How the "tech support" scam works


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/13/ring-ring-ripoff-phone.html


#2

I have an app that pretty much stops all scams and malware.

It’s called Common Sense 2017 (I update it yearly).


#3

Advantage to using Linux is that this scam doesn’t even get a chance


#4

These are true scumbags who prey on the elderly. Somehow my mother got on their sucker list, and for years they’ve been calling at least a couple of times a week demanding payment for their “help.”

When I’m visiting her and they call, I like to pick up the phone and mess with them. So there’s some small entertainment value in it.


#5

One of my favorite things on the web is Jolly Roger Telephone, a set of bots that can be used to intercept spam phone calls and waste the time of the scammers. There isn’t a human on the line, and it is amazing that the scammer will stay on the call with only the smallest amount of nonsensical content. They did one looking at windows support calls that’s pretty amusing.


#6

We had one a year or 2 ago. They wanted to fix our “dose” computer.
Guessing they meant dos.
Still good to see they’re keeping up with the latest trends.


#7

It sounds like something William Gibson invented.

In addition to Microsoft.


#8

“What’s that, sonny? … I should open my windows? But it’s cold! … Speak up, I can’t hear you! … I just cleaned my windows, they don’t have a virus … Oh, I don’t have a computer!”


#9

I kept the guy on the phone for almost 20 minutes, explaining that I knew what he was doing, and questioning whether it was ethically and religiously defensible in his own cultural terms. He was Hindu & Indian by birth, and I’m reasonably familiar with the ethos, so I had him pretty worked up after a while. I told him I’d pray for him, and that I hoped his family never found out that he was actively helping wealthy people commit crimes against the weak and elderly, and that he was almost certainly condemning himself to a lower incarnation in the next hundred lives, and just generally tried to provide a negative experience that would stick with him. I never raised my voice or said anything aggressive at all, just kept saying things like “I understand you need the money, but you are doing this for a boss, does the boss need the money, or is he an immoral person that you are helping?” and stuff like that.


#10

I play it all horrified. Just responding with “A virus? On my computer? Oh dear, that’s awful. What IP address do you see it coming from?” is good for 5 minutes of scrambling on the other other end. It invariably results in a response of “192.168.0.1” followed by my laughter followed by some clumsy cursing in broken English.


#11

One really sad thing about this is that I know it’s a scam because even legitimate tech support for things I’ve bought have never been able to help me with anything.


#12

I’ve had random scam callers attempt to help me with my Linux netbook, Playstation, and my old Apricot which runs Win 3.0 and DOS all using the same script.

Sometimes when they tell me that my computer us sending them data I accuse them of hacking my machine and suggest I’m gonna call the police.


#13

I talked to a couple of “IRS” scammers one day. They used Magic Jack as their VOIP provider (which is why I was getting a call from the “IRS office” in Rochester NY instead of the one in Fresno CA that my tax returns go to), and they had fun showing off their Caller-ID spoofing tricks. They could call me “from” random numbers, or my own number, or 911, etc. Eventually one of them got tired of me and the other one wasting his time, and called me a “Black N*****”, thinking that as an American I’d obviously be racist enough that I’d be upset by it; I probably asked him if that was how he felt about Dravidians.


#14

How they got my retired neighbor: He googled “yahoo lost password.”


#15

I’ve tried a few things on these people. Sometimes wasting their time, sometimes waiting until I have a human on the phone and seeing how much verbal abuse they’ll take until they hang up.

I would love to find an android app that would just play an ear-damagingly loud tone on a call. I’ve looked, haven’t found one. Anyone know of any?


#16

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