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Messing with tech support scammers

     
3:00 pm on Sep 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator mack is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Ok so I have been getting quite a few tech support scammer calls lately. If I have stuff to do I just hang up, but today I had time to mess with them.

Phone rings and an automated message claiming to be from "your ISP" stating my IP address has been compromised and I need to press 1 to be connected to a tech support agent who can address the issue for free.

Guy clearly from overseas introduced himself as Blake and goes over his script about hackers that are accessing my IP and what needs to be done. I act shocked and play along. He gets me to open Google chrome (bear in mind I wasn't even at a computer let alone using it) he first directs me to a website where I can download the remote assistance tool. He says "run it"... I say the only option I have is to save... he reluctantly says ok download it... I then tell him I can't find it.. he needs to explain where my downloads folder is. Then he says to double click it and select run... I need to get him to explain what a double click is... Then I say "Ohhh you mean with the mouse thing".

Then I say it doesn't work. "what do you mean?" it says "File can only be run as root" At this time I thought he may have clicked on to the fact I don't have windows. (still sat out in the garden). "Try again" ok "Gnome has crashed and needs to restart". "what?"

After what felt like ages I started saying I will try and run it from the console. He still didn't seem to click. I eventually said I have another message "Ubuntu cannot open this type of file" There is a silence... "Ohhh I see you are a wise man and use Linux.. I can still help you". He spells out a web address (I visited it later out of curiosity) it was a phishing page designed to look like the login page for BT Internet. I had a bit off fun with his attempt at phonetics then basically told him...
"You are wasting my time and trying to screw me so I don't mind wasting your time and screwing you about"

He kinda laughs and said "I knew it" the tone pretty much turned at that point and the guy did seem to loosen up a bit. Got talking for quite a while and there was one part that got me thinking. He said when he applied for the job, it was advertised as a legit tech support position. He didn't realise he was actually a scammer until a couple of days after he started on the phones. I can believe that. There may even be a few tech support scammers who actually believe they are working for a reputable company...

I just hope the phone call wasn't recorded and glad I wasted his time. If he's on a call with me he isn't messing with someone else. With a bit of luck, the guy on the phone (I even got his real name but won't post it) might get a reach tech job.

Mack.
3:19 pm on Sept 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator not2easy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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You did prevent at least one person, at least for a day, from getting that call. ;)

The tech service scam field seems to be proliferating to the point that Google needs to review new tech support ads: [webmasterworld.com...]
4:04 pm on Sept 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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Well done Mack. I agree, keep them on the phone so that they are not annoying someone else. If I have a few minutes i'll do just that and waste their time.

I wonder how many people really fall for these scams which have been going on for ages. Surely, everyone has heard them before!
5:38 pm on Sept 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Senior Member lucy24 is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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My default behavior is to quietly lay the phone down and go about my business until the phone starts yapping about please-hang-up-and-try-again. (In some areas you may get a loud dial tone instead, which conveys the same information.) Even humans can take a minute or more to realize I'm not there. Robocalls can go on for several minutes, which is several minutes they're not bugging someone else.

If nobody in the history of the universe had ever fallen for a scam, they wouldn't do it.
7:21 pm on Sept 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator engine is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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One of the other things I do is to play an audio recording of a conversation in the background.
10:22 pm on Sept 3, 2018 (gmt 0)

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WebmasterWorld Administrator keyplyr is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

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One of the other things I do is to play an audio recording of a conversation in the background.]
I once recorded a GF snoring, just to verify to her that in fact she *did.*

I later used it in my voice mail response. Funny thing is, it didn't seem to make a difference, ha.
 

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