talking to my computer and this is how you found the problem?” When he replied yes and I started yelling into the phone at my computer “you dirty little whore, talking to other computers behind my back.” This pissed him off and he hung up. I figure by keeping him on the phone for any length of time, saved a little old lady from getting the call

    • Pat Brueckner Says:

      Ha! Ha! That’s the funniest response I’ve heard yet, Richard.
      Pat

    • David Creasy Says:

      Had the same here in Australia, they called four times in three days. She asked me to press the windows key + R and asked what I saw on the screen. I replied “I can see someone is trying to hack into my computer”. She told me to “…K off” and hung up. Not very nice language from a respectable IT company!!!!

  56. PB Says:

    I just received a call here in Portugal from the Indian guy saying that he was from Microsoft. No luck for him. The Microsoft website has a warning about these scams. I lost the opportunity to insult him, I hope he phones again… Why don’t send an e-mail? “It has to be this way, or else I will get fired!” Why don’t you speak in Portuguese? Microsoft has offices in most countries. ” We are calling from California, we canĀ“t know all languages!” Douchebags!

  57. Pedro Says:

    I have just got the same scam attempt in Stockholm, Sweden. The guy told me he was calling from London, although the phone identified a number from New York (Number: 0015852439768). He told me that my Windows computer was “invaded” by hackers from China and Japan. Too bad, I use Linux. Anyways, he made me take note of my “12-digit windows register”: 00C04FD7D062.

  58. PaulB Says:

    I’m being bugged by them here in The Netherlands already a few months. Played along once with the aim to waste their time, until I realized I was wasting my own time as well :-) Anyway, what I really would like to know is *why* they do this? Are these guys somehow being pressed to do this job, such that any of our negative responses directly results in any medieval punishments, or that they voluntarily continue to fraude us? I guess the truth is somewhere in between in that they need to keep their families afloat and don’t see other, more genuine opportunities to do so. Probably they’re in a difficult position and I don’t envy them, the poor guys; I don’t think they planned to pursue a carreer in being a scumbag. If circumstances forced upon us the need to turn to the dark side, we’d probably be glad to step into these kinds of pittyful crimes as opposed to heavier crimes, wouldn’t we?

  59. Sharon R T Says:

    I have gotten 3 phone calls in the last 3 weeks, all from the same Indian guy. I did not go to my computer the first 2 times since I knew it sounded fishy. Just for grins on the 3rd time I went to my computer. I “followed his instructions”, but not really–as soon as he gave me things to type in, I googled them and found this site immediately–THANKS to whoever started it. I then strung him along, purely for my own amusement; He wanted me to maximize my screen, so that took five minutes as he desperately tried to tell me to hit the box shape in the upper left, but I said that I clicked the “x” in the upper left by mistake. I feel so badly for the people these jerks scam, so at least I feel like I kept him from calling another poor soul while I had him on the phone. JERKS! :(

  60. Saissa Says:

    Just received one of these scam calls today. She didn’t sound Indian but her accent was VERY bad.
    She even told me off for trying to tell her that my PC was fine.
    “You are not a technical person” she says!!! “I am. So Is your computer on?”
    it was but I said no its not,
    “Well please turn it on and when it is up and running, please let me know.”
    I decided that I would try a little baiting and see how far she would go.
    So I cleared all the windows and tabs off my screen and told her that my PC was up and running.
    “Can you see the button at the very far bottom left of your keyboard. It says C-T-R-L”
    She SPELT the ctrl treating me as if I dont know what a control button is!!!!
    I said yes I see that.
    What button is right next to that. she asked.
    The windows button I replied.
    “OK”, she says, “Now I want you to put one finger on the C-T-R-L button and one finger on the R button, and press them both at the same time”
    I balked at that. I know what I should and should NOT be doing!!
    “No I don’t think so. F*** off and dont call me again.” I yelled as I hung up.


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