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Phone scam - pretending to be Microsoft Engineer

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I've just had a call from a friend describing how their distraught daughter has had her computer "hacked" AND it was a phone call from a Microsoft Engineer that told her so...

...the "MS Engineer" then went on to tell her how to remove the virus from her machine and, no doubt, do several other things to it as the same time. Oh, they also told her that her "operating system license" had expired and so would need to renew it for the cost of £150.

Obviously, this is a total scam aimed at the non security savvy pc user. I've told her to change all usernames and passwords, etc. and will be wiping/restoring the hard drive for them later.

Seems it's a growing problem:

(No doubt, there are better links and information elsewhere.)

Stoic Joker:
Thanks for the heads up I hadn't heard about this angle yet. Be interesting to see if I get any client calls about it here in the US.

OTOH I certainly sounds like it could make for a fun afternoon if I get called ... Maybe turn them loose in a sandboxed VM to see what they do. I love playing dumb... ;)


I visited my mum last week (Rep. of Ireland) and answered one of these calls. He was saying something along the lines of - you have a computer with microsoft windows number xxxyyxxyyxxyyy and that there was a problem with - I said straight away that there was NO computer in the house, and he hung up very quickly.

I was very sorry afterwards I didnt play along a bit to see what exactly he was up to but it sounds like it was the same crew.

Good points both of you. It would be fun to try and keep one of these scammers on the phone for as long as possible, see how far they'll go with someone acting really "confused" and "gullible"; make it sound tempting to the scammer...

..."oh no, I'm so glad you called, I know it will cost a lot of money for you to mend my computer and I'm more than happy to pay. Now, please tell me what I need to do..."

It's times like that where you kind of wish you had a nice sized bot army. Oh, what was that link? <tappity tappity click /> Oh... The site seems to be down now... :P


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