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Fraud/Scam Alert

Phone scammers call the wrong guy, get mad and trash PC

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Have you ever received a call from someone with a heavy Indian accent from Microsoft saying your computer had errors or viruses? The purpose of these calls is to get an easy $299 (or whatever amount they choose) by scaring you into thinking there’s something really wrong with your computer and that they can fix it for you.

These telephony scams have been going on for many years and scammers keep robbing innocent people sadly because their success ratio is still worth their time and effort. It happens that I got ‘the call’ while minding my own business on a regular work day. I immediately recognized what this was all about and decided to play the game to see how far this would go.

The caller’s number did not appear on my phone, a sign that they were using some Voice over IP (VoIP) or such technology that both completely hides their identity and costs them nothing for long distance calls.

This scam is a well-oiled machine which starts off with the alleged Microsoft representative asking you to turn on your computer to perform some checks for errors. They essentially make you open different applications which aren’t typically known by regular users.

Step 1: scare tactics 

I was instructed to press the “Windows” and “R” as in Robert keys together to get to the Windows Run dialog box. They then made me type a few more keys to open up Window’s Event Viewer:

eventcmd

Figure1: Run dialog and command to open Event Viewer

eventviewer

Figure2: Event Viewer showing typical errors

Conveniently, the event viewer will always show some warning or error which the scammer can leverage to instill fear. “You can see it in your own eyes”, she continued before asking me to count how many I could see. While we could have stopped right there, she was intent on pursuing the diagnostic further.

Next stop was Windows Prefetch files:

prefetch

Figure3: Windows Prefetch files

The interesting thing about this is that she called those files spyware and viruses so we went from my computer having some errors to being infected. Yet another lie, as those Prefetch files are simply used by Windows to launch programs faster.

Bad things come in threes, as I was now instructed to open the “System Configuration Utility”, also known as msconfig.

msconfig

Figure4: Msconfig showing services

She made me focus on the status of each Service and asked me once again to count how many “stopped” ones there were. When I gave her a ball park number, she retorted: “You are just guessing, I want you to count”.

At this point I was ready to beg her to stop and she seemed to think it was enough convincing, that I was ripe enough to move on to the next step. She kindly asked me if I wanted to remediate all these problems and I accepted it. Other than the blatant lies, she had not been too pushy and to her credit gave me the option to decline assistance.

Step 2: the “intervention”

The next part consisted of getting a remote person to fix these “issues” for me. To give them access to my computer I had to download a program called TeamViewer which is totally legitimate software used by many companies and individuals to remote into somebody else’s machine.

teamviewer

Figure5: TeamViewer, a free program to remote into computers

At this point she asked me for the ID and password before telling me she was going to transfer me to her supervisor. I believe this next person’s role is to process victims and to ensure payment goes through. The man on the phone also had a thick Indian accent and sounded quite professional. He told me a remote technician (which quite likely was also him) was ready to get working on my computer but he could not proceed until I actually instructed him to. I think this might be another technique used to cover themselves, as in I willingly asked them to help me. I felt like asking if I should say “open sesame” but instead I refrained from a cheap joke at their expense and asked what the secret word was. He told me to type “renew my warranty” to the technician.

warranty

Figure6: Once the magic words have been spoken, it all goes downhill..

‘Sean the technician’ was more than eager to help me but the first thing he did was to open my browser to PayPal’s website so that I could pay the required lifetime fee of $299.

chat2

Figure7: A happy scammer ready to go to work

paypal

Figure8: they want real money!

At that point, I decided to change my mind and no longer wanted to pay so much money for such a ridiculous scam. So instead I entered a wrong Credit Card number to buy some time.

CC

Figure9: (Un)fortunately, I can’t seem to type my Credit Card number right

After a few other failed attempts I could see the guys were starting to lose patience and then, out of the blue, something very bad happened. Without saying a word, the “remote Microsoft Technician” minimized the PayPal window and took on a mission to destroy all my personal files:

delete

Figure10: Scammer crosses the line big time, deletes all my pictures, documents, music

I could not believe my eyes. He went on exploring directories in search of other things to remove as fast as he could. When he could not find anything else worthy he could delete, he typed his last message:

bye

Figure11: They seem upset that I wasted their time

Before completely disappearing he did do one last thing, which was to remove the driver for my ethernet card. This achieved the expected result of completing cutting out my Internet connection.

deviceremove

Figure12: Cutting me off, the hard way

As this happened, I was still on the line with the “supervisor”, one of the scammer’s identity, to whom I recounted what had just happened. I’m not sure whether it was the language barrier between I (a French man) and him but he solemnly said: “if the technician says something, it must be right. The technician is always correct”. Shortly after, the line was dead.

Unlike many other people (who turn the tables against the scammers by wasting their time) I had entered this phone call with a nice and open state of mind. I wasn’t going to play tricks on them or make fun of them. I just wanted to see for myself how the scam was conducted and learn more about it.

Having seen my fair share of deceptive marketing practices and software over the years, I can say a personal phone call is probably one of the cruelest tricks to play on an innocent victim. It is far too easy to fool someone by showing them “errors” and label them as extremely severe. With a sales clerk in a computer store one day trying to teach me what viruses were and why I so badly needed to purchase an antivirus, this experience ranks high up there in the “you don’t have a clue who you are talking to” category.

While they may legally be walking a fine line with all their sweet talking and magic passphrases, they crossed that line when they deleted documents on my computer and sabotaged the Internet connection. This is destruction of private property plain and simple. At the end of the day, I haven’t really lost any documents since this was a Virtual Machine and not an actual computer. One thing I lost though, was my faith in mankind, not that there was much of it left anyway.

Since these scammers use all sorts of tricks and fake identities, one of the best ways to ruin their business is simply to make it unworthy by spreading the message around so people don’t fall for these scams. Easier said than done because it is touching on things like human nature, social engineering, fear and scare tactics: basically things that have worked for thousands of years. But even if we can make a dent in their profits, let’s do it!

I’ve recorded this scam and uploaded it to YouTube. A minute into the call, I fired up a VM, put the phone on speaker mode and captured everything that was happening.

Update (10/15/13):

Tech Support Scams – Help & Resource Page

We have created a resource page with all the information you need about tech support scams.

We document the most common tricks fake Microsoft technicians will use against you and how to protect yourself if you have received such a call.

For those interested in fighting back, we also link to multiple resources where you can report the information you may have obtained from the scammers (i.e TeamViewer ID, phone numbers, etc).

Thanks for reading and helping us in the fight against fraud!


180 thoughts on “Phone scammers call the wrong guy, get mad and trash PC

  1. cerebralfire says on May 5, 2013 at 1:08 am :

    This happened to me too, they got nowhere. I told them that I have just reformatted the drive & that there was no way there could be any issues with it. I remember telling them something & the woman couldn’t understand what I was saying, it was then that I heard a clearly distinctive male Australian voice tell her what I said, he was obviously listening in on the progress. Some people have no morals, oh well, I guess the rule of thumb is,stay sharp, & don’t let anyone remote access your PC unless your 100% sure that the user is legit.

  2. Jordan Trudgett says on May 23, 2013 at 11:22 pm :

    I laughed out loud at 23:01, C:\honeypot

  3. Iftikhar Rana says on June 17, 2013 at 4:43 am :

    The places are mere money factories, pure and simple.

  4. gabby says on June 25, 2013 at 6:55 am :

    Thank you so much for making this video available!! I almost got scammed by these people, but disconnected my pc from my wifi the second they insisted on me paying them a fee with a credit card. I have posted this on fb and have also asked others to post and share this scam. Thank you once again Pieter for taking the time to upload this for other unsuspecting potential victims. These crooks are parasites and need to be exterminated!

  5. Jack Smith says on June 30, 2013 at 9:22 pm :

    There is one more company PAYBYPASS.COM
    which is also involved in this kind of SCAM.

    They will provide merchant accounts to You to charge Your customers and after that they will not pay you.

    Beware of these SCAMMERS and FRAUDSTERS

  6. Sonick NineZeronine says on July 2, 2013 at 4:27 pm :

    I just received the same call from “windows technical department”. lol
    So i led him on for awhile, then told him that the commands weren’t working on my linux machine. He then said “ok you can then the f*** off” and hung up.
    LOL

    I then the f*** off.

  7. Christopher Hedigan says on July 11, 2013 at 2:12 pm :

    Just got a call from a “technical support team associate” with a very heavy Indian accent claiming to be from Microsoft and calling to inform me of a “new bug” they needed to help me clear that would effect my internet. Told him that there was positively nothing wrong with my comp as I just had it checked and tuned up at Staples (which of course is complete BS ) What clued me into this being a scam is that he called my cell and the number on the caller id showed as 900-158. He kept on trying to prompt me to turn on my comp and I told him he is scamming the wrong guy. This went on for about two minutes before he finally said “go f*** yourself” and hung up.

    Final score:

    Scammer 0
    Me 1

  8. Emma Hallett says on July 11, 2013 at 9:39 pm :

    I’ve had two of these calls today grrr. I just tell them I don’t have a computer or internet access and they hang up pretty quick.

  9. sunil singh says on July 22, 2013 at 5:19 pm :

    yee!! i also get one call from windows service center..they asked me to buy one bear and a pack of fried chicken or they will get viruses in my pc…
    ooo my god

  10. kstrouzas says on July 25, 2013 at 12:00 pm :

    I got a similar call yesterday (7/24/13) from “John” a man with heavy Indian accent, who assured me he was with the Microsoft Technical Team and stated that my computer was corrupted by online infections and needed immediate attention. Although reluctant, I bought his tale because an hour or so earlier I had received a message on my laptop screen that the hard drive was failing and that I should back it up immediately and seek help to repair or replace the drive. I was in the middle of running Windows Backup when the call came in.

    I don’t know if this was a coincidence, or if “John” had managed to send a virus to my pc that resulted in the failing drive warning. After he went through the usual routine to convince me, he turn me over to the “Engineer”, who was nothing more than a paddler. He had an oriental accent (possibly Chinese) and stated his name was “Gary Walters”. He asked me to pay $125 for a one year subscription or $500 for lifetime service…

    By then I was sure this was a scam and I asked him for the name of his company, to which he replied “CallYourTech”. He attempted to pull it up (I had already given him remote control of my pc), but instead of “CallYourTech” he loaded “PCHelpAndSuppot”. When I brought it to his attention he said this was the “mother” company and that “CallYourTech” was a subsidiary. To buy time I asked “Gary” if I could get back with him the following day (today) since I needed time to think about it, mainly because I was contemplating buying a new computer… He reluctantly gave me his phone number (216) 260-xxxx after I assured him that I would indeed call him. I wander if I am not exposing myself to more trouble (virus, hacking, etc.) if I were to follow through with the call. In all likelihood he will call me back himself, unless if he reads this post…

  11. Angela Williams-Speulda says on July 25, 2013 at 6:24 pm :

    I have received three calls, they never give up – even went so far as to finally connect me with the top manager -”Neil Paul”, who advised he was somewhat famous around there.
    I think when they told me they just wanted to take care of their senior citizens they ****** me off…I will share this with everyone I know!

  12. deman61881 says on July 29, 2013 at 12:45 pm :

    Just got a call with the same scam this afternoon. They, unfortunately, found me already in a stressed mood. The Indian accented caller (who said his name was Fred), told me that my computer was unable to connect to windows update but, never fear, he could help. I played along for a minute. He had me press windows plus r and asked me what I saw. (Remember, I was stressed…) He asked me what I saw and I gasped and said that I only see two letters – F and U. He questioned me, thinking he had not heard me right. I repeated, “I only see two letters, F and U.” Then I went on a rant about scamming senior citizens and needing a real job. He then told me that, “I’m coming for you.” After that, he hung up.

    Granted, I should have just hung up, but I was in a bad mood and he just made it worse. Interesting that he would threaten me, though. Seems scammers are getting their feelings hurt lately.

  13. jocar says on July 29, 2013 at 7:22 pm :

    There seems to be a disturbing new trend when I receive these calls. The caller id says “Private Caller”, so I answer because some people I know come up like that on caller id. When you don’t comply with their directions, they curse at you and hang up. The guy I got tonight was “James” (or so I think, it was hard to understand him). He kept saying “turn on your computer, okay?” When I refused, he yelled “then you will lose your computer.” When I said I didn’t think so, he yelled “f— y–” and hung up.

  14. 2012cocoa says on August 4, 2013 at 5:33 pm :

    I have had this call 4 times. Three times, I hung up, the 4th time decided to play along. He asked me to look for a windows logo on my monitor, bottom left. I didn’t see the logo. He asked me to look at the top. Again, I said I did not see it. He asked me to use my keyboard, press the windows logo, and R at the same time. I said it did nothing. He was getting frustrated with me. He said I had to do it at the same time. Again, it did nothing, I told him. He then said I should click on the stack menu. I explained I had no idea what that was. He then asked if I saw anything on my monitor. Yes, I said I did. He asked what I saw – In the upper left corner, I see a cute little apple icon. He hung up on me.

  15. Kelly Sue says on August 5, 2013 at 4:34 pm :

    HA! This just happened to me. Well, not this exactly. I gave them the benefit of the doubt and stayed on the phone a while to see where it was gonna go. When he directed me to the teamviewer website, I bailed. They tried calling back about 6 times in the next 2 minutes and I disconnected each time. Very persistent, very annoying.

  16. Jerome Segura says on August 5, 2013 at 11:18 pm :

    Nicely done 2012cocoa! Hopefully they won’t call you back after that.

