#1 By: howtogeek, January 23rd, 2014 21:27
Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/180514/the-%e2%80%9ctech-support%e2%80%9d-scammers-called-htg-so-we-had-fun-with-them/
For the uninitiated, we’ve already covered this subject before — for years now, these scammers have been cold-calling people, claiming to be from Microsoft, trying to convince them that your computer has viruses, and then asking you to pay them to fix the problem. You’d think the government would make this type of thing stop… but years later, these scams still exist.
#2 By: localhost, January 23rd, 2014 22:10
I kid you not, the EXACT same scammers called me yesterday and I did the exact same thing. I even recorded my screen and call for a good 22 minutes or so. It wasn't the first time either. This was roughly the 3 or 4th time I got this call. The first time I just hung up, the last two times, I recorded the conversation.
I may post the video if there's enough interest. I'll have to censor some stuff though since it was all impromptu and has some private info.
#3 By: Scott C, January 23rd, 2014 22:35
This is hilarious. I use a Macbook Pro and also run my Windows in a VM. I use Parallels, but its basically the same. If I ever get this call, I will be sure to see what happens.
#4 By: Rashad, January 23rd, 2014 22:39
Just an FYI, Ammyy Admin is a legit remote access tool. The're not affiliated with the scammers, but there having trouble because so many scammers are using it. See: http://www.ammyy.com/en/admin_mu.html
#5 By: NeXT-Generation's LEGO And Robotics, January 23rd, 2014 22:46
Very funny fun times. I'll have to be sure to keep a VM ready in case I get a call from these losers. Or just tell them I run Linux.
#6 By: Lowell Heddings, January 23rd, 2014 23:00
Seems like they would shut down the scammers. No mention in that post of giving them info on the scammers.
#7 By: Steve, January 24th, 2014 00:44
Why not just use the WhitePages and look up the number and report it?
#8 By: Hallodeere, January 24th, 2014 01:13
These guys called me. I told them I was running Opera on Linux Mint. They hung up.
#9 By: Ringhalg , January 24th, 2014 01:26
#10 By: John Chorley, January 24th, 2014 04:26
I still find it funny that these scammers actually think they can still scam people. If scammers do call have a bit of fun with em lol.
#11 By: Craig Clark, January 24th, 2014 04:32
They called my mother and said that her computer has a virus. Her reply: "We don't have a computer", they hung up. Hilarious!!!
#12 By: delebre, January 24th, 2014 05:37
Out of curiousity, is there a way to hide/alter the 'System Model' and BIOS to something that looks more legitimate? So if someone else ever called you, or were to call one of us, we could see if it goes farther? Just curious. Pretty funny how you guys trolled them though!
#13 By: Naman Sood, January 24th, 2014 07:35
I seriously want these guys to call us. It'll be so fun... I even got a Windows XP VM with convincing specs.<!-- (single core, uses only 58% of my CPU power, 1 GB of RAM, PAE and stuff is disabled, it's full of SpeedUpMyPC, toolbars, no less than five different browsers not including IE, still uses the Bliss wallpaper, uses SP2 and an Administrator account, activated with an OEM key I found on some Dell) -->
Unfortunately, these guys only seem to call in the US and UK.
#14 By: foo, January 24th, 2014 08:23
This gave me a good laugh. Thanks
#15 By: Ringhalg , January 24th, 2014 08:31
Some of the responses when "tech support" calls could be:
- I am using Linux / a Mac.
- I don't have a computer.
- Let me call my [some relative or someone you know] that is an IT genius (or similar) to take the call.
Usually any one of the above results in the call being dropped.
#16 By: David Smith, January 24th, 2014 09:04
I just read this last night. This morning at 06:45 I get the exact same call! I was not as nice as you, ok I was not nice at all. I berated the callers choice of job, tactics and parentage. I used language I had not used since.....yesterday. I then, in the middle of my tirade and while the caller was still attempting to finish the script ended the call. HE CALLED BACK! I. apparently had offended the poor soul that was attempting to steal money from me before I was even awake. Perfect, my day cannot get any better than this! I think I'll buy a lottery ticket today.
#17 By: MuggleBornNY, January 24th, 2014 09:55
So much fun reading this post. CONGRATULATIONS Geek!
#18 By: Dawid, January 24th, 2014 10:12
Great story, HTG. I've had one of those calls a couple of years ago. I went through a similar conversation as HTG did, but I questioned all his proposed tasks (like running tree /f command etc) instead of following them as I didn't have a VM handy. 20 minutes into the call, he must have realized he's not gonna get anywhere so he hung up. Luckily he never called again. I had a great laugh afterwards.
#19 By: Andrew, January 24th, 2014 10:33
He is looking at the BIOS date, right next to where it says VirtualBox, and he doesn't even notice. Idiots!
#20 By: Bob_Block, January 24th, 2014 10:49
Really well done - I see you have the creds and attitude to be a 'scambaiter' - you may want to check out: www.thescambaiters.com'
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