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U.S. F.T.C. Moves To Stamp Out Tech Support Scams

 6:12 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

The US Federal Trade Commission has carried out a huge international crackdown on a number of "tech support" scams being run out of India which have conned people in the UK, US, Canada and elsewhere out of millions of pounds since 2008.

As explained by the Guardian in 2010, the scams used "boiler room" tactics, dialling through phone books for English-speaking countries. People who answered the phone were told the call came from Microsoft or their internet service provider, and that the person's computer was "reporting viruses". The caller would then perform an unnecessary "fix" on the computer and charge the person for it and sometimes sign them up to multi-year "support" contracts. The cost could run to hundreds of pounds.

U.S. F.T.C. Moves To Stamp Out Tech Support Scams [guardian.co.uk]
At the FTC's request in six cases, a federal district judge froze the US assets of 17 people and 14 companies that have been accused of taking part in the operations. The FTC has also shut down 80 internet domain names and 130 phone numbers used in the US to carry out the scams.

What's fascinating is a reporter only just had one of these scams tried out on them.

I'm sure none of us here would get caught out.

Read more about it. [arstechnica.com...]



 9:46 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm sure none of us here would get caught out.

Considering how many hoops you have to jump through when you try to get hold of your ISP for any purpose other than to "upgrade" (= give them more money each month), a voluntary phone call from them would strike most of us as definitely fishy.

brotherhood of LAN

 11:28 pm on Oct 4, 2012 (gmt 0)

Ive had 'the call' once in the UK and three times in Canada.

None of us may get caught out but we're the minority. Plenty people still see a PC as a magic mysterious box and getting scammed like this will only make them more wary with parting cash through a PC, like online shopping.

fwiw I think the general public are fairly aware of this scam.


 1:10 am on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

The last one I spoke to was on a slow day so I let him ramble on for a bit, he was a nice Indian Boy surprisingly called "John Smith", then I said stop a minute John, this is a scam, you know it is a scam, I know it is a scam how do you live with yourself you low life? He then totally lost it shouting that I was wasting his time and as I put the phone down he called me a F***ing C*** and a B******. The lack of good manners in one so young is quite shocking.

Previously I have just told them they can't be very good at their job because I haven't got a computer, and suggested a new career in sewer maintenance. ("It's far less stressful and you meet people and things just like you").


 3:40 pm on Oct 5, 2012 (gmt 0)

O_H, I had a similar experience. It may even have been with the same guy.

I did more or less exactly the same as you then I told him to eff off as he was scamming thingummyjig. I then hung up. He immediately called back but as I have caller display I did not reply. He left a tirade of abuse on my answering machine calling me a MF, a SOAB and saying that he was going to **** my mother, my wife, my sister and my daughter. He continued with more of the same abuse, all of it recorded.

I warned my wife about this and when he called back she answered it feigning ignorance and he subjected her to more of the same. He continued to call back regularly over the next few hours including one call at about 07.30 a couple of days later. This continued for about three weeks every two or three days but I just did not answer him.

I decided to report this to the police. I told them I had two of his numbers and a recording of what he had said and they said there was nothing they could do about. It's a sad refelction on our society when the police are happy to let women like my wife be subjected to such abuse without taking any action.


 4:09 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

One called me... as soon as he said he was calling from windows security about my computer and i have issues

I just told him, hey cut it out you are scamming people and you know you shouldn't be doing this.

he just kinda voice cracked and sighed like he knew and hung up.


 4:24 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

I'm surprised they are still calling. I've not had these calls for quite a while, but when I did get them they were quite regular. Most of them hung up when they realised they weren't getting anywhere. Only one call, when called out, resorted to verbal abuse, which was quite unpleasant at the time.

I guess there's still lots of people to try and fool, otherwise i'm sure they would have given up by now.


 7:42 pm on Oct 10, 2012 (gmt 0)

my neighbour told me about his friend falling for one of these scams a few months ago. they called him up and said they were from some security place (cant remember exactly which place) and then they sent him an email with a "program to download" to fix it, which he clicked.
and he was a middle-aged professional guy as well. not an idiot.


 7:56 pm on Oct 11, 2012 (gmt 0)

Called me lots of time a few momths back. In the end I just waited then yelled "Hey Bob, run the IP phone trace program - now !", they always put the phone down so they knew what they were doing.


 7:22 am on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

run the IP phone trace program
I have caller display and the numbers my abuser called me were all displayed and recorded. I told the police this but they still say they can do nothing about it.

 2:55 pm on Oct 12, 2012 (gmt 0)

All telemarketer caller ID numbers are spoofed here BDW.

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