  17. rani says on August 7, 2013 at 2:39 pm :

    I have caller ID, and have been getting many calls from int’ national, which I never answer, as it’s all scammers! But this time I decided to! Scarily they knew my name and address, said there calling from Microsoft. I asked which country, he had a heavy accent, which he tried to make sound like American! LOL!
    He told me I had some virus and he was calling to help me. I told him I knew it’s a scam and doesn’t he feel bad for trying to scam people, and how does he sleep at night, he told me to Shut up, I told him to shut him, and I put the phone down. He called back again, told me to shut up, and I put the phone down on him. I then decided to play along with their game, so when he called back, I said politely that I want to speak to the Manager, and he put me thru to someone else, who said they were a supervisor, I said to him that his employee had been rude to me, for which he apologised, I asked where they were calling from and he said his calling from UK, (funny he had a odd american accent too), I prompted him more, and he said his calling from Midland House, Luton, LU1 2DW, UK. They’ve obviously done their homework, I said before I continue any more with the call I will check this address out and he said he’ll call me back once I had checked it out. The address to my surprise does exist…which might convince some people but I knew it was a scam address. I said to him, can I ask you one question, he said yes, so I asked what religion are you, he said after hesitating Muslim, I said you know it’s Eid tomorrow and it’s Ramadan, so during this time, you have to be a good muslim, not lie, be of good thoughts, so if your are lying to me, then that is not good, he said no I’m not lying to you. And I just thought, well I tried but these people have no morals. You can’t make them feel bad as they don’t care they are scamming people. He tried calling back twice, but I really could not be bothered to take the scamming call again! this people are vile.

  18. ozcarfish says on August 20, 2013 at 11:38 am :

    Just got called twice this morning and let him go through his pitch. While he claimed that they received error messages from my computer he would not tell me what they were. He went through the same exact process as described above and when he came to have me type in the “www.teamviewer.com” I countered with telling him I am with the police department and have been monitoring their activities, have there phone number, and that they have to cease and desist in their illegal activities and that they will be prosecuted and fined for what they are doing. He replied that there is nothing illegal that he is doing and if I know their phone number to tell him what it is. I repeated that he needs to stop this deceptive calling. He then proceeded to have me once again look at all the errors in my computer and persisted that I type in “www.teamviewer.com” !!! I just kept repeating that what he is doing is illegal and he cursed at me a few times and then finnaly hung up.
    - Does anyone know how to get the info on these guys or how to pull a sting on them?

  19. surion says on August 23, 2013 at 5:07 am :

    I just got a call. The mans name was supposed to be Michael Kennedy, he was calling from the number 0016306539600. from California. The man had lost of people making loud noices in the background. He wanted me to delete the files. if anyone got a clue who or what to report this to, please do take the number i sent and call the police or something. as i confronted him. telling him he tried to scam me he said, You know what? your PC aint worth a ****.

    What is their goal to acheive from this i wonder..

  20. robertaandterry says on August 27, 2013 at 9:39 pm :

    So the windows scam just called my house line. I told them to stop calling me and that I knew they were a scam. The guy straight up tells me to **** off. I hang up on him. My phone rings 5 minutes later, and it’s a new guy, I tell him right away to stop calling me or I will call the cops and he says, *** you *****, I’m your daddy and I just finished *******. Ummm. WHAT?!? I seriously laughed, told him good luck with that, and that my mom called and told me she couldn’t find his *******. They haven’t called back yet. *******…

  21. Michael Stirling says on August 28, 2013 at 5:33 am :

    I just had them on the phone this morning , telling me they were calling from Microsoft Support and saying that my computer had reported viruses to them. I was a little suspicious and questioned them on how they could link my computer to the phone number they were calling me on , to which the man just said something about showing me the errors.
    At this point I decided the call was some sort of scam and told him that I would not carry on speaking to him, so he tells me that I should stop wasting his time – very rich from someone who just cold called me. I’m glad I found this site to confirm my suspicions

  22. P M says on August 28, 2013 at 5:45 pm :

    I just got a call from these guys.
    It was hilarious.
    I was able to keep them on the phone for 45 minutes while I put the phone down to “go to the other room where the computer was”.
    The 3rd operator was losing patience with me after 15 minutes, but he kept trying, and I kept getting his instructions wrong and would come back on the phone to get the instructions again, writing everything down, again!
    They thought I was an idiot.
    After 45 minutes, and he was shouting, I said “I have to go now. I’m a doctor and they need me at the hospital”.
    He screamed, “You’re a doctor????” I couldn’t understand the rest of his rantings.
    I hung up letting him hear me laughing.

  23. Catherine Casey-Alleyne says on September 3, 2013 at 11:50 am :

    Last post is a riot!! I am still laughing. I received a call earlier today from a “private number” and was told that they were calling from Windows because they received reports from my computer that there were errors that needed to be fixed now or else I would lose my computer later. I spent the first five minutes asking him to identify himself and his company. Finally, after a lot of spelling, I learned that his company was A1 Techsquad and #646-915-1375 (and someone actually answered the phone). Yes, he did have a heavy Indian accent. My suspicion began immediately after I saw a “private number” calling. No proper business should be calling anyone from a private number. Then he tried to get me to open up my computer but I bluntly told him that wasn’t going to happen and I wasn’t interested in fixing anything on my computer. My thought was that you shouldn’t know anything that was happening on my computer.

  24. Jerome Segura says on September 3, 2013 at 12:32 pm :

    Good for you Catherine for standing your ground and recognizing this scam :-)

  25. Paolo Bernasconi says on September 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm :

    Got such phone just like 15 minutes ago.
    I was not aware such scams were happening … I mean it’s so easy to expose them.
    1) if Microsoft was calling, they would upfront identify themselves specifically, instead the caller just say his same and asks for the person responsible for the home computer. That is a total lack of professionalism, if this was Microsoft or anyone on a mission for Microsoft, they would volunteer their identification without waiting to be asked. Instead, I had to ask and all the say is a company name, but do not volunteer any information that would identify them specifically. A real Microsoft related business would.
    2) Microsoft calling you to tell you that your computer has a virus??? Microsoft has 200M customers … how many phone calls would they have to do each day????? Are you kidding me?

    3) Ask this simple question, I always do to any business which calls my home phone number. “How did you get my phone number? ”
    Think about it… how do they know what phone number to call ? If this was true, it would mean Microsoft has a record with the phone number of where you use your computer. Sorry, I never gave my home phone number to Microsoft .. I rarely register software, but if I do, I use my cell phone, certainly not the home phone, because I don’t want businesses to call my home phone, which I can’t turn off, the cell phone .. I just disconnect it after 8pm, My friends know that, they call home

    Question…. is there some software that could be used to track them down?
    anyway .. I told the guy not to tell rubbish and to never ever dare calling my phone number again. I was close to go into my closet and take the Paperik costume out to go on a punitive mission … then I thought I don’t have tomahack missiles… I wish I did!

  26. Jerome Segura says on September 6, 2013 at 3:02 pm :

    Hi Paolo, you make some good points and thanks for sharing.

    Regarding your question, it depends on the software they use to remote into your PC. In some cases you may be able to go into the logs for that program and identify an IP address, but that’s kind of a hit and miss.

    Otherwise, you can do a reverse social-engineering and have them visit a webpage that will log their IP address and other info.

  27. Janet Burdick says on September 6, 2013 at 6:01 pm :

    I am getting so sick and tired of these people!!! Nothing stops them – if you tell them that you know it’s a scam, they get rude, swear and call me a liar (for what, I’m not sure?). Their phone number comes across as “Unavailable” so I can’t track them back. I am involved in finding my missing grandson so I need to answer every call so this is extremely frustrating for me. The only thing that seems to stop them (albeit only for a week or so) is a really loud whistle blown long and hard. One more deaf scammer!

  28. Georgeann Kepchar says on September 6, 2013 at 6:31 pm :

    I was eating dinner, so I just called the guy an a-hole and said my Windows computer couldn’t be generating spam or whatever because I had a Mac. If they call again, I will try to waste their time by going through Windows instructions which of course won’t work.

  29. Not You says on September 7, 2013 at 7:40 am :

    I live in a small community and they have hit here lately.Some have taken the bait and learned the hard way. So far we have been able to recover the money lost and saved the computers.If these types of scams are world wide there should be measures to take to stop these guys.Somebody thinks this kind of scams is not high enough on the list to seek out and stop. Thats sad. I like the idea of blasting them with an air horn or whistle. I myself lowered all morals and told them I hoped that the us marshall service would kick thier doors down and shoot them in the head.Didn’t fix anything but I felt better for a moment. LOL

  30. meesha727 says on September 12, 2013 at 8:07 am :

    Unfortunately I did get scammed. My comp was having problems at the time.I only lost 100.00.To this day I keep getting their calls. The last one that called was female which was different as it always was a man. I would’n’t do what she wanted and was getting mad.. I told her she was scamming and to F**** off. She started to yell and swear at me. Lastly I told her to go F*** a camel and hung up. Well 5 mins later her “supervisor” called me and wanted to know if the was my usual way to speak to people. So he got choice words tossed at him. I have never been called by a person, but around the same time of they use to call, I now get a call dead air. So I never answer phone around that time. They finaly quit.My brother also gets these calls. He still stone age, no comp. He told him they were loading the plane right now, as he works for the army. They were going to capture him, cut head of and poop down neck hole. Guy hung up!!

  31. ballclan5 says on September 13, 2013 at 12:31 pm :

    So I keep getting calls from “windows” tech reps who want me to turn on my computer and let them fix it for me..LOL so today…instead of hanging up as usual….I tell them I don’t have a computer and the “Indian accented” man says “F**K you! and I say “What?!!” and he said it again and I said why do you say that, and he says because he asked to speak to the main computer user in my house and I said that I was .. so I say I just use computers at school..and he says – you’re lying and I say…I always lie to the Devil! and He hung up on me!!!! YAYAYAYAY HAHAHAHAH!

  32. ballclan5 says on September 13, 2013 at 12:33 pm :

    If you want to report it the FBI has an online reporting site for scams
    http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx

  33. c02Pirate . says on September 16, 2013 at 2:40 am :

    I love these guys.
    Just had one call here – I wasted his time with stupid questions and keyboard fumbling for about 40mins – then when at the crucial point of remoteing into my machine – I told him that I was just playing games with him and told him he was a low life scumbag who prayed on the innocent and computer illiterate. His reply was great “f*** off” – “sorry I didn’t catch that ” is said – again he repeated “f*** off” at which point I just bust out laughing and he hung up.

    Can’t wait for the next call…. this is so much fun… I loved it…

  34. thedude64 says on September 17, 2013 at 4:53 pm :

    The first time this happened to me, I was rather dismayed. Once I figured out what was going on, I began to have fun with it. I would invent a new anti-scam to get back at them each time. It always helped to play dumb at first, then gradually get smarter as the call progressed. They usually get extremely irate once they figure out that they have been played. I am not surprised and delighted to read that others are yanking their chains as well. I truly hope they continue to call as I find it endlessly entertaining.

  35. annjardin says on September 18, 2013 at 9:32 am :

    This very thing happened to me last night. My home computer has not been on for weeks. I just use the one at work. So this Indian fellow calls at 9pm and I can see from the caller id on the TV (I have time warner digital phone) that it is international. They had called the night before and I usually never answer my phone but this time I decided to find out who it was. And this young Indian sounding guy is urging me to look at my computer because he is from Microsoft and they keep getting messages that something is wrong with my computer. And he sounds like this is very urgent and that I am in jeopardy. So I say to him “What are you talking about?, My computer has not been on in weeks.” and he says, “But we’ve been getting messages.” That’s when I realized it was probably a scam and so I say to him “Go to ****. You are a &%^*$@!.” and I hung up. Then a few minutes later another call from a different but similar number. I pick up and it is dead silence. I would love to be able to report them but it seems to me that they cover their tracks very well. And our own police department probably cannot do anything. So all I can say is that I am glad by bs antennae were up last night and I did not fall for their tricks. The guy on the phone sounded so amateurish and stupid that I doubt he ever gets any takers but I’m sure they have others that sound professional and do get pretty far.

  36. Dana Fox says on September 19, 2013 at 10:21 pm :

    They just called my house for the umpteenth millionth time. I was sick of it and asked to speak to a supervisor. He then proceeded to ignore the scripted parts of his usual spiel and make sexually derogatory and harassing comments. I tried call trace but that, of course, availed me nothing. Is there a way to track these jerks? Is there anything that can be done?

  37. gable says on September 20, 2013 at 7:40 am :

    The did the same to me, i removed the network cable from the Laptop Computer and continued with phone try to connect back

  38. Norman Cruz says on September 20, 2013 at 9:26 am :

    I just now got this call from them and when they said something about paying a fee to reactivate my Windows license, I became immediately suspicious and declined. Though I was suspicious the moment the person on the other end started talking, so I kept going out of curiosity. Silly scammers, tricks are for kids! LOL :P

  39. Stacey Coil says on September 23, 2013 at 3:46 pm :

    Michael, with a heavy Indian accent called me tonight. Provided me with his phone number 732-579-6288 to call him back. Unfortunately when I told him it was a business computer and I would let our IT department know and have them call him he said that business computers were not eligible for his service. LOL.

  40. highbeam2004 says on September 24, 2013 at 11:42 am :

    Last Saturday I received a call from “Brian”, with the stereotypical Indian accent. He informed me my computer was “infected”, but that he could help me. I followed his instructions as to which keys to push. Responded in the affirmative when he asked if I saw a certain number or box. I feigned concern over losing my machine or suffering irreparable damage. I guess he finally knew I was on to him when he asked what I saw on my screen and I told him “a baseball game”. I then informed him that I was certain my computer was not infected and that he was running a fraud because I don’t own a computer. He denied any fraudulent intentions. I asked him what part of Pakistan, India, or Bangladesh he was calling from and he told me he was with “Techsolvers” of Albany, New York. He didn’t cuss me, but simply hung up. These folks are fun, if you have the time to waste with them. But I could see how someone might be fooled into giving them money or access to sensitive personal information. This guy did have my correct street address, but you can get that anywhere. Reminded me of the credit card scammer who threatened to cancel all my cards when I told him he was a crook. I said, “You won’t even tell me which cards you are trying to lower my interest rates on, so you don’t know, and can’t cancel (S-word)”. I used to hang up on telemarketers, now I try to make them hang up on me.

