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Remote Assistance Scam - Beware the call from Microsoft, Windows or your ISP

Posted by on Oct 01, 2010 - 06:53 PM

We are receiving an increasing amount of calls relating to a scam which goes a little something like this:

  1. You receive a call from someone claiming to be from Microsoft, Windows, your ISP or similar.
  2. They claim to have obtained your details from your Router, ISP or similar.
  3. They tell you one of the following:
    • Your computer is infected with viruses
    • You have a trojan horse in your system
    • You are going to be cut off from the Internet
    • You need software warranty
    • Your Hard Drive is going to fail
  4. At this stage it can vary - they say one of the following:
    • You need to pay them $99, $129 or $149 (or similar) by Credit Card
    • They will fix it for free - But then you pay an amount for "Software Warranty" - No such thing exists
    • You need Anti-Virus - Usually $120
  5. They then have the user run commands in the RUN box - these may include
    • eventvwr - Event Viewer
    • taskmgr - Task Manager
    These commands really don't do anything useful at this point and are just part of the "confidence build" stage of the Scam.
  6. After this they usually find a way to convince the user to open a remote access program like Team Viewer
    • Luckily most of of the people that called us for help had hung up and shut down their computers at this point.
  7. What's next? We have heard reports that they "run" a whole heap of commands and generally make it look like they are doing things. Then they claim they have fixed everything and it will "never happen again" - If there really was a problem, that is impossible to guarantee.

 

So what has really happened?

From most reports they, and the computers we have inspected after they have been cut off by the owner, have shown absolutely no sign of infection, corruption, problems or anything.

Nothing.

This is a SCAM - It relies on the fear of the victim and the confidence of the initiator.

If you receive a call like this - just politely hang up the phone.

 

They are very skilled and know exactly what to say

They will give you identification numbers, phone numbers and they are very confident. This is just because they are doing this everyday to many people like you.

 

What should you do if you are still concerned?

Call an IT savvy friend, call your trusted IT person or if you like, call us on 02 9037 1594

 

But how did they know my name, my number etc?

We are still not 100% sure - but let me put it this way: It isn't hard to get someone's Name and Phone Number.

 

Extra Notes:

One of the numbers they give when people ask (or as part of the ID/Confidence stage): 02 8091 5005

If they give you that number - Hang up immediately.

This is known to be given to Queensland residents and is a number in our home state of New South Wales.

 

Conclusion

If anyone has evidence to show that this isn't a scam, I would love to see it. At this point assume all calls of that nature are fraudulent and ignore them. If you are still concerned, visit a local IT shop or call a local technician.

Most of the time this is a waste of money as there is nothing wrong. We remotely helped a lady in Queensland who had recieved one of these calls and her computer was in amazing condition for its age.

These people are just scumb in our opinion and are doing a great job of making IT professionals look like dodgy salesmen and con artists. Thanks a lot.

 

If you email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) with more information on the scam (numbers, names, business names etc) we will keep this page updated.