I got a phone call this afternoon from someone with a very bad fake Indian accent. By Indian, I’m referring to the country of India.
He claimed to be calling from Microsoft about a problem with my computer. Knowing what people from India really sound like, I decided to have a bit of fun as I don’t get the scam phone calls or emails.
He tells me that I’ve downloaded a potential dangerous virus and he needs me to get on my computer so he can help me delete it. Now, I’m no computer genius, but I could see what he was trying to do. So, I start peppering him with questions that I knew he wouldn’t be able to answer.
I asked him what type of virus did I download, and he kept giving me a vague answer and trying to coax me to log into my computer. So, knowing I wouldn’t get an answer for that one, I then ask him when did I download the virus. He stammers to try to stay on script trying to get me to my computer.
Every time he tries to stick to his little script, I keep asking him to tell me what virus is it and when did I download it. I reminded him that he said he was with Microsoft, and that if he knew that I had this potentially dangerous virus on my PC, that he would know what it was and when I downloaded it.
By this time, the guy sounds like he has a speech impediment because of his sputtering and stammering. Knowing the call had been going on for a few minutes, I decided to turn the tables on him.
In a calm and deliberate voice, I informed him of who my employer was and that I was no dummy. I told him that he had been on my line long enough for me to trace his call and that I’d be getting in touch with the FBI about his call. I think that was probably the fastest I’ve ever had someone hang up the phone on me since I worked in retail. Guess he won’t call my number again. LOL!!!
If you’re not already aware of such a scam, the people are trying to get you to give them remote access to your computer. Once you give them access, they can do anything to your computer that they want too. Some scams involve putting a lock on the computer with a threat to delete everything unless you pay a ransom. Others will use your computer to launch malicious programs across the internet. Others will simply try to steal any personal information they can.
Companies don’t call you out of the blue like that. If you or a family member receives such a phone call, please don’t give them any information. Make them give you a contact name, phone number, and supervisor so that you can verify their ID and call them back. If you think it’s a scam and you threaten to involve law enforcement, they will scram faster than a cheetah chasing a gazelle.