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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Phony Computer Phone Call Scam-Beware!

Indian Call Centre Purports to Be Windows!

February 7 is Safer Internet Day, which promotes safer and more responsible use of online technology and mobile phones. How ironic this scam should try to target us today!
Did you get a call from 'Windows'? A longtime scam reported in the UK Guardian two years ago, has raised its ugly head in our rural community this morning. If you should get a call from someone claiming to be from 'Windows' telling you that they received a report that your computer has downloaded junk files, and they help you get rid of them, do not believe them.

How the Scam Operates

There are a few versions of this scam running, but generally they are run out of call centers in India, and the person asks you to download a file from the Internet and run it on your computer - telling people that they are calling from 'Windows' is meant to trick people into thinking this is a legitimate request related to their computer, and does trick many people, unless they do not have a Windows Operating system on their computer. One version of this scam has you download a virus program to your computer, which they then offer to remove for you if you pay them, another version offers to sell you remote computer support. Beware of accepting remote computer support; this gives other people control of your computer.

Take Action

Complaints have been lodged for ages about this business; one of the biggest locations where comments have gathered is at Digital Toast, where a blogpost warning of these scams, first written in January 2009, has drawn (at the time of writing) 1911 comments - the most recent from a few hours ago. Digital Toast offers the following strategies for dealing with this slimy practice:
PLEASE TRY AND RECORD THE CALL, and whether you can or can’t record it, please try and get as much of the following information as you can:

  • Do they know your name and address? Ask: “Who was it you wanted to speak to?”
  • If so, are you in the phone book under that name and address?
  • Are they using a particular name that’s only on your credit card?
  • Have you recently contacted your broadband provider or telephone provider?And if so, which company was it?
  • Is there any other computer based transaction, repair, purchase or enquiry you made online or in store recently, and can you remember where it was?
After getting your info,report the scam to one of the many scam busters available.
Sources:Guardian News

Digital Toast

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