It was late evening last Sunday when my home phone rang. I don’t recognize the long distance number, so I decided to answer the call in case it was something important. The foreign voice that interrupted my evening was Windows Technical Department.–I had a rare opportunity to catch this all too common scam. Oh this was too good, he asked me to go to my computer so he could help me fix my problem, but instead I reached for my IPhone and started the Voice Recording App.
These scammers are rampant in our increasingly Microsoft dependent world, they call unsuspecting computer users and try to frighten and blackmail them into paying for support. They talk you through letting them connect to your PC – under the guise of the Windows label, then upload a Malware program that when unleashed can wreak havoc on your PC at their whim. The ultimate goal of this plot is your Credit Card number used to pay a service fee for removing the “malware” that they just unleashed on your PC.
I asked them if they were calling from Microsoft. He said “No I am with Windows Technical Support.” Windows Tech Support, really, I don’t think so. Fortunately, I did not buy anything he was saying, and when he asked me to hit Windows Key “R”, which brings up the command prompt, I played. When I got to the DOS Prompt he told me to type in the sequence E-V-E-N-T-R-W. In this step he was trying to show me some real windows logs trying to make me believe I have a Virus or Malware. Microsoft Event Viewer is a program used to view the error logs that Windows stores on the PC – they can be mostly benign but to the untrained eye can look problematic. At this point I pressed him to reiterate where he was from and remarked how strange it was that he was calling me at this time and this day. I asked him again what company he worked for and “click” he hung up. I got most of the conversation recorded and I will post a copy here for you to listen to.
You will notice in the recording that he does appear to have a foreign accent, possibly from India. You will also notice that is seems like he is in a call center that is quite noisy. While on the call you can hear in the background other #CyberThieves doing the same thing to other unsuspecting computer owners in the United States. If you get one of these calls don’t let them get remote access to your PC under any circumstances. Press them to give you more details about their job and who they work for – 9 times out of 10 they’ll hang up because you’re no longer an easy mark. They will steal your data, possible destroy your data if you don’t pay them, and finally when they have your payment info they will steal more money that you authorized initially. Keep them out of your PC and keep your antivirus updated and you should be safe.
Written By Mark Richmond, President of Micro Doctor Inc.
November 26th, 2013