  41. bt3819 says on September 30, 2013 at 9:23 pm :

    They haven’t quit … and probably won’t I suppose. I got the call at supper time tonight, same basics as written above about being from Windows. I kept them at bay for 35 minutes or so pretending my computer was super slow and was still downloading, etc. After a bit the “technician” gave up on trying to get me into http://www.teamviewer.com and directed me to http://www.showmypc.com where it wouldn’t load either while I whined away how slow my computer had become and cried about how worried I was and hoping they could help me. I filled in some of the waiting time by asking where he was calling from (Washington), what the weather was like (cloudy), his name (Ron Wilson), and his employee number (0013). If you believe this info I have a nice international bridge between Canada and the United States that I’m willing to sell at a reasonable price. I asked if he knew where I was and he said Canada — Ontario, and then added something about a lot of snow … well, maybe in a couple of months. I don’t know how much longer I could have kept it going but my time was running out so I did the usual “Police will like the tape of this” and the call ended.
    One thing to keep in mind: it’s not just the letting them scam you out of some money for a service that’s not needed; it’s not just that they might wipe some files. If you let them have access to your computer they can add files and programs like keyboard scanners which can then give them access to bank passwords, etc etc etc.
    Beware. Beware. Beware

  42. Julie Macintoe says on October 1, 2013 at 10:15 pm :

    I had a call like that once from an Indian guy saying he was ringing from “the technical maintenance department of your computer”. I told him I knew it was a scam and that I’d be contacting the police and hung up on him.

    A friend received a call like that from a woman saying that he had “viruses on your computer”. He asked how she knew and she said she could see it over the Internet. He told her it wasn’t connected to the Internet and wasn’t even turned on. She hung up on him.

  43. Carl Goss says on October 3, 2013 at 1:18 pm :

    I got one of those calls about a week ago. Mild Indian accent, Anglicized name. He started the same script. From “Windows”. Trying to tell me about the messages that his phony “server” was getting, showing that there are errors on my computer. I knew it was a scam so I just told him, no, my computer was working just fine and that I run anti-malware, anti-spyware and McAfee anti-virus programs often and I keep them up to date. Then he just hung up. What I don’t understand is how these guys can expect to be successful scamming, when they come across with a strong accent and an Anglicized name. Mine was Robert Johnson. The women are worse when it comes to understanding what they are saying. I heard one once, that literally sounded like she was singing in a Bollywood musical!

    Los Angeles California

  44. Jesse Peterson says on October 14, 2013 at 5:15 pm :

    A dothead using a Chinese name and claiming to be calling from Austin, Tx tried to pull this scam on me tonight. I played along for 15 minutes, then trashed him and all his relatives and hung up. Believe it or not, he called me back, asking me why I didn’t trust his kind.

  45. John McDonald says on October 15, 2013 at 3:07 pm :

    John McDonald on Oct 15, 2013

    I just had the scam call referenced above. Same scenario except I didn’t trust the initial caller so I asked for a phone number and website. Checked the website and it doesn’t exist (www.webstoreshop.com) Also disconnected my system from the internet before I did the “eventviewer” the first caller walked me through. What made me suspicious was I have all my computers notifying me before an error message is sent to MS. I authorize the message so they should not have any error records. The caller claimed there is an automatic message sent. Then I asked what the error message stated and he couldn’t give me any info. I disconnected from the internet after that to prevent remote access (Wasn’t sure I turned off remote access in windows).
    Would like to figure a way to squelch callers like this.
    Thanks for your blog on this, saved me time, frustration and provided some reassurance about being suspicious.
    Thanks

  46. brooke684 says on October 25, 2013 at 10:05 pm :

    Wow, some of these stories … too funny; to the author of the article, thank you for diagramming and outlining your experience! Extremely informative and very helpful! I’ve been receiving these calls for the past few days but didn’t answer. I wanted to do some “research” on the suspicious numbers first. Glad I did too. From what I read, it seemed like an easy way to get a good laugh, if nothing else.

    Haven’t really “messed with” anyone for a long time, but when I learned what this was, I decided to “conduct an experiment.” Also, I’m almost positive that the mother of one of my friends had fallen for this same scam about a year ago. Certainly sounds the same.

    She paid $300.00 at first, then *more* money, and even more. Had recurring issues with her computer but was unable to contact them. Eventually, she understood what they were and has been unsuccessful in blocking them. They just call from other numbers. This, to me, is *so* sad, OMGosh, such a travesty!

    I, too, have lost most of my faith humanity; it seems like everyone’s out to make a quick, unethical buck these days *sigh* and would *so love* to “shut these guys down!” Anyway, to finish my comment (sorry so long) “they” called again today (on October 25, 2013). This time, I answered.

    It was “Steve from Windows” (I think that’s what he said) calling to inform me that “the malware and errors in my computer” were causing it to run slowly and that he, a software engineer (something like that) had the skills to repair my “corrupted machine”.

    This was it, an opportunity for something, and in a meek, little voice, I expressed fear to him, a what-should-I-do tone, and an attitude of total and complete trust. Wanted to see if “Steve” had any scruples and waited to see if he would continue.

    Would he feel bad or say, ‘Never mind’? Didn’t wonder for long. Nope! He just directed me to go to my computer, press my Windows Key and the letter “R” at the same time, blah, blah, blah, … Long story short, while I wasted his time, had him call back several times due to Reasons A, B, and C. until it just got to be too late.

    I wonder if he’ll call back tomorrow?

    Peace,
    B.

  47. mattyg says on November 1, 2013 at 5:53 am :

    I am not a hater as my father immigrated from ITALY as a teenager. But a large portion of these scams as well as sim of our unemployment issues could potentially be solved by keeping 100% of the tech support and assistance programs for apple, dell, Microsoft, etc…in the US. Yes people in the USA come from all races, ethnicities and such but at least knowing they are based in the US you could pick a scam a lot easier the second they call from overseas by knowing the support comes form the US and you could just hang up at that point. India, China, Pakistan, etc where these scams come from, in addition to home grown and other scams, are hard to stop. They can shut one down tomorrow and five more will start. These guys are the PhDs of their field and they scramble IP addresses, reroute and falsifying their locations and hide under a veil of anonymity not possible a decade ago. You can’t stop them, track them or even prosecute them as they don’t abide by our ethics, laws or cultural integrity. The most you can do, as I’ve seen other posts, is educate as many people as you can on how to turn off the faucet and not get pulled down the drain. It may start with 300$ but it can end up costing your credit history bank information and more. Once they get into your stuff it can take you years to recover, and this is assuming the damage doesn’t financially put you back into the fricken Stone Age. I’d love to catch em though. Despite knowing its a scam and hanging up, it’d be nice to get back at them for ruining my Sunday morning!!!

  48. nancyj says on November 7, 2013 at 11:09 am :

    This youtube video is a must:

  49. nancyj says on November 7, 2013 at 11:16 am :

    Warning: the above video may be considered inappropriate.

  50. Jeanne Powell Ogden says on November 8, 2013 at 9:29 pm :

    These guys are unbelievable. They called me a month ago and as soon as they asked me to turn on my computer I hung up. I only wish I’d warned my mom & Dad. Senior citizens and not computer savvy, these hucksters told my mom her computer was infecting all the computers in the neighborhood and if she didn’t give them access to clean it immediately they would shut it down and she might lose everything on it. My mom gave them $500 before calling me to ask what I thought. i told her to unplug it and disconnect it from the internet til I got there to help her fix it and to call her bank and stop payment on her credit card. They called her back and said they were very concerned that her computer was not working. She said it was struck by lightning. They said, “It’s not working at all?” She said, “It’s smoking,” and hung up. Then they called her back SIX times! Its horrible what they do to older people. I wouldn’t play around with these people, they’re unhinged. Good luck all. Play nice in the sandbox:)

  51. Jessica Riffle says on November 9, 2013 at 3:57 pm :

    Literally just got a call from a 000000000 phone number, and as soon as I said hello…because you know it’s an odd number and I have to answer it…the guy in a thick accent started on about my computer and viruses…lol…I yelled at him and think I scared him..I’m awesome like that….but it happened once before, and I ALMOST fell for it. I asked them which computer, as i have a couple that I use..hahaha…. and they got all flustered and put me on with the “supervisor” and was trying to do the same thing….hahahaha….I yelled at him “which f*#king computer?!” and they hung up on me. Not very lady like but they were making me mad. Thank you for your help on breaking down what they would have had me do. I’m thankful for your page! :)

  52. papakid says on November 11, 2013 at 9:39 pm :

    Bit of a new twist. When they tried to get me to go to event viewer I refused and kept telling them there was nothing wrong with my computer, they kept arguing with me–like a small child: “yes there is”–then told me my antivirus wasn’t working correctly. I asked them which anitvirus I was running and they said it doesn’t matter. I wasn’t in the mood, nor did I have the time to have any fun with these people, so as I was hanging up on him I heard him say he would connect me to his supervisor–as if that was proof. But as soon as I put the phone down on its cradle, it rang again. The person playing the part of the supervisor asked, “How can I help you?” I told him I didn’t need any help and hung up again. I think next time, now that I know the details of how their game works, when they tell me my antivirus isn’t working correctly, I’ll tell them, oh, that’s because I’m running a botnet central control on that computer, so I can’t have a working antivirus on there. And that’s why I didn’t want him to see my event viewer–and if you really want to help me, let me put your computer on my botnet. But I’ll need your credit card number first. …

  53. Jerome Segura says on November 11, 2013 at 10:42 pm :

    Thanks Jessica for the kind words!

  54. Jerome Segura says on November 11, 2013 at 10:44 pm :

    Thanks for sharing your story brooke684!

  55. Joanna Darren says on November 16, 2013 at 2:57 pm :

    I received yesterday call from”Christina” with a heavy Indian accent. She asked if I have a computer, and that my profile is infected. I asked where she is from, and she told from Ifix technical support. She insisted that I go to my computer, and she tells me how to fix it. Well, I do not trust menkind, and told her that I have to leave home, and to give me her phone number, and I’ll call her back. She did not do it, but asked me when she can call me again. So, she is going to call me on Monday. In the meantime, even though I was very suspicious about her good intention, and that she was truthful, I went on microsoft page, downloaded safety scanner, and scanned my computer. Even though I have Norton antivirus, but my computer was slowly lately, and I wanted make sure. I also wanted find something on internet about what happend to me. I’m very glad I found this information, extremely informative. How lucky I was…brrrr.
    When “Christina” calls me on Monday, I plan to tell her, that my phone line is hooked with fbi, and they listen to her, and will talk to her about her fixing computers. Thank you for this information.

  56. clubd20 says on November 16, 2013 at 3:58 pm :

    I just had a phone call from someone with an Indian accent from Microsoft saying my computer is giving them hundreds of errors. The call was from Toronto and went through th same steps as they did with you, I did some playing myself but I did not go as far as you did. These guys are idiots.

  57. Andrew DeKiwi says on November 19, 2013 at 9:58 pm :

    Same scam, same details more or less as at 20/11/13 in New Zealand. Could only manage to keep them on the phone for about 20 minutes before they cottoned on. Sure hope they call again soon :)

  58. John Kennedy says on November 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm :

    Three calls in the past 4 days…

    Same routine… your PC is sending error messages…..

    One of my more polite replies is “I would not give two f***s if my PC was bombing India, never mind sending error messages”

  59. Default UserID says on November 25, 2013 at 8:54 am :

    I’m helping a friend right now who is being scammed by people saying they are doing Windows support. They are saying they are from a company called VTech Help: http://www.vtechelp.com/

    I don’t know yet what remote access software they used to control his PC and show him the so called error messages.

  60. Jerome Segura says on November 25, 2013 at 8:57 am :

    Thanks for the info, we will check this out.

  61. Mike Jukes says on November 27, 2013 at 10:11 am :

    I work in a law firm and habeeb and his Bangladeshi brothers call me once a week. First time they called they got angry with me for asking over and over “which computer are you talking about I have multiple computers here” and hung up the phone. Now they call back and always with a different name and keep insisting its my “Home” computer that is infected and showing signs of hacking activity….lets remember I work in a Law Firm with 10+ networked computers…pick one…and still poor hageey cant tell me which on the 10+ computers is the infected one..though I do forget to mention to them I run on Linux …so I find it absolutely hilarious that a Microsoft Security Technician find a problem in my “home” computer at my work.
    FYI….18 USC § 1030 (a) (1)(A)(C) (4) (5)(A)(B)(C) (6) (7)(C) and (such use leads to Identity theft and complete collapse of your financial status)
    18 USC § 373 (a) are the violated US crimes they commit. (In a rare case can be used against you for unwittingly committing a crime)

  62. Teresa Joudrey says on November 29, 2013 at 8:21 am :

    They just tried me. Even after I read them this article they still tried. I had nothing better to do so I kept them talking until I had another call come in on the other line. I work from home and I also kept asking over and over which of my 3 computer they where calling about. They want to fix my Window 8. Being in the slow lane, I only have windows 7. This still didn’t deter him. Funniest thing he said was that he was in Delaware…Hahah, loved the US accent.

  63. Claire Reynolds says on November 29, 2013 at 12:54 pm :

    These guys just tried to scam me again. They pretty much try once a month. Usually I play with them for a while, but today’s call was different. When I said I wasn’t interested (as usual), the guy (I didn’t catch the name he gave, his accent was so thick and he sounded like he was underwater) started shouting really disgusting, sexist, pornographic things about being able to “smell my rotten vagina” from there at me. These calls have taken a really disturbing turn, and I wish there was a way to stop them.

