Saturday, November 30, 2013

Computer repair scam

I hear a lot about scam artists, but I've never encountered one.  Until yesterday.

I got a phone call from an Out of Area number.  I don't often answer those, but sometimes they will permit you to take yourself off the calling list.  So this time I picked up the phone.

There was a delay when I answered Hello.  I was just about to hang up when a foreign male voice said, Hello?

Again, I said Hello.  The man said Hi.  I thought, well, this is going nowhere fast.

"We just got notification that your computer has downloaded a virus and needs to be repaired."

Interesting, I'm thinking, since my computer is turned off.  "How did you get notification?" I asked.

This answer is apparently not in the script, because all I hear is silence.  Then he reads the next line, "I need you to turn on your computer so I can remove the virus."

"Hmm, no I don't think so.  I'm a computer professional, so I would know if there was something wrong with my computer."

Even over the phone, I could see his confusion.  "Your computer is professional?  What is professional?"

I repeated myself, with the exact same result. Finally, I said, very slowly, "I am a computer technology person.  I work on computers.  I would know if there is a problem with my computer."

"Oh"  There was a fairly long pause.  I waited to see how he would recover.  "Enjoy the rest of your day," he said brightly.  And hung up.

I laughed out loud.

But I do worry about the people who would fall for it.

Update - the same guy actually called back the next day to try again!

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