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.