  64. Jerome Segura says on November 29, 2013 at 1:59 pm :

    Sorry to hear that Claire. This kind of harassment is simply outrageous.
    Would you happen to remember their company’s name?

    If you have any information pertaining to them (website, phone number, etc) that would really helps us identifying them for further actions.

  65. Terry S says on November 30, 2013 at 8:13 am :

    At first I would tell these guys to get lost and then hang up. But then I realized that I can have some fun with them. Every five minutes that I distract them is five minutes away from a potential victim. Here are two of my most recent calls with them.
    One is for a bogus website.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fft2vdfu2ck

    The other is the old “You have a Virus on your computer”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFUe6AxWEw4

  66. lindsey scott says on December 3, 2013 at 1:30 pm :

    I have just been scammed by these fraudsters today.I am still in shock after reading this.Everything described happened today and i have gave them my bank details.They scammed me for £10 only as I dont have any money being a single unemployed mum looking after my disabled son.They wanted over £100 from me and eventually settled for £10.They threatened to shut my computer down saying it was to badly infected to allow me to keep using it and they were getting messages sent from my pc all the time.After the threat is when I agreed to pay them £10 to stop them shutting my pc down.They told me they would sort out my hard drive which is in a critical condition in the red,and sort all the viruses out my pc !!of course they didn’t.After the half hour getting what they wanted out of my pc I noticed they had installed a lot of rubbish money making programmes on my pc all added today.I am still trying to remove some of them.Should I contact my bank regarding this issue???They said they would phone me again in a couple of months time to check everything is ok with my pc after there so called fix.I dont know what to do!!!!

  67. Jerome Segura says on December 3, 2013 at 1:48 pm :

    Lindsey,

    I’m really sorry to hear what just happened to you. I a.ssume you are in the UK? You should report this incident to http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/ with any evidence you may have collected on these scammers.

    Also, if possible can you contact your bank/financial institution and have the payment revoked?

    You should closely monitor the banking transactions for the next while in case an unexpected withdrawal occurs.

    I will contact you offline for further help.

  68. argentraven says on December 6, 2013 at 4:04 pm :

    A client of mine got hit with this yesterday. He is an elderly gentleman and he received a cold call from someone claiming to be with Windows Technical Support. They told him they could see that his computer had a load of errors on it and that if he allowed them remote access, they could fix it for him. After he allowed them access, he began to get nervous and he called me. I told him it was a scam and to power off his computer. He gave me the phone number they supplied him with and I called. (1-866-460-7455) It was answered by someone with a heavy Indian accent named Austin. Austin could not confirm with me his company name so I asked to speak with his supervisor. He agreed and after a moment, another Indian man came on the line, however he spoke with a garbled throat like he was sick. I am absolutely certain that this is the same person, as after continuing to speak with him, his voice cleared up and he sounded exactly like Austin. This time he claimed his name was John Martin. I asked why his technicians would cold call someone and tell them they have computer errors and how would he know that anyway? He said there must have been a communication error and that my client must have called them. I then asked to speak to his supervisor, but he refused to give me a name and number and when I insisted that if this were a legitimate company, then there should be no issue with him escalting my call to his immediate superior. He told me to go to **** and hung up. After a short internet search on the phone number I found that this number is associated with this scam. I am scheduled to visit my client tonight to see what, if any, damage may have been done in terems of installing malware or any trojans. People like this make me sick.

  69. itsupport says on December 7, 2013 at 11:41 am :

    Keep receiving these calls when visiting friends in the UK last year and this. When it first happened, I had not heard of the scam, but I used to work in IT for a BIG oil company – Microsoft’s biggest customer at the time – and you could never get MS to return a call even though we had a contract (!), so I was bally certain they won’t be calling some random person out of the blue – seriously – like they would have time to do proactive support on the world’s computers :-) Anyway, whilst carefully giving away no personal info. to them, I spent a happy 45 minutes asking them to tell me computer name, who owned it, software version, model/make — as many people lived in the house, with many computers, so I really could not help them unless they told me… I spent a lot of time leaving them on hold whilst supposedly going off to check which computer it could be. How puzzling that they could identify an error on a computer but had no idea WHICH computer…. yeah right. There was a serious angle to this – I wanted to know is how much information they had i.e. was this a random call from a random number generator — or had they ANY personalised information (which would be more worrying). Well pretty sure it was random, as they never revealed any additional information to enable me to ‘assist’ them accessing the ‘right’ computer – eventually they got bored and went away. But they do call back periodically though, sometimes over a year later, so never let down your guard. They are now plaguing New Zealand too. I alert all my non-technical friends to never open attachments/click on links unless the email sounds legit (and maybe not then either – until they check with the source), and just say ‘NO’ to unsolicited offers of help. And I remind them often!

  70. oldie says on December 9, 2013 at 3:46 pm :

    I got a similar call last week in Germany.I commented on their Indian accent, but they said, they were from Glasgow with Indian ancestors.
    Unfortunedly they caught me by surprise in am similar way as described above and I gave them access to my pc as I really had problems in the last time and a virus-search by avira had found more thán one virus a week ago.
    They asked me for 249US Dollars for an extension of a garanty.
    When I wanted to get a written confirmation of the terms the manager got angry and in the end I ended the call mysel after more than one hour. Half an hour later I disconnected the pc but later I found that they installed a password to start my windows XP.
    So till today I do not know, what damage they did to my documents and a professional is actually trying to get access to the pc. A linux boot disk did not work!

  71. itsecuritypro says on December 12, 2013 at 6:42 am :

    Are you lot COMPLETELY insane? Why would you let some random stranger connect to your PC? Even if you think you might know who they are, you should never let ANYONE connect to your PC.
    How the **** would someone know that your PC has problems? No remote person would know this. Only you or your antivirus software would ever know this.
    Aside from trying to get money out of you, they could install unwanted applications on your PC, which steal your cookies and session keys. They could install malware in the background which causes your PC to beacon out over the internet. They can also install software called ransomware (look it up) so that you have no alternative but to pay them.
    Exercise some basic common sense here guys.
    JUST HANG UP THE PHONE – if you don’t, you almost deserve to get duped for being so stupid!!!!

  72. Jerome Segura says on December 12, 2013 at 8:56 am :

    itsecuritypro:

    “At the end of the day, I haven’t really lost any documents since this was a Virtual Machine and not an actual computer. “

  73. Jerome Segura says on December 12, 2013 at 8:57 am :

    Thanks for your comment argentraven, I will check out the phone number you provided.

  74. Avrumi Sherman says on December 12, 2013 at 6:30 pm :

    I decided to make a script for you guys witch will catch there ip address and send you a email. If you have a website or if your looking to find a host and domain Google it. there are some free sites that do that. Guys if you get a call like that again just play dumb and tell them yea i cant log into this site since yesterday because i have a virus. make something up. make shore thy go to the site where you put that script once thy go to that site hang up the phone, or play along.
    Here is a php script example of what i am preparing for these guys hope to have these code ready for tomorrow or something

  75. Avrumi Sherman says on December 12, 2013 at 6:36 pm :

    Sorry guys i cant post the code here. WordPress dose not allow it. i will look up some articulates for you guys and give you some links where you can get some instructions… Lets get these guys before thy get us.

  76. whoisthatdog says on January 1, 2014 at 9:32 pm :

    It appears that Team Viewer logs the IP of the connecting machine by default (though that can be turned off). Very comprehensive details can be found here: http://www.champlain.edu/Documents/LCDI/archive/Team-Viewer-Forensics.pdf

  77. whoisthatdog says on January 1, 2014 at 9:36 pm :

    While winning points for thoroughness, your pr0n filter also destroys valid links. The above path containing asterisks should actually be …/Doc u ments/… (without spaces).

  78. Kendra Ragland says on January 2, 2014 at 3:12 pm :

    So just to be certain, these particular folks can’t gain access unless you follow their instructions, right? I have received no less than 5 of these calls over the past year and have never done what they ask. Mostly have just screwed around with them.

  79. Daniel Coster says on January 3, 2014 at 12:47 pm :

    these guys called me and i started up a virtual box of windows xp and played along with it until they tried to make my buy it i said no and they got angry deleted the fonts folder which messed it up. i disconnected the Internet to the virtual box and hung up

  80. Jerome Segura says on January 3, 2014 at 1:55 pm :

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for sharing your experience. They certainly don’t like being played and some of them really don’t care at all if they get exposed or not.
    Scamming is one thing, destructing somebody’s property is another.

  81. patzy says on January 7, 2014 at 8:39 pm :

    This was very helpful. I am sure glad I didn’t log onto my computer as asked by the very nice woman with a heavy Indian accent asking me to. My rule of thumb – if it is real they will give me their phone number to call back. When I asked for the computer number they read off a long number with letters which sounded official and then asked me to log on to verify it. I asked them for their phone number so I could call them back later at which point they hung up.

    I then came across your blog – which pretty much confirmed it was a scam. Thank you for sharing

  82. Jerome Segura says on January 7, 2014 at 9:10 pm :

    Thanks for your comment patzy. Regarding the call back number that you mentioned, I’m afraid it’s not a reliable means to determine if they’re real.
    On several occasions when I was having ‘payment problems’ I was given a phone number to call back (it was one of their 1-800 #).
    One thing that may catch them off guard is to ask them what time it is in their supposed US office. One time I did that and I could hear the guy type in google to find that out. The fact that it took him 20 seconds to say it was 2 PM in Los Angeles was not a good sign ;-)

  83. mbent says on January 9, 2014 at 7:16 pm :

    I received the same basic scam the other night. I was able to get a couple of callback numbers out of them:

    * 1-855-539-4928
    * 1-855-539-4925

    Since it kind of frustrates me that outfits like this exist, I really wanted to think about how concerned citizens could take a place like this down. I called the numbers back tonight to prove they were indeed real and notice that they basically work until about 8:30 – 9:00 PM EST. I managed to string along the phone scammers for about 90 minutes calling back at various times to get someone else and go through the story again.

    This got me thinking that a simple technique might be for a lot of people to just overwhelm the call center with telephone calls claiming to be in need of their computer services, stringing them along for a while, and then abandoning the call. They’re using toll-free phone numbers, so I assume they have to pay for each caller. Maybe if enough people fight back, it becomes unprofitable.

  84. Jerome Segura says on January 9, 2014 at 8:53 pm :

    Hello mbent,

    Thanks for the info you provided. The idea of overwhelming their call center could in theory work. However I still think they’d be able to get away with it.

    In my experience, I’ve noticed that the same company rotates through phone numbers quite regularly. The same number that worked the day before would often be disconnected the next day or so.
    Another thing is that they blacklist people’s numbers as well. That happened to me when I call too many times (apparently) and my number got blocked from then on.

    If you can afford to waste their time, it is definitely going to hurt their sales ratio but you do have to be very careful when doing so. You should never let them take control of your computer because they have been known to see revenge and destroy files or install malware deliberately. One solution is to use a virtual machine which can be reset to a clean snapshot after the job is done. Even in that case, caution should be taken to make sure there are no network shares with other computers in your house.

    I am still shocked when I talk to a ‘technician’ who without any hesitation goes straight for the lies. And I know that many people cannot tell what is true or not and may actually fall for the scam. At the end of the day these scams rake in so much money that these individuals really don’t care. This is essentially modern day extortion…

  85. Patsy Richey says on January 11, 2014 at 1:27 pm :

    I just got off the phone with these jokers. They directed me to this website: http://www.liutilities.com/products/wintaskspro/processlibrary/csrss/

    Could the owners of that site be in on the scam? Part of the scammer’s spiel was trying to convince me that the csrss.exe service is a trojan or some sort of malware. They basically pointed me to that site as “proof” that the service is harmful, which it really isn’t according to legitimate sites.

  86. Patsy Richey says on January 11, 2014 at 1:44 pm :

    ^ editing to add: maybe that’s a process rather than a service, can’t remember exactly.

  87. Jerome Segura says on January 12, 2014 at 7:45 pm :

    Hi Patsy Richey,

    The site liutilities.com as far as a I know, is not affiliated with scammers. The reason they use it is, as you said, you show you evidence about a so-called virus.

    Scammers will use various online glossaries, including wikipedia, and even have you read out loud what it says.

    If you check out this resource page (http://blog.malwarebytes.org/tech-support-scams/) I built over time, you will see that I was also presented with the liutilities page for rundll32.exe once. Now, I do agree that when liutilities say that this file can be a trojan or backdoor… it does sound scary… In fact, it can sometimes be the case and that is what scammers are leveraging.

    All in all, it’s about borrowing legitimacy to convince a mark that it’s not just their word, but also that of wikipedia, Microsoft, etc…

  88. Jason Thomson says on January 12, 2014 at 8:02 pm :

    I had a little bit of fun with these people. Went through the call, and at the point where the guy decided to mess my computer up, i inserted my usb stick that had a really cool virus on it. So basically as he was deleting my computer my virus killed the technician’s computer because he opened the folder (it went across the link) it did murder my pc but it got one of theirs also. After that i had a very niceyell at from the supervisor because “you maked our technician’s computer no work” lol hope they run into a few more people like me that have an awesome stick virus.

  89. Diane B says on January 13, 2014 at 3:40 pm :

    This just happened to me too. Guy with a very thick accent said he was Windows support and they were receiving a high level of error reports from my computer. I had never heard of this scam, but knew right away it’s BS. First off, a legit employee wouldn’t say they work for “Windows” would they? They’d say they work for Microsoft. I let him give a spiel and instructions(which I pretended to follow) then I told him that I realize he’s just on the hunt for people with little computer knowledge that he can take advantage of. I told him he was despicable and he started laughing! Still insisted that the error messages were legit and he was employed by A-1 Tech, an official affiliate of “Windows”. I just hung up on him at that point. I feel bad for the people that they’re able to scare money out of.

