Friday, October 14, 2016

Caveat Emptor (or, if you prefer, Empty Cave)

Anyone who runs Microsoft--this afternoon I got what is called a 'cold call" from Microsoft, telling me I had a virus that was running amok in my computer system.  Sakes alive, I thought.  He said Microsoft had been trying to contact me for days.

o, really.

Indian man, gave me his name which was something like pujnabbi mumble mumble...I played along, not really sure about all this.  He wanted me to delete something in the 'cmd" file,  and I said why and he got very angry with me and started shouting.  I quietly hung up.

It turns out this is a very well known scam, and apparently you are supposed to report them to the consumer protection people.  

Microsoft states categorically that they never cold call anyone without letting you know it's going to happen. And since I run a virus scan daily and a deep scan once a week, Im not too concerned.

If you do get an unannounced call from anyone who says they are with MS hang up.  Whatever they want you to do, it's either going to cost money or eat your computer.

9 comments:

  1. Same with the tax people, or any gov org. They don't work this way. Well maybe they don't work at all but that's a different matter. Good call on your part. My son the part time geek has rescued a couple of clients recently who had a similar scam on the computer, scary blue screen and instructions to click a link etc. Nooooooo...

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  2. exactly. When in doubt, don't. I went over to the MS boards about it, and this scam has been going on for 6 or 7 years, easily. Some people have lost the use of their computer, or it no longer responds to their passwords, its kinda scary. All those records. all that information. yikes.

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  3. They call me ALL THE TIME! I usually play along, tell them I'm following their instructions to the letter. Then I tell them that my screen has just switched to, say, French or Russian, or --gasp!-- Martian and I start begging them to help me, help me, HELP ME!!! for as long as I can suppress my laughter.

    Then it becomes a contest to see which of us can call the other an a**hole and hang up first.

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  4. oh that's perfect. I must remember that the next time, and also remember to take down the phone number so I can report them for being jerks ...

    I;ll bet you have fun with the political survey guys too. I usually just tell them yeah, thats me but Im not home now. sometimes they hang up on me.

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  5. oh that's perfect. I must remember that the next time, and also remember to take down the phone number so I can report them for being jerks ...

    I;ll bet you have fun with the political survey guys too. I usually just tell them yeah, thats me but Im not home now. sometimes they hang up on me.

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  6. They have called me twice. I just hang up. I think this would conclude with them putting a peeking file on your computer. I also get messages on the computer claiming it is the electric co. telling me to delete a file, just more junk.

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  7. I agree, I had the feeling with this one was that the next step was for him to connect to the computer and 'own it'. Noooo. Not gonna happen.
    I think possibly the electric company one might warrant looking into, easy enough to find out by contacting them.

    The one I get on this computer is the huge page wide splash from Google saying I need to do upgrade. No, I don't. and apparently Google has nothing to do with it.

    When in doubt, just type in the name, URL, or any key phrase in a search engine, with the word "scam?" after it. If it is, you'll find it.

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  8. I don't get calls. But if I did, I'd tell them "the cupholder on my computer took my bagel and now it won't turn on anymore."

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  9. Lol

    Tell them you dont live there anymore and you gave the computer to goodwill...

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