15 January 2014

Beware ...... Computer Scam Doing The Rounds.

I don't know about you but lately, the amount of spam phone calls I have been getting on my home number, despite being signed up for the BT no marketing calls scheme, has been increasing rapidly and now, I'm getting about 6 or 7 calls a day, sometimes more, of PPI calls or debt consolidation calls or marketing calls and frankly I'm getting very sick of it. Yesterday, I was happily crafting away making cards for my stall when my land line rang. Usually, I check the caller ID and if it's unavailable or blocked I don't answer it figuring that it's another spam call and that if it is someone genuine, they will leave a message and I can call them back. Yesterday, however, I grabbed the phone before checking the number to be confronted by yet another spam call. This one, however was not just a spam call it was also a SCAM call. 

The man on the other end of the phone told me that he was from the technical department of "World Wide Web" and proceeded to tell me that my computer had been sending out error messages regarding my windows application and if I would just open my computer he could send me the report and fix the problem for me. Now, by nature I am a very wary person and I knew that this was a load of rubbish. I know there is nothing wrong with my computer and I told him so. He then told me that I wouldn't know if there was something wrong because the error message was to do with the part of the computer that would tell me if there was something wrong. When I refused to even open my computer, telling him that I had no idea who he was and that he could be anybody, the man became more and more aggressive until I eventually put the phone down. What happened next astounded me. Usually, when you hang up on a call like that it's the end of the conversation but this man was so desperate to get into my computer he actually rang me back! He said that we appeared to have been cut off and continued to hassle me for another 15 minutes trying to get me to open my laptop. I asked him for a phone number, which he eventually gave to me and when I told him |I was going to call the number and check he put the phone down. 

The point of him doing all this was to gain remote access to my computer. When they gain access, they then proceed to lock you out of your computer and ask for money to "fix" the problem. So ..... if you get a call like this 

DO NOT GIVE THEM ACCESS TO YOUR COMPUTER!!!!

Hang up and don't answer if they try and phone you back. As far as I know, you have to type in a code on your computer to let them have access so whatever you do don't.

If you do find yourself in the position of having fallen for a scam like this 

DO NOT HAND OVER ANY MONEY.

My nephew works for a computer company and after I posted a bit of a rant on a popular networking site, he replied with the following. 

Getting several computers in a week at work with this, just to add to the information you've provided, just in case anyone has allowed these people to take remote access of their pc the "errors" that they will show you are in the event viewer, a built in log that windows uses to record any issues with programs/hardware most of which are nothing to worry about because the computer will have resolved these issues by itself by either restarting a program or service. If you find yourself in the very unfortunate position of having been locked out of your pc by these con artists it is nothing to worry about as all they have done is activated a security feature on your pc called Syskey, something that is very easily rectifiable just do not under any circumstances pay these people for your "ransomed" pc take it to the nearest pc repair specialist.

He then went on to add....

you will never, ever, ever be contacted by any organization such as Microsoft or any large I.T corporation with information regarding your personal PC

I actually reported the incident to Action Fraud (you can click to see the link to their website). Usually I wouldn't do this but the fact that the man was so pushy and even called me back got me slightly concerned. They were very helpful and took a report and gave me a reference number. 

Anyway, I wanted to just let people out there in Blogland know that these scammers are doing the rounds. Apparently this has been going on for a couple of years now but lately, it seems to be getting more widespread and they seem to be getting more and more aggressive so ....... take care people. 

5 comments:

Lesley FW said...

I had these also. The idiot I got tried to tell me there was something wrong with my "Web". I also hung up. Looks like you got a persistent pest this time. Handy links though, will make a note of them, thanks.

Anne said...

We have had these calls too but we always say we havent got a computer.That usually baffles them!!
Oh and another thing we tend to do is put the tv on loud and put the phone next to the speaker.They soon hang up!

Pam said...

I keep a referee's whistle next to the phone, a sharp blast on that ensures that, however aggressive the cold caller is, I do not get a call back.

diegoagogo said...

This is such an old scam! I think the first time I heard of it was in the 1980's.
I used to work for Fair Trading in OZ & it was always our recommendation to say you don't have a computer & hang up. We also gave people permission to be rude & hang up without speaking. It's amazing how we (especially women) are so hard wired to be polite to everyone. You have every right to tell them to take a long walk off a short pier!! The whistle is a great option for persistent callers :)
Stay safe out there :)
Cheers
Lush

Dianne - Hereford said...

Thank you for the warning.
Dianne - Hereford