  90. Jerome Segura says on January 13, 2014 at 6:42 pm :

    Thanks for sharing your experience Diane B and good catch on the “I work for Windows” ;-)

  91. Brian Schott says on January 14, 2014 at 4:34 pm :

    I’m an AM Radio talk show host of a computer/technology show in the mid-west and have warned my listeners repeatedly about such a scam.

    My aunt called me up one night saying she had just been called by someone claiming to be from Microsoft who is saying her PC is infected and they want to help her fix it. She called me just after she connected them to her PC and they started running the scans. She isn’t the most tech savvy person but said that the call seemed ‘fishy’ so she called me up to ask about it. I told her to immediately disconnect the screen sharing program (she unplugged the ethernet cord from the back of the laptop and told the scammer that the power just went out in her house.) and hang up on the scammer.

    I went over, scanned her PC for infections…just in case…and just to be safe we used a restore point from the day before to roll back any changes the scammer may have made.

    Now, I have never had them call me directly but my aunt gave me their number…so I was bored one day and decided to “mess with sasquatch”.

    I set up a PC I use for testing new operating systems on with an older copy of Ubuntu Linux and downloaded a theme that made it look exactly like a windows 7 computer. I made a lot of other changes so if you go deeper into the start menu, it still would seem like you are in a windows PC.

    I then logged on as a regular user (not a power or super user) and proceeded to call the number.

    After talking with ‘Mike’ and playing dumb on what he wanted me to do he asked me to install team viewer on my PC so he could remote in and show me the problems on my screen. Ok, no problem (as team viewer has a linux version). He didn’t hand me off to anyone so an interesting variation from what is posted here but whatever.

    Once he was in, he tried to open system tools for event viewer….Yeah not exactly what he was expecting at all. He seemed completely confused (and it was very hard not to laugh at his fumbling around and keep my voice sounding innocent and confused too) by this but then decided to run his own program on my PC to show me I have an infection.

    Those who are not techies: Windows programs will not natively work in Linux, you have to run them through a special program called Wine. This guy tried everything but just couldn’t get his program to run. He tried opening a command prompt (and I modified my linux command prompt to look like a native windows prompt) and type commands in there…yeah, that confused him more.

    He was getting more and more frustrated with my PC and finally told me that my PC was beyond their help, disconnected team viewer and hung up on me.

    So much fun.

  92. Jerome Segura says on January 14, 2014 at 8:15 pm :

    Brian Schott, thanks for such a great testimonial! I would absolutely love to see a screenshot of that Winbuntu!!!
    Also, kudos for sharing the awareness on the radio waves :)

  93. Tom says on January 15, 2014 at 1:28 pm :

    I just had one of these calls. Same format but not from Micosoft but from http://www.fixme.it. Wanted me to type ??? remote in the Run box. I told her I had an issue come up and ask if I could call her right back. She gave me this info, 1-800-786-0970 Compfixo, Kathy

  94. Mohammed Alhasan says on January 22, 2014 at 12:40 pm :

    Man, same guy, same voice! Just got off the phone with him, when he first called I actually believed him for a minute, he told me to open Run, and I forget what I typed in and he basically read me the number that was on the screen. At this point I had a feeling something was going on so I said it in a joking tone, are you trying to put **** on my computer. And he’s like no sir I’m not trying to put **** on your computer. And that gave it off, Microsoft techs do not swear.

  95. Johnny Dangerously says on January 22, 2014 at 1:14 pm :

    I would have hung up the second I heard that accent.

    I give the scammers a lot of credit for hanging on with the Canadian for so long.

  96. Biduk Matt says on January 24, 2014 at 1:48 am :

    This happened to me. The caller had a thick Indian accent and identified himself as from ‘Windows Security’. He took me step by step through the process, which I pretended I was following, although I did not have a computer in front of me. I then asked him where he was calling from. He said again, ‘Windows Security’ and that he had a record of my windows computer sending error messages to his help centre. He put up a brave fight, I have to say. I suggested to him that he should come up with a better company name than ‘Windows Security’, and that my windows security was likely to be just fine, seeing as I was running a mac operating system. He hung up the phone.

  97. brig says on January 30, 2014 at 5:54 am :

    I am by no means usually this unaware – but am very tired and not so well so I think they caught me at a weak moment. It followed exactly the thread above and I gave them access. They got to the point of trying to sell me the product where I then twigged how wrong this was and I asked for a moment to look something up – coincidentally your blog came up and they could see this. They then took control of my mouse however I yanked my internet cable before they could get into my security setting (well hopefully) and at the same time the person hung up. My laptop is now doing a full norton scan as I type on my iPad – the quick scan came up clear. My question is – I have just changed the major passwords, laptop, email, banking, Facebook etc – is that enough? How foolish do I feel!!!

  98. sandhawk says on January 30, 2014 at 9:23 am :

    My wife and I got a phone call today from a guy stating he was from Microsoft, and stated that we had problems with our computer, This as been going on for a long time we get phone calls from these people. Today he picked the wrong time to phone me, As he tried to talk to me, Before he could finish his little speech I told him to F-Off and hung up. Right after I hung up on him he phoned back 3 more time, not saying anything and hanging up on me, the third time phoned he phoned back using the same number as the first time and, called me a Mother- F’er, and was screaming at me, I told never to call again or he can deal with the Police. Here are the phone numbers he used

    1-971-555-0129 this number was the main one he used twice.
    1-913-951-0808 he hung up on me.
    1-206-555-0114 he hung up on me.

  99. Jerome Segura says on January 30, 2014 at 9:53 am :

    Hi Brig,

    Sorry to hear about your experience but so glad you found this site and avoided more damage!
    You did the right thing by changing your passwords and doing a full system scan. I’m not trying to promote our own product, but it wouldn’t hurt to also scan for malware using Malwarebytes (and it’s free!).
    There’s one other thing you should check. The remote login programs (Teamviewer, Logmein, etc) have the ability to auto-start when you reboot your computer and since the miscreants already granted themselves access, they could in theory retake control of your PC.
    It’s easy to spot as you will see (or not) the remote program pop back in when you restart Windows. You could also check the startup entries using a program like this: http://www.malwarebytes.org/startuplite/ to make sure it is not in there.

    One last thing: would you happen to remember the name of the company, phone number or their website?

    Hope this helps. If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate!

  100. Jerome Segura says on January 30, 2014 at 9:54 am :

    Hi sandhawk,

    Thanks for the info, will check on those numbers.

  101. brig says on January 30, 2014 at 10:43 am :

    Hi

    Thanks Jerome. Full system scan came up ok and after running malabytes (both products) seems ok. Only relief is I did not give them my bank details and do not use my laptop for day to day email, surfing or banking however can see how easy it would be to be sucked in…….

    Number came up as international (no number), the speaker had a Indian accent, and they said they were from Microsoft security centre. I deal a lot with Asian call centres for work so this probably gave me a false sense of security in my weak moment. The site they led me to begin with was http://www.safeme.us, however I believe this is a probably a normal tool to grant access? The .exe file was ammy1.exe I think . I never got to the payment stage as I yanked the cord as they were getting into my security settings (assumably to lock me out – or grant access for later)?

    In total paranoia I have also turned off remote assistance – will turn it back on if ever needed for legitimate means! I am not saying I am the brightest person out of the box however it does concern me that if it takes me a weak moment then what happens to the less suspicious. Let’s hope this is a lesson learnt by the inconvenience of time spent changing everything and nothing further!

  102. Jerome Segura says on January 30, 2014 at 10:57 am :

    Thanks brig,

    I checked the site (safeme.us) and saw it offers those 2 downloads (the remote software I assume). The site is registered to Jai Singh, Kolkata India. If I find other connections to an actual company name, I’ll let you know.

  103. Jane M says on January 31, 2014 at 5:31 pm :

    Here’s a new number for you to play with–91-336-460-1150. Indian accent same story. Stated he was calling from Wintech in California. I haven’t checked to see if that’s a real company–somehow I doubt it!

    I didn’t play mores the pity. If they call again I’ll have some fun with them. Interestingly enough the country code for India is 91. I don’t think anyone said there was a country code on their caller ID. Interestingly enough the area code 336 is in North Carolina and that’s the state I live in.

    Please don’t give personal information to anyone that you having called yourself!!!!

  104. Mat Charron says on February 3, 2014 at 1:57 pm :

    Hi, guys, If you install WOT (web of trust) add on you can rate website and leave comments on them. Right now I am adding most of the sites listed above a scam related. Another good one is webutations.net or avast has one when you install it.

  105. Ruben Meulenbeld says on February 5, 2014 at 11:51 am :

    Wait.. This happened on a virtual PC right? Because i feel really bad for you if he really deleted your personal files..

  106. Filiph Sandström says on February 6, 2014 at 4:47 am :

    Alright, so I have been looking after a scam center to call and have I bit of fun with. but I haven’t found any that I can call with my free Skype calling that comes with the Surface 2. any tips? :D
    (yes I will be using a vm, an Azure one)

  107. frownly says on February 8, 2014 at 5:44 am :

    Just received another one of these calls this morning and am still p*d off. Normally, I play along and try to learn as much as I can or to have some fun, but couldn’t be bothered today. He started off with the Indian accent and Microsoft security….bla ba before I hung up on him with a few choice words.

    What I found interesting here was that this time the phone number was blocked and that they asked for me by NAME. They are obviously improving their game.

    Curiously, I also received an unsolicited skype message from a very old Skype contact (now blocked) early this morning that went like this:

    “i don’t remember if i told you but i made thousands due to http://goo.gl/mZXEca this week sign up asap” About to check the link on a VM now.

    Of course the best defense is to spread the word, and I am glad to hear that some of these turkeys are finally getting frustrated at not being able to find new victims.
    Also a good idea to start encrypting your personal email, try out Virtru for that.

  108. Jeff Cowsert says on February 11, 2014 at 6:18 am :

    I had a similar yet unique experience about a year ago. My Epson Printer was malfunctioning, so I did an internet search for “Epson”. I found a link to what appeared to be an Epson site, with a number to call. I called it, and they were quick to offer help “I just need to remote in” they told me and, like your experience, I had to download a program to allow them to take the steering wheel. I foolishly proceeded, thinking I had a legit person at the other end who was helping me. Immediately after they had access, without ever opening any of my Epson or Printer settings, the lady on the phone said I “see the problem” as I watched her go straight to my firewall icon. I immediately caught on that she was about to disable my firewall so she could either do evil things, search for finance info, or install her own program that would give her a way to monitor activity on my computer. I quickly shut the computer off, disabled my internet service, and accused her of being a fraud. Of couse she denied the accusation, with an “oh no, I’ve been caught” tone. Lesson learned; no legitimate hardware or software company will ask for access to your PC – never allow someone to remote into your computer unless you actually know them or have a legitimate contract with them.

  109. Michael Curran says on February 13, 2014 at 9:43 am :

    I had the same call today (02/16/14). Too bad they called a IT/IS Consultant who uses TeamViewer on regular basis. I tried to wait until they provided the remote host machine’s IP, or TeamViewer ID, but like you stated, it went to PayPal and garbage. I never provided them remote access to my linux machine running Wine, because I didn’t have a VM handy at the time of the call. I did however tell the guy, “You’re out of your ******’ tits.” Which he made me state twice, and then clearly responded with a, “Yes, okay, press Windows key and R.” which a got a little chuckle out of me. Indians, God do I hate that accent.

  110. Cynthia Gibson says on February 14, 2014 at 2:55 pm :

    I received a call on 2/12/14. I had a problem with my computer that morning so I thought the call was for real. He said they had received a report from my computer that it was not functioning properly. Not be very computer literate I allowed them remote access. They asked for payment through Liz Web Solutions web site. When they wanted my credit card # I refused and he told me if I didn’t pay I wouldn’t have a computer anymore. I told him, ok I won’t have a computer. He proceeded to change the password on my computer. He then hung up. My computer won’t boot up properly and when the password screen came up nothing worked. I reset my computer to the factory defaults and got up and running again. He did indicate to me that he could access the other computers in my home since they run off the same modem and he had my IP address. Is this true?

  111. Jerome Segura says on February 14, 2014 at 3:57 pm :

    Hi Cynthia Gibson,

    Sorry to hear about what happened but thankfully you made the right choice by refusing to pay.
    They were only able to remotely connect using Teamviewer or Logmein on that particular machine (with your help). What they told you about accessing any other computer on your network is a lie they used to scare you into believing them.

    I see many other complaints about Liz web solutions so it looks like they have been at it for some time now. Will investigate it.

  112. judysmith says on February 15, 2014 at 11:57 am :

    I got the same call today and asked the scammer if he could just wait until I was done masturbating to the **** I was watching. He actually said “yes, I can wait”, I said more off the wall things to him and no matter what, he was willing to wait. Unbelievable!

  113. Temp Handle says on February 21, 2014 at 4:56 am :

    I received a call from a client on Wednesday (19 Feb ’14) that had d/l-d and activated teamviewer and was about to enter credit card information. I told him to not pay and have these “Windows” support guys call him back in one hour. Dashed over and shutdown, boot SafeMode, malwarebytes, … all looked okay.

    * Scammer did as described above: Have user look at Event Viewer, Config Utility, other files.

    Two points: (1) Client was impressed by their website, quickcompsupport.com and he even pointed to a “GoDaddy.com Certified emblem”, which was merely a button that popped up with registrar info. These guys are registered with GoDaddy which makes me wonder what responsibility registrars have in cases like these.

