Phone Scams

Phone Scams

phonescamWe have had customers reporting to us since 2008 that they have been targeted by these scammers.  As these scams have evolved we thought we would let you know their latest tricks, and to get the message out to as many people as we can.

We’ve had reports of calls not only from companies pretending to be Microsoft & Windows, but saying they are from the customers own broadband provider.  The callers know not only the name of the person they are calling, but the broadband account details, which strengthens our suspicions on how these bogus companies are collating their information.

We are unable to elaborate on our suspicions, but one of the companies we have reported this problem to has admitted they have a security problem relating to customers data, and that it is being investigated.

The Callers Tactics

The caller uses scare tactics to convince their victim to give them access to their computer.  The scare tactics they use can vary from “your computer is reporting errors, and if you don’t let us sort it out your computer will crash and you will lose everything!”, to “Your computer has reported to us that you have viruses and malware, and we can remove them for you”. 

The callers main aim is to gain access to your computer, once they have access they can install malware that monitors everything you do on your computer, even after you have ended the phone call and remote session.  One of our customers was asked to log in to their online banking whilst in the remote session, fortunately the victim refused, but the caller started getting aggressive, and even after the customer had hung-up the phone they typed on the computers “Are you still there Madam?”.

Another customer, who is elderly and had recently lost her Husband had been caught by these scammers, she had already paid them money on a few occasions, so the scammers persisted.  Every time the customer switched on her computer they would call her on the phone, and if she didn’t answer the phone they would type a message on the computer saying “We know you are there, answer your phone!!”.  As you can imagine this was very frightening and invasive.  But, this goes to show that the scammers will stop at nothing to gain access to peoples personal information.

At the end of the call the scammer will then ask for payment for the work they have done, the amount can be as much as the high hundreds, and should the victim say they cannot afford this amount, they will proceed to reduce the amount, after all they just want your credit or debit card details, the amount of money you pay is irrelevant.

Our experience

We have even had phone calls from these scammers, but luckily we know they are a scam. We keep them on the phone to us for as long as possible, well after all, whilst they are on the phone to us, they aren’t scamming someone else.

At the beginning of the phone call we go along with them, pretending we don’t know anything about computers, act shocked when we eventually navigate to the EventViewer showing lots of errors (which is completely normal for all computers). We let them try and scare us into thinking there is something drastically wrong with our computer, and then as soon as they ask us to go to a website and let them have access to our computer, well that is where the “naive computer user” turns into a “knowledgeable computer user”, and we then explain to them that what they are doing is wrong, and that they are scamming money out of people.  During the most recent call we received they became very aggressive and threatening, they said that they were going to revoke our Microsoft licenses, and that in 24 hours our computer would stop functioning. They also said they were going to get the “FBI” after us, and that they were going to track us down and “choke us like a chicken”!

Think you have been targeted?

If you think that you, a friend or family member have been targeted we recommend getting the computer checked over, the best course of action is to have your computer wiped and reloaded, this will ensure that any programs/malware they have installed are removed.  If payment has been made to the scammers you should contact your bank, building society or credit card company immediately.  They maybe able to reverse the payment, or at the very least cancel your card to stop them from continuing to take any further money.

Some down, but no doubt many more to go!!

Four people have been arrested in the UK following an investigation into scams involving calls from fraudsters pretending to be IT support staff

Click Here to read the full story.

Come and see us, or give us a call on 01460 259 999, we are always more than happy to help.