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MS Security Claims Your PC is Hacked!

Alert all your young and elderly ASAP!

     
10:34 pm on Oct 1, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I've been aware of these telemarketing cons and scams for years and always tell all the family, esp. the kids and oldsters, DO NOT open emails from people you don't know, esp. file attachments and DO NOT take phone calls from people you don't know.

I tell my mom other than her friends and family, if it's not someone you know, HANG UP!

I also tell them if they aren't sure, just ask the person for details and then CALL ME and I'll help them decide if it's legit or not.

Yes, I've gotten more than a few calls and all but one or two were cons. But I welcome those calls instead of "I just got a $5K charge from someone I don't know..." kinds of calls.

Phone scammers can try to slam your phone with charges if they can trick you into saying YES for certain things. They'll even go as far as telling you the call is recorded for THEY'RE protection which is partly true. They only record the part where they ask you the question when they're about to slam you, to record your YES answer, so the whole thing will be out of context of the call.

Anyway, my family has been warned over and over and over.

With all those warnings and telling them NOT to take those calls, someone slipped up and did it this week.

Someone claiming to be from "MS Security" called one of the oldsters and claimed their computer was hacked. That opening claim made them panic but common sense would've said "How do they know YOUR computer is hacked?" and you hang up. But they freaked out and kept on the phone. The scammers tried to give them instructions to follow to install software and place a CC sale.

Thankfully, they are no longer computer literate enough to follow those instructions from the scammer, got frustrated and told them that one of their kids would have to help and ended the call.

Surpringly, the scammer gave them a number and name to have someone call back! LOL

Best we can tell nothing managed to get installed and they didn't get a credit card either.

Just a warning, go back AGAIN and remind the people you love that THEY ARE A TARGET and if they don't want to be a victim just HANG UP!

That's the real problem is the victims are so embarrassed that they were ripped off they usually don't tell people about these things.

Open discussion is the best way to avoid more people from becoming a victim.

The best way to test them is to get a friend to call and try to get them to do something stupid.

I'm thinking there's a business there somewhere, a human antivirus, a service to call people on a regular basis and test them to make sure they aren't letting people con them on the phone.

Anyway, remind your family is they don't know who's on the phone, HANG UP!

If it's something legit, they'll give their name and number so someone can call them back after verification.
12:51 am on Oct 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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When those guys call, I like to tell them they made a mistake- I only use Linux because MS crap is too easily hacked.

Or if I feel like wasting some time, I'll play along a little bit and tell them I'll have to boot up my computer to check. "Oh yeah, I think something may be wrong with it- it's taking a real long time to boot up today. Hang on..." <go get a cup of coffee>...
1:58 pm on Oct 2, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I use caller ID and an answerphone. If the number isn't somebody in my phone book I wait for them to start leaving a message before answering.

On the other hand my mother never grasped that the call would be long distance or even international. She was convinced that it must be somebody in the local calling area who could "send the boys round" if she upset them.
10:10 pm on Oct 3, 2014 (gmt 0)

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On the other hand my mother never grasped that the call would be long distance or even international.


My mom checks the caller ID and in some cases she'll still answer the phone anyway. Considering once she starts talking they can't stop her, I'm not too worried. But we still get into heated discussions about why she should never take those calls and she doesn't most of the time. I have no clue why she sometimes will do that or open and email she shouldn't, drives me nuts.

Heck, she doesn't even use wifi and I had to get her a router so she had a hardware firewall as I used to get calls every time Norton alerted her there was an attempted access from some IP to her machine. Ugh. I told her to turn off the notifications and she wouldn't so the purchase of the router was money well spent!

So she knows all about this stuff, she knows better, yet still...

If do that when I get old, just turn off my internet access and disconnect my phones.
9:52 am on Oct 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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Never try to tell your mother anything, if the family is big enough get one of her granddaughters or neices to do it. My experience was that she was always convinced that she new better than her "little boy" but would always take advice from my daughters or my cousin.
9:56 am on Oct 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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The next thing I looked at after posting that was an article about scammers on the BBC news site [bbc.com]. It highly relevant so I hope the mods will let it stand.
11:10 am on Oct 4, 2014 (gmt 0)

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From the BBC article:

"I am surprised at the ingenuity of scammers who, perhaps subconsciously, have discovered such principles themselves without scientific studies," says Frank Stajano, a security and privacy researcher at the University of Cambridge. "I can't imagine individual scammers working it all out by themselves, so I wonder what kind of word-of-mouth network they use to learn the tricks of their trade?"

Staggering naivety from a so-called security expert.

Scammers have existed since time immemorial, and have never needed "scientific studies".

I wonder if he would be interested in buying a bridge.

...
10:04 pm on Oct 7, 2014 (gmt 0)

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I'm thinking these guys aren't individuals, I think it's an organized group of some sort as they've been doing this for ages, and they have things for you to download and install, credit card processing, etc.

It's possible it's loners doing it, but it smells like an organized scam to me done by someone with a telemarketing background.
10:15 am on Oct 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

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It's definitely organized, all the calls sound the same and they start off by telling you that their name is something that will be familiar to you like "John" or "David" when from their accent and their obvious lack of expertise in spoken English they are calling from somewhere on the Indian sub continent. I get about one similar call per month, I have two strategies;

If I don't want to waste time I just say "you've made a mistake - I don't have a computer - goodbye" then hang up.

If I feel like an argument I say "You know and I both know that you have no idea what's on my computer. You are a nasty little scammer trying to cheat people who are gullible. You should be ashamed, I have a trace on your line and am reporting you to interpol". The last one called me an f***ing b*****d and then hung up. Great fun and much more satisfying than just asking them to wait and not hanging up.
11:57 am on Oct 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

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My very sharp elderly neighbour had heard about this sort of scammer so when she got one of these calls she was ready for some fun. She listened to his instructions, and kept telling him things like, "I'm not seeing that." "That's not happening for me" and so on ... which were all true because she doesn't own a computer!

The guy finally got mad and accused her of wasting his time!
3:17 pm on Oct 8, 2014 (gmt 0)

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they start off by telling you that their name is something that will be familiar to you like "John" or "David" when from their accent and their obvious lack of expertise in spoken English they are calling from somewhere on the Indian sub continent.

Even legit Indian call centres do that.
9:09 am on Oct 13, 2014 (gmt 0)

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My wife recently got one of those calls and she told him to go 'coitus' himself and hung up.

The scumbag actually called right back and asked 'what about that coitus you offered!" LOL

She was stunned.

If you know it's a bogus incoming call, something that's funny as all hell to do is answer the phone sounding authoritative and bark our something like "Fraud Prevention Hotline, Sargent Anderson speaking, please state the nature of the suspected fraud." - it don't get any funnier than that.