    (2) I think my “call back in one hour” got them off the case without them vandalizing my client’s laptop – but you can never be sure. If I had a wired ethernet connection, I’d have that pulled, but if it’s WiFi, the laptop can reconnect automatically, meaning the teamviewer access could be resumed. The next time a client calls with a case like that, I’m going to ask them to do a Start – Hibernate which should freeze everything and give me full control when I get over to examine the unit.

  114. johnb says on February 23, 2014 at 1:45 am :

    Jerome,

    I was at a friend’s house this morning helping him remove malware on his machine when we recieved a call from these scammers. We quickly grew suspicious and ended the call.

    We hopefully cleaned out the malware (incidentally, one of the steps was rebooting in Safe mode which did finally allow us internet access via IE after which we installed malwarebytes and ran a complete scan — so thanks to your company for that software).

    I find the fact that the scammers called while we were troubleshooting the infection too much to be coincidence but my friend insists he hasn’t given out his phone number previously to anyone.

    Has there been reports of similar incidents? I suppose his phone number could have been transmitted via the malware infection but I never heard of this before,

  115. Rob Rohrbaugh says on February 25, 2014 at 9:57 am :

    A place called cyber support from their “NYC Headquarters” called me today and said my computer was loaded with viruses and malware. They said they were receiving issues from my internet. Took me to the pages and said look at all the errors and warnings, which I only had a few normal ones. Then asked me to open the run box and type http://www.rescue1.jimdo.com so his techs could help me with my computer which I did not do. The call came from a 201 area code. Be careful everyone.

  116. Susan van Bebber says on February 26, 2014 at 5:10 am :

    The website mentioned above (safeme.us) still exists. They are, perhaps, trying to mimic safeme.co.uk, an online storage website.

    We get these types of calls every so often. I’ve tried to warn all my friends to hang up on these guys….

  117. granny says on February 28, 2014 at 8:06 am :

    I have been experiencing this scam outfit for 2 years now. The first time they called, like a real dummy I fell for it. When I told my computer literate son he told me to quickly change my credit card number and my email address. I did both of these things, but unfortunately still had to pay $175.00. Had to pay $100.00 to a tech to wipe my computer. Didn’t hear from them for over a year and then the phone calls started again. So far, they have had 3 scams prepared for me. The first was the virus on the computer scam. Second was they were shutting down their company therefore would like to reimburse me $185.00. I told them wonderful send it on. Then it started, I had to go on my computer to fill out a form and then they would be able to reimburse me. I told them they could send it to me by email and got the no,no you must go on your computer. When I told them there was no way they were getting me on my computer they hung up. Now just last night I received 7 phone calls from them The angle this time was that my Microsoft updates were in danger. I told them to leave me alone, but they just kept calling. When my husband got on the phone to them and told them we wouldn’t go on our computer he told us that at midnight they would be shutting all the Microsoft updates down. My husband told them “go ahead, I don’t care”, the man swore and then hung up. Of course at midnight nothing happened. We are on the west coast of Canada and I have several area codes to list for you.to watch out for 817 (Ft. Worth Tx) 718 (Brooklyn, NY) 607 (Binghampton NY) 310 (Los Angeles CA) 585 (Rochester NY) 512 (Austin, Tx) 514 Roxboro (QC) and the latest 315 (Syracuse, NY). I realize of course that these people are not calling from these areas but it might help others..

  118. Valerie Ruby says on March 5, 2014 at 5:36 pm :

    just got a call from one of these scammers 000 000 on caller ID. Indian accent claiming to be from Microsoft – virus on my computer etc. When he directed me to turn on my computer etc. I played along for a little while and then hung up on him. He immediately called me back and asked why I had hung up on him – I told him I knew it was a scam (since I had almost fallen for it a few months earlier) and that I didn’t even have the patience to mess with him zny longer- then he hung up on me.!

  119. Valerie Ruby says on March 6, 2014 at 5:45 am :

    just this minute got another call from these clowns – “windows technical department” this time. Indian female – caller ID listed as John kendall 347 753 9663.
    when I said “really” they hung up on me.

  120. john mayfield says on March 9, 2014 at 2:42 pm :

    just got a call from the same people. a man told me that there was hackers in china who were connected to my computer, and they were stealing my information, and using my windows key. he transferred me to the lady. “technician”
    i realised it was a scam when the info she gave me didn’t add up.
    she tried to convince me that my current antivirus was not compatible with windows 7 professional. and had me navigate to the program compatibility settings, she claimed that it says windows xp sp3.. so it wouldn’t work with win7.
    she had me use a program called. ammyy to access my desktop. its like teamviewer. she opened notepad and typed in some information, company name, contact number.. so i opened my smart phone. typed in the phone number and it let me to this webpage.. so i opened the webpage on my computer and told here that aparently some people think the company is a scam.. she hung up on me.. i closed ammyy.. but it actually didnt go away. i had to kill it with task manager, each time i would end it, it would reopen. i had to end it, and delete the program at the same time to make it stop. anyways. this is the info she typed in notepad for me. remove all the hackers from computer..
    remove all the hackers from network..
    remove all the csrss.exe from computer..
    remove errors and warning from computer..
    banking security..
    network security..
    IP security..
    anti virus..
    anti hacking tool..
    email security..
    delete all ur info. from hackers computer..
    ***************************************************
    shazz watson..
    1-818-813-6174
    1001
    on web solution(technical dept. of windows)
    ********************************************
    3 yrs-299.99
    5 yrs-$349.99
    10 yrs-$399.99
    *********************************
    10yrs-$699.99
    lifetime security software on computer and on network..
    today-$399.99
    contact phone number.
    1-800-516-0854

  121. john mayfield says on March 9, 2014 at 2:46 pm :

    oh.. and this is their website..
    anybody feel like hacking it?
    http://www.onwebsolution.com/

  122. Bill Miller says on March 12, 2014 at 9:46 am :

    First, you’ve got to be REALLY, REALLY, REALLY gullible to give these people access to your computer. A windows tech, a real one, would send you an e-mail, wouldn’t he/she?? How would they have your telephone number or even your name??
    I started getting calls from India about my computer. I made an Indian cry, he actually started bawling. He couldn’t imagine there was someone so evil in this world after I told him what I’d do to him and his family if I ever got the chance. They never called back.
    Just as they are in India, so the “do not call” list means nothing to them, so to are they not under the umbrella of US law. Say what you will to them, hear them cry.

  123. jumjums says on March 14, 2014 at 12:53 am :

    I just got the same type of phone call (heavy Indian accent male), stating he was a Microsoft Certified Tech, and my computer was sending error message repeatedly (to where? I have no idea…). First, MS does not call you like that. I actually work there as a consultant, so I knew this was fishy from the start. He showed me the event log, showing bunch of error/warning list trying to make me think my computer has a major issue. He tried to make me “delete” these log by pressing the delete button. When I reported “nothing happens”, he was like “oh my gosh, that is a major problem if you can’t delete these log! Let me help you on this remotely.” He made me open http://www.showmypc.com website, and told me to download a software (so he can remote access my machine). That is as far as I was comfortable leading him on. I told him I was not comfortable downloading any unknown software at this time, and I much rather take my machine to a in person IT department technician. He kept talking, trying to change my mind for a bit, but when he realized I am not budging, he handed the phone to a “manager”. He came on saying “what’s your problem?” so I replied “I don’t even know what my problem is! And who are you guys anyway?!” He insisted he was a Microsoft Certified Tech again, and tried to go down the same path as the last guy, so I just said “if I have any issue with my machine, I will just take it to a Microsoft IT guy in person tomorrow and have him look at it.” At that point, he gave up and mumble something and hang up on me!
    Be careful, Microsoft NEVER calls people at home unless you initiate the contact first, and certainly won’t call at 10:30pm at night!

  124. Glen Bradley says on March 18, 2014 at 8:51 am :

    I just got a call from “Hello this is technical support about your computer” not 5 minutes ago. The accent sounded like it was from India. The moment he said that I told him “I. Don’t. Need. Technical support.” I must have sounded extremely suspicious (I am a tech support guy myself, so a random call from a blocked number offering to support my computer had my hackles up) because he replied, “I am not trying to support you, I am just asking you to update your computer” and he hung up before I could go all Sherlock Holmes and find out what was going on.

    That’s when I did a web-search and found this.

    So they have changed their MO a little bit; the call came from a blocked number, and they never claimed to be from Microsoft; but it is still happening, so be on guard!

  125. Jean-Claude Dauphin says on March 20, 2014 at 6:47 am :

    I just got the following call “Hello this is Steve from Microsoft Technical Support, I just wish to inform you that we are constantly receiving messages from your computer. This means that your computer has a malware sending private data outside. Thus it is very important to clean your computer. I will give you a web site address that will check your CLSID, etc…”
    The guy had a strong Indian or Pakistani accent. I stopped the conversion telling him that was just leaving for doing my jogging. By the meantime he insisted several time that I should go in front of my computer.
    I suspect them to search phone numbers by name (“Dauphin” in my case) as when I was in my father home (who is 96 years old), he received the same phone call that I answered for him.

  126. David Butterfield says on March 20, 2014 at 9:36 pm :

    Thank you so much for this blog. I just had the same scammers call me today. I had just purchased a new laptop about a month ago, but noticed some oddities with the system, so when the Indian person claiming to be from Microsoft called saying that they were receiving lots of error messages from my computer I thought they must actually be paying attention finally as every other error message report I had sent had received no answer. Anyhow. after the first guy walked me through showing me how many error messages I had he transferred me to his supervisor who also sounded Indian. He asked me how many error messages I had and sounded incredulous when I told him I had 27,472. He then asked me to get on the web and go to mspccare.com. I then informed him that I didn’t have internet access at my house and only used public wifi. He didn’t seem to get that concept, and finally accepted that I could not get onto the internet by hanging up the phone on me.

  127. Jérôme Segura says on March 21, 2014 at 9:18 am :

    Hi David Butterfield,

    Thanks for your comment. I will add that website to our list to check.

  128. Lisa Senus says on March 21, 2014 at 11:25 am :

    I received one of these calls the other day. Like a lot of you, I’m also an IT professional. This was a very similar script to what Jean-Claude Dauphin (above) encountered. I told the guy that I didn’t need his help, and he was very insistent. I then told him that I was using a corporate laptop, and if there was any problem, I’d take it to the corporate infrastructure guys. And that furthermore, only an idiot would let some unknown, unsolicited person remote into his machine in this day and age. Then I hung up.

    The brazenness and longevity of this scam is amazing. Somebody like my (late) elderly father would have fallen for it.

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  130. luvmybulldogs says on March 24, 2014 at 3:59 pm :

    I received a call from this woman with a very heavy Indian accent on Friday March 21, 2014 telling me that she was from the Windows 7 IT Department and if I did not stop what I was doing she was going to seize my computer and have me arrested.
    I told her that I didn’t know what she was talking about and hung up. Today, Monday March 24, 2014 I received a call from the same # 210-280-8487. This call was from a man with a heavy Indian accent and he told me the same thing…windows 7 IT Department and that what I was doing with my computer was illegal and if I didn’t stop it they will seize my computer and have me arrested. I told him that my computer must have a virus on it since I was not doing anything with it. He went on to say that my computer was sending out virus’s and I had to make it stop and he would help me do this by following his direction. At that point I put him on hold and googled Windows 7 IT Department and phone scams came up. I quickly hung up on him. After reading all of the posts attached to this blog I think they are getting more persistent and using stronger language…”computer seized” & “having you arrested” to get you to give them money. I have been spreading the word to all of my family and friends to be on the look out. I guess that’s all we can do at this point unless some one has a better idea, just let me know. Thanks

  131. Jérôme Segura says on March 24, 2014 at 4:24 pm :

    Hi luvmybulldogs,

    Thanks for sharing this experience here. Their scare tactics are going really far, very much like ‘ransomware’ in fact.
    Spreading the word is one thing indeed, but also documenting who they are (company name, website, etc). I invite you to check out this resource page for more info: http://blog.malwarebytes.org/tech-support-scams/

    Thanks!

  132. luvmybulldogs says on March 25, 2014 at 6:31 pm :

    Thank you so much for taking the time to lead me in the right direction.
    I greatly appreciate it!

  133. Jérôme Segura says on March 25, 2014 at 9:13 pm :

    It is my pleasure luvmybulldogs :)

  134. LuAnn Padgett says on March 31, 2014 at 6:38 am :

    Just got off the phone with the same scammers. It was funny, when they had me enter Eventvwr, the Event Viewer screen didn’t pop up as shown above, but a box that had two options, one to send the error report to Microsoft and some other option. I read both to her, she obviously had never heard this before (and wasn’t on her step-by-step checklist,,lol!), so she hung up. She called back, saying that we got disconnected. Her next ploy was to ask to take over my computer. I said, how stupid do you think that I am and slammed the phone down. I do recall getting a similar phone call a week or so ago, but I hung up on that thick-accented person since I couldn’t understand a word he was saying except “computer”. They are calling from 1-213-337-0014 “MCI ITSS Telesy” out of Los Angeles, CA according to my phone logs from Comcast.

  135. Nadine Gibbons says on March 31, 2014 at 7:20 am :

    How much fun it is to play with the scammers. I have cracked one as he was from Bangladesh and he aid he needed the job. I wished him well, but assured him he was working in an illegal operation. I felt sorry for this one, the others – so many no I don’t feel sorry for them. When they call me there is a time gap on the line which is a give away. Now for the serious part. There is a part 2 of this scam. The call comes from Western Union, or Microsoft I have had both, They “know” I have paid a scammer and they are reimbursing my money as they are companies of good faith – actual quote – I just have to give them my bank details to allow them to deposit the money into my bank account. I could not remember paying the money, perhaps it was my husband who is away at the moment, how much was it? $500, or $299 depending upon the caller. I asked them to reverse my credit card – oh no they could not do that, this is the process their account section created. Then I told them “you know, it’s only $x, they can keep it” both times they went into paroxyms of shock. Then I hung up and I reported it to the scam watch in my state. There had been anther scam related to Australia’s Telstra company claiming that my internet account will be cut off as they have detected a virus being generated from my computer. I told them they need to go through my internet supplier as that is the chain of command and then reported them to my scam watch.

  136. gunner1 says on April 1, 2014 at 5:14 pm :

    Heh! Just got off the phone with a similar clown. Someone with a thick Indian accent trying to get me to “go to my computer” so he could help me clean it. I asked him for the name of his company and its tel. no. – he gave me a no. 201-132-4620 (that doesn’t exist – I checked) and said his company was called “Cyber Support.” I asked to speak to his supervisor and he countered that he WAS the supervisor. Anyway, I am originally from India myself so I decided to play along. After about 5 minutes of pointless leg-pulling he finally gave up and asked if I was Indian (he had my name and it was pretty obvious I was Indian…). At that point he asked me if I spoke Hindi – I told him I didn’t. He then accused me of not being Indian because I didn’t know my “mother language.” I tried to tell him that my mother didn’t speak Hindi either and we got into this extended discussion about the difference between a government designated “national” language and the phrase “mother tongue” and me quizzing him on other Indian languages – it was bizarre! Anyway, after a few more minutes he just got tired of the conversation and hung up the phone.
    My approach with scammers is to try and get their identity if possible (usually it’s not) and if that fails, and as long as I have some free time, it’s a great way to have some fun…

  137. bishn69 says on April 4, 2014 at 7:42 am :

    got the same phone call,they said your computer called us with an error, I asked him which one they said your computer, which one because I have multiple computers. I’m a computer tech then they hang up on me.

  138. scifinerd says on April 4, 2014 at 6:24 pm :

    They called me from Microsoft today with the heavy Indian accent telling me my computer had problems (yes, sure!) and I told them I had a Mac. They called a few hours later. Persistent. I hung up.

  139. Sabrina Schilling says on April 7, 2014 at 11:58 am :

    Every time they call it’s a guy named James. I knew it was a scam from the start because I say wrong number and they insist it isn’t and they insist I have Microsoft,but I know I have linux after I installed it on my XP

  140. Emily Jones says on April 14, 2014 at 1:30 pm :

    HAHAHAHA oh these guys are great. Just got off the phone with one of them. I don’t have the patience to play their game, they always seem to call when I’m running out the door to pick kids up from school. So I ask them one simple question “What is my Windows 8 License number?” They always say “Yes I can provide that for you, one moment” and then they hang up. One of these days I hope they’ll call earlier in the day so I can string them along for a while.

  141. mrsfooj says on April 14, 2014 at 2:51 pm :

    I just hung up from the caller. He told me to hang up. He gave up on me. I strung him along for about 10 minutes. I don’t even have a windows computer. I only have Mac. He kept asking me what I saw on my screen and I kept asking him what should I see? What am I looking for? What should I see? Then I would repeat what he said to me…. I wasn’t even logged on.

  142. Cafe Hunk says on April 16, 2014 at 4:48 pm :

    Kept one going for twenty minutes today. The incoming caller id was 999911110 (bogus, not even ten digits), and when I queried him about that he said he was calling using the Internet. I told him that I would have to call him back because my phone isn’t next to my computer, so he said I could call him back at 8884153266, which is just another bogus number, but I’m including it here, so that a Google search would lead the next person to this page. I asked him several times what company he worked for and he claimed it was “Windows Security Center” – when I asked whether this was Microsoft, though, he denied that and said it was “affiliated with Microsoft.” “Don’t you know Windows?” — I answered “Of course I know Windows, I have Windows all around my house.” I claimed to have several computers, could he tell me which computer it was, but he just said “It’s your Windows computer” – but which one – he said serial number …. hesitating … then made up some numbers, including some dots, but if it was an IP address, it was just like the IP addresses I see on CSI, with numbers greater than 255. I said I didn’t recognize that number.

    He then seemed forget that I told him I couldn’t reach the computer and I pretended to be ready to type on my Windows machine. He skipped over the Eventvwr scam and went straight for TeamViewer, verified that I saw a picture of a pretty lady holding a box, and then wanted me to download the software and run it, where it would show a login box for which he wanted me to tell him the identifying number and password. When I hemmed and hawwed a while over giving that to him, he just dropped the call. Teamviewer wasn’t going to run very well on my Linux system. I’ll have to set up a Virtual Windows Box for him to hack on the next time he calls.

    To me it was an obvious scam, it’s hard to imaging that people really fall for this. But conversely, I thought I was doing a terrible job leading him on, and he kept going well past where I thought he’d catch on that I was as full of s#1t as he was.

  143. Jérôme Segura says on April 16, 2014 at 10:12 pm :

    Hi Cafe Hunk,

    Thanks for sharing your story. I liked your “I have Windows all around my house.” ;-)

  144. Jérôme Segura says on April 16, 2014 at 10:16 pm :

    Hi Emily Jones,

    That’s a good way to take them off guard, asking for your Windows license number!
    Once I asked them where they were located: California. Then I asked them what time it was. After a good 20 seconds and keyboard typing in the background, they came back and said: 2 PM. Thank you Google ;-)

  145. them0ng00se says on April 17, 2014 at 7:24 am :

    I got an AAMMYY scammer a while back and recorded it for you pleasure and just so you know I am not really as thick as I make out in the call. The recording is from about 5 minutes into the conversation,

    http://t.co/sH1otII9RN

  146. Loris Shaft says on April 19, 2014 at 10:47 pm :

    These people called me this morning. I was in just such a mood so I started interrogating this Indian guy named Sean who was supposed to be in Washington based upon the phone number. Working a lot with really nice folks from India, I asked him he was in Chennai, Hyderabad or Bangalore since I had friends there and I wanted to know what the weather was like. He slipped up and said no, he was in Eastern India which probably means Mumbai. Then I did described my list visit to India, how impressive I found the Taj Mahal and the Red Fort and Mumbai, and the place where people would bathe in Ganges River and how embarrassed I was that I couldn’t remember what the place was called. I asked if his province had voted in the elections yet and that it was very interesting because it is the largest election in the world. Then I was back to asking him if he really from Microsoft because I was under the impression they never did anything for free, and he kept saying no, he was from the Microsoft Help Desk, and I said Microsoft never does anything for free and this went on for a while. He was quite adamant I not have the computer connected to the Internet (probably so I couldn’t google them). Then he transferred me to his supervisor named Mike who again said he was from the Microsoft Help Desk and it was their noble mission in life was to help all the Microsoft users with all these problems which will cause their computers to stop working. I said Microsoft never does anything for free and was he sure had anything to do with Microsoft. Or maybe did he have something to do with Norton, McAfee or Malawarebytes? I could tell he was getting a little cranky. So I did the whole travelog one more time. Since I was having fun told him okay let’s try to fix my problem because if it didn’t work I could complain to his bosses at Microsoft. He then said I needed to do the whole win(r) thing. Then I asked him which computer he thought I had the problem with because we have a Lenovo, a Toshiba, 3 HPs, a Gateway and a Fujitsu plus a Dell for work and he needed to specify which one had the issue so that he could fix the right one. I then said he must be a good person because he was trying so hard to help me out (lol), and since it was Good Friday and if he cheated me he’d probably go to ****. He hung up.

  147. Corbin Patten says on April 23, 2014 at 7:24 pm :

    I got a call today, very similar to your story. Said he was from Windows, which from the start I had a feeling was BS for a few reasons 1: I highly doubt Microsoft would actively call its clients to help them with these kind of issues. 2. How would the get my number. 3. Most people say they world work for a company, For example: “I am calling from Microsoft in the Windows Support Department. So, like you, I decided to play along to see what they had in store. I honestly believed them for a few minutes but then the weird stuff they were telling me to enter in the Run Windows ‘inf virus by hackers’ or ‘prefetch virus’ I knew it was complete BS. Then comes the command line tricks, changing the background quickly without me seeing to red so I think something bad is going on. such a scam. I have multiple screens so I pulled the event logger for team viewer up on the other screen and he was like look at this file and I was like you just put it there, the event log says you just wrote a file. He was like no. And he even proceeded to show me how he contacting my computer through some computer identification number. And yea I hung up and changed my team viewer password.

  148. Ann-Maree Van says on April 26, 2014 at 4:39 am :

    Well this is the 5th time in 2 days that I have had these lowlifes ring me up and tried to tell me that my internet is going to be disconnected due to the high traffic of viruses on my pc, now knowing full well its a scam I have been playing along with them, When they tell me to turn my pc on I say one sec I’ll boot my invisible pc up their to busy reading from their script to hear the word INVISIBLE so after a few mins I tell them its up and running then the fun starts do you see the key on the far left ctrl to that i say oh hang on i need to plug in my invisible keyboard. Ok what do you see to which I answer my garden coz i was sitting outside while taking the call … well to cut a 45 mins call down to a few words they got peeved and me and and before they told me to FO I wasn’t very lady like and told them to stop Frigging scamming and to FO its now been 6 hrs and NO calls

  149. Ann-Maree Van says on April 26, 2014 at 4:41 am :

    OH I forgot to tell you their not using Microsoft anymore but Telstra which is an Australian phone /internet service provider

  150. blms2314 says on May 2, 2014 at 3:10 pm :

    I have already spoke to the police department and the Attorney General office office and also spoke with the federal Trade Commission commis in regards to the Microsoft windows tech support fraud I have been happening since last year, there is not much that they can do other than blocking the phone numbers and reporting them they are working to try to resolve the issues.
    saw those last time when they call I had went out and got my air horn from my boat and I had asked to speak to their supervisor Neil and he was put on the line and I let him have it.. I also gave a few good words and told them if I could ever track them down that I would personally find him and take revenge for all the people that they have ripped off before contacting the police!
    so I probably will not be hearing from them again!
    the phone number that they called from is a Philidephia Pennsylvania area and they said they were calling from Los Angeles CA.

    So if you have an wait horn ask for supervisor Neil and let him have it!!!

    Blessings
    Ken

  151. anonymous101 says on May 3, 2014 at 2:40 pm :

    Got one today, so they’re still at it.
    I had a sense of it being off. Whenever we get “viruses”, it’s not like our internet provider will call us to alert us.

  152. anonymous101 says on May 3, 2014 at 2:47 pm :

    Well, it wasn’t Telstra. It was the “Microsoft representatives”.

  153. bburp4 says on May 6, 2014 at 4:27 pm :

    Scammers # is -299-888-7652. They hate getting callbacks that waste their time. I’m convinced it’s not several large organizations but many smaller ones. If you get calls ( I have gotten hundreds over the last 3 months alone) The only thing they react to is calling them back and telling them you got a call to your phone from this # and you didn’t know what it was. When they start their thing by telling you to boot up the computer ask them to wait and just put the phone down. Calling back several times in a row and laughing at them really angers them. Of course never give them access to your comp. It keeps their phone lines jammed and I get the same few guys every time I call. They laughed at me when I asked them to lose my number but that stopped and eventually they will shut the phones off. If you get a call save the number under scam and call them and waste their time when you can. I call at all hours when I can because they are going to call me. If you recognize the # i left welcome. I think it’s a few guys in their basement and they hate the tables being turned. 888-299-7652. Ask for any name he’ll be there. Please lets all tell everyone and try calling them for a change you will love the reactions.

  154. midgeeraker says on May 9, 2014 at 1:33 am :

    I usually just hang up on them, but after reading this tonight, I decided to run with it too, I only got to the stage of him asking me am I the main user of the computer, I told him yes I was 2 years ago but I’m now having problems with my IPad can he fix this….and then he hung on me…How Rude!!..hahaha

  155. Jérôme Segura says on May 9, 2014 at 12:08 pm :

    Hi them0ng00se,

    “A bunch of flowers and chocolate” ;-)

    Thanks for sharing that recording! Boy, did they get mad at the end! I thought you were actually being quite honest with them… their patience has hit new lows…

  156. nolaladyj says on May 10, 2014 at 2:41 pm :

    Is this a scam? Got a call from “Daniel Brown,” heavy Indian accent, terrible connection. Cellphone Caller ID has #706-550-6147 which reverse lookup says is located in Augusta, Georgia. He says someone has my email address (which he had my correct address) and is spamming other people. He had me look in my emailbox and then we pulled up the event viewer as described above and had me pull up the errors. Then he had me go to Logmein, and I balked before the actual download, said I had to check with my internet provider and took a callback number from him. I called my provider. They had me run some test emails to myself, which worked, and couldn’t find his company in the 800 numbers list they had. He claimed to be with a company called Premier Technical Support, phone number 800-373-8706, which I was unable to find on reverse lookup. In short, I called the 800 number and another Indian voice answered, and I hung up. Called back the 760 number and “Daniel” answered, but I think I messed up because I called on my home phone and he immediately called me back, Caller ID 365 GEEK REPAIR, but I didn’t answer, so now he has my home phone # as well. He didn’t actually get access to my computer, but I am unnerved. He had my cellphone # and my correct email address, and he didn’t get around to asking for money, but the warning on Logmein’s download page scared me enough to get off the phone with him. I guess what he was after was access to my banking passwords, etc. Oh, and I also found a website for a company called Premium Technical Support out of California, and tried to contact them via phone and email, and neither worked. Scam, or what do you think?
    Thanks

  157. Izzy Isbourne says on May 16, 2014 at 6:31 pm :

    Same thing happened to me today. They said my Windows machine was infected with a virus. I told them I was running Linux but it didn’t faze them…they said I just had to be running Windows. I explained to them, no I wasn’t but it was like talking to a brick wall. I hung up on them and they proceeded to call back about 5 times from the following number: 700-107-7398

  158. Jessica Rivas says on May 17, 2014 at 2:06 pm :

    these Windows people called me today and I almost fell for it. I let them take me to my event viewer and got me freaking out about all of the warnings. She also had me run cmd on my computer and I let her verify my windows license #. Im scared she can hack in now? I didn’t give them the license # but they somehow knew it and I verified it as correct. I googled this while on the phone with her and figured it was a scam. My phone died as she passed me to her supervisor. She called back 10 times and I told her I knew it was a scam and I was going to contact the FBI. She quickly hung up and hasn’t called back once.

  159. Patricia Lane says on May 22, 2014 at 7:52 am :

    I just got the exact same call. Female caller, heavy Indian accent, no name or employee number (boy, am I dumb – should have figured it was a scam a lot sooner) from my “vendor technical support” She had me open the eventvwr, but skipped the second step in the article and went on to msconfig. Maybe her copy of the script had a few pages deleted? We didn’t get to the remote software download part. Same scare tactics with the errors and warning messages indicating that my software was “infected and corrupted” and would crash my computer very soon. Finally suspicious, I asked for proof she was getting technical information from my computer – like, what was the manufacturer – she said it didn’t matter – I said yes it does – any computer has those warnings. I hung up. I wish I’d been smarter sooner, but at least I didn’t download anything. No cursing or anything, at least. This is the first call I’ve gotten, hopefully I won’t get the repeated ones other people are describing. But then again, I usually hang up when I hear the silent moment as a robocall is transferred to a human.

    Thank you so much for posting this article – I’m going to post about the scam on my facebook page – the more people who know about this, the better! ps – my husband and son use the malwarebytes protection program and appreciate it very much.

  160. cranz says on May 22, 2014 at 3:23 pm :

    Thanks. Got one of these calls and played for awhile. “Are you in front of your computer?” “Is your keyboard turned on?”, etc. “Locate the Windows key and press it.” I told her nothing happens. She had me do some troubleshooting and repeats. After some timewasting, I told her I was running Linux. Call dropped! So I don’t know where she got the errors from. :-)

  161. Theman Tini says on June 28, 2014 at 4:30 pm :

    I was on the phone for about 10 minutes and the guy seemed to believe he was doing an honest job. I have a feeling at least some of their 1st line guys don’t actually know they are part of a sam.

    I got the one I was taking to type in “windows repair scam” on google and I got him to go your web site. He seemed to be honestly suprised at what he was reading. I don’t know if one could successfully slow this scam down by having enough people take this tact and cause them to lose their first phone answers faster than they can replace them. There is a chance that eventually this will result in them only having hard core scammers calling, but that might also limit their labor force and slow things door.

  162. Engineer Channel says on July 1, 2014 at 12:05 am :

    And over a year since this post it’s still on the rise. I am a network security consultant (among other things). I got a call from “PC Speedy” this morning. Din’t have time to play so I gave him the “Go away quickly” script.

  163. Jim McBride says on July 8, 2014 at 7:07 am :

    I thought I was with Avast tech support which was outsourced to India because of the name and accent. Nice enough guy who said he played some of the same games he saw on my computer. Then he changed the subject and told me I had some 49,000 problems on my PC that needed repaired and had to ask if I had the free or subscription Avast….and since I had free Avast I needed to pay 299 USD.

    I only got rid of him by saying I was a retiree on a pension and could not afford him.
    he was polite enough but deleted all the solutions to my so called problems before signing off and leaving.

  164. Rebecca Olesen says on July 15, 2014 at 8:58 am :

    HAHA – great article – I actually received one of these telephone calls in SWEDEN! And yes their was a heavy accent from the woman on the other end, however, my landline phone they called did give me enough information to see that the call originated from England – so I am going to assume the accent is a Pakistani Urdu accent because there are 2 to 3 million people of Pakistani origin in England.

    The first thing I believe people should ask (themselves) is how MICROSOFT would know YOUR computer is infected, and how they determined the phone number of a computer user ?? IMPOSSIBLE. In my home there are 4 PCs and 3 laptops and the internet provider information is connected to one of 5 cell phones in this household NOT the landline. Either way, nobody is going to call you and even KNOW you have a computer unless they are from your Internet Provider.

    And regardless of any of that for someone to call and say ‘I am from Microsoft and your computer is infected’ is one of the most absolutely harebrained things someone could believe! HOW? How would they even know who you are? WHY? Why would they call you even if they did?

    There are a BILLION computers worldwide using Microsoft windows – does anyone honestly believe they monitor computers for viruses and then call people to ‘help them’? It would cost billions of dollars and even if they could why should they? The sooner your computer breaks the sooner they can sell you a new one!

    I pretended to be stupid, and stalled her by saying I could not understand her accent – I asked her where she was calling from again? I then asked her why someone in England who barely speaks English anyway would be chosen to contact users in SWEDEN – didn’t they have anyone who spoke Swedish? I then asked her numerous questions, who exactly was she trying to contact here at this number, which computer exactly was infected – after all we have 9. Continuing I asked her to explain how they determined our computer was infected and how they knew who to contact by phone to tell them.

    In the end I finally just asked her ‘how stupid do you think I am? There’s no way you would know who to call, you don’t even know my name and this is a B***S*** scam you stupid B**ch’ and hung up on her. HAHA loved getting in the last word and loved how confused she got about all my questions. Her answers were ridiculous and clear evidence she had no idea what she was talking about and was too stupid to be a computer technician in real life, instead of a thief and a criminal – which is what she really is. Half the answers didn’t even make sense.

    GOOD JOB telling people about this scam. I guess I can understand how FEAR is a great motivator to get people to believe a phone call in which the person neither gives you their name, title, phone number nor location while trying to convince you they are a legitimate ‘Microsoft Service Technician’ and trying to get you to allow access to your computer. I figured after they got access they would just phish all your personal data and suck the money out of your account – but getting people to freely pay 300bucks sounds much easier.

    Bravo for the article, I will definitely post a link to this article on facebook.

  165. Jérôme Segura says on July 15, 2014 at 11:26 am :

    Thanks Rebecca Olesen!

  166. Mirică Adrian says on July 15, 2014 at 5:26 pm :

    they must die. what I don’t understand is why didn’t you move your mouse and let the filthy rat mess around ?! and how in oblivion did he know your name? that part I didn’t understand. have you contacted the authorities ?

  167. Mirică Adrian says on July 15, 2014 at 5:31 pm :

    I will share this on facebook, twitter and instagram at once !

  168. Maria Lidia says on July 16, 2014 at 4:51 pm :

    Called me today as well. This indian man, “john robinson” provided their company name and phone number : http://syscare247.com/ContactUs.aspx : 213 260 2279. They called again from 646 568 7616 and a toll free number , 866 232 4196. They stayed with me for about 30 minutes. They were very mad with me haha! lets see if i can break my record next time they call.

  169. ubuntuvm says on July 17, 2014 at 11:58 am :

    got the call from them yesterday July 16th. Said he was “Microsoft Tech Support”. When the accented male east indian voice got to the “your computer is infected” part, I broke in to his thread and just said it was a fraudulent call because my home computer isn’t connected to the internet. He warned me that he was going to call me “each and every day” I am tempted to reconnect my computer and let him access my virtual machine but after reading all the above, it would be a waste of everyone’s time.

  170. Jérôme Segura says on July 17, 2014 at 9:10 pm :

    Thanks for the info Maria Lidia!

  171. Allan Bowes says on July 18, 2014 at 12:24 pm :

    I have received a number of these calls in the last while. While at the cottage in Quebec which does not have internet, got a few. They wouldn’t accept that no computer and no internet there. Then I asked if they spoke French – guy tells me he is native English speaker. I told him that he sounded like a ‘Hindi’ and no way was native English. . Well this got a reaction – seems he is calling from Pakistan – so now he was advised he was a ‘Paki’ with a ‘rag top’. Then he starts swearing big time. Got another one today at home and told him didn’t have Microsoft computer, then he suggested MAC which I said no, Wanted to know what I had so said Linex so ended the call.

  172. vwisnewski says on July 19, 2014 at 3:11 am :

    Hi, I realize this blog is from last year but I was just scammed last night (7/18/14.) However, it wasn’t a telephone call, it was a,” Windows Firewall Warning,” ad that popped up on my computer. I called the phone number listed on the pop. The lady gained access to my computer from, “Log MeIn.Com.” She proceeded to show me all the windows and warnings they mentioned to you. And I really thought they were all threats. She even showed me the, “Running,” and, “Stopped, ” programs. She did I needed to have their online tech clean my laptop. But, I refused and she got mad. She kept dropping the price and proceeded to tell me i had to get it done now because by tomorrow my computer will have 10x the amount of viruses and problems. I refused to give her my credit card info and hung up on her. She has my phone number- she repeated it to me at the beginning of the call and at one point she did her phone was cutting out and it did in us and she called me back. But, when I hung up on her after refusing to give my credit info she didn’t even try to call me back. My question is: since she had access to my computer- does she still have access now? When I used the LogMeIn, I ran the system- I did not install it. And she supposedly used, “SUPER ANTI SPYWARE, ” to scan my computer for viruses. When I hung up on her, she quickly closed all the windows she opened and disconnect the,” Logmein.” I uninstalled the Super anti spyware, after I hung up on her, disconnected my laptop from the wifi and closed all my bank cards, credit cards and changed my passwords to email, Paypal, ebay (I did online banking and shopping on that laptop.) Do you think they still have access to my laptop? To mt desktop that is connected to the same router? Do you think they could gain access of my web history and obtain mt passwords, banking info, or personal information I’ve entered before on my laptop?

    Im sorry to bombard you with so many questions. You’re the only one who I see is interacting with others and actually giving feedback. Thanks so much.

    The phone number I called is: (855) 548-3388

    And the phone number she called me back on was: (800) 449-7728

  173. Sarah-rose Maxey says on July 21, 2014 at 1:41 am :

    I just received a call from a Indian guy. Telling me the same story as above. I asked if he was a scam. (Like to see if they lie or such) He said no he is from Microsoft. Said I have errors etc. Something in my gut was telling me NO!. I asked him where he got my phone number from. And replied with you are registered with us. (I don’t think so sunshine.) Anyway I said Could I check it out first before carrying on. He was polite to give me his number (13217635857) I said I would call him back if I found him to be true. I have caller ID and the number was different (08845122).
    I don’t have money in my bank as I am on sick. When I typed in the number on google (My best friend). It came up with this link. After watching this I feel so lucky I didn’t give him any details. Sorry you got hit and others like this. I am waiting for a call back to which wil get them no where. No details were given so hopefully they can not get into my computer. Is there something we can do about these people? I mean It can not go on its disgusting the way these people con money out of us. So need to return the favor back to them. ~So would love to do it to them the hackers~. Thank you for this information. I will share this on FB. So no others will get taken for a ride. :D

  174. farfallealfredo says on July 21, 2014 at 8:44 am :

    We recently got a phone call like this at my parents house. They don’t own a computer, don’t have their TV connected online, still use a landline phone, they have very little technology outside of indoor plumbing and electricity. Mom answered the phone, the second they said “computer” she said “Oh I don’t use computers but my daughter does” and she handed me the phone. They went through the same spiel. When they asked me to turn on the computer, I asked “Where do I find that?” “Find what?” “The computer. Where do I find it? Are you sending us one? Is it coming UPS?” “No, I need you to turn on your computer so we can send the update”. We ran around like this for at least ten minutes before they gave up with cursing and threats that “your computer won’t work tomorrow”.

  175. Jérôme Segura says on July 21, 2014 at 10:40 am :

    Hi vwisnewski,

    Thanks for your comment and providing so much information (will be useful for us to check on).
    From the sounds of it, the technician attempted the pitch but wasn’t able to convince you to hand over your financial information. My feeling is that they probably gave up on you and moved on to someone else.

    You already seem to have done a lot of precautionary steps in case they snooped around your machine (something that they could do). Sometimes the remote program (i.e. logmein) can be restarted on reboot to allow the technician to take control again. Just to be sure, please do a search on your computer for ‘logmein’. If there are any traces, please remove them.

    You can also run a full scan on your computer for possible malware (feel free to use our Malwarebytes software).

    Other than that, it seems like it was a really bad experience and scary indeed but hopefully no real long term harm.

  176. Jérôme Segura says on July 21, 2014 at 10:42 am :

    Hi Sarah-rose Maxey, farfallealfredo

    Thanks for sharing your experience and nice seeing you did not fall for their dirty tricks!

  177. layankee says on July 21, 2014 at 7:35 pm :

    Same issue as vwisnewski happened to my wife this afternoon. The phone number brought her to an individual who claims that “above a certain number of virus detections, Microsoft directs you to a Microsoft technician”. Same deal – used TeamViewer for access and for the small fee of $299.99, removed adware, etc. I assume this isn’t a legitimate Microsoft practice, but how can I verify? The website the “technician” directed me to (onvoicesupport.com) looks like a one-man show and debit was listed as Deep Infotech LLC.

  178. Jérôme Segura says on July 21, 2014 at 9:44 pm :

    Hi layankee,

    I’m sorry to hear that :(

    A quick look at the site you listed shows very suspicious registrant information:
    Privacy Protection Service INC
    British Virgin Islands – Road Town – Pdr Ltd.

    Microsoft would never call you directly. Here’s their official statement: “You will never receive a legitimate call from Microsoft or our partners to charge you for computer fixes.“ from http://www.microsoft.com/security/online-privacy/avoid-phone-scams.aspx

    If there is any way for you to reverse the charges, please give it a try. You will want to talk to your bank and keep a close eye on your account to make sure additional charges are not made.

    Also, if the same people call back again you should not answer as they could potentially do more damage.

    Thank you for sharing the name of the company. This will help us to add them to our list of scammers so that other people are aware.

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