So its a cold Monday morning in November 2013 and the phone rings, who could this be? Sadly its not someone calling me to tell me there are millions of pounds to be had if I can just send some money over, instead it turns out I have computer issues, but the friendly certified Microsoft technical support chaps are on hand to help me out. Lucky me 🙂
So I had heard of people getting done by these sort of scams, but I had never had the privilege myself and hadn’t seen alot online around the details of the scam. So I thought I would keep them on the phone for a while to run up abit of a bill for them, and at the same time get my VPN and Virtual Machine up and running to see exactly how these guys operate.
The first call came in around 9am from 0208 416 3432 where I had the initial explanation of why they were calling, and that on behalf their certified Microsoft technical support folks they are going to show me what is wrong with my computer, but best of all fix it for me. So I play along for a little bit, but then I have phone issues, and I cant get the website to work they want me to go to, and then my invisible computer gets stuck in a Blue Screen of death loop 🙂
During this stage whilst I am buying time I have them call me back eight times :), nice to feel I ran up a small bill for them as well as wasting 3 of their teams time. In addition to the 0208 number already mentioned they also called from 01977 609 924 and 0808 234 8670, so calls from any of these numbers should simply be ignored.
Eventually I get bored and dont want to enter my fake credit card details, so I thank them for hacking my machine, and to please come again. Then they get abit upset, and how dare I claim they are hacking my machine, they are trying to help me. Then they tell me that next time I turn on my computer I am going to be in trouble, and it wont work properly. I say bye bye and eventually they hang up 🙂
I thought this would be a good post to share, and the 30 minute video shows you what the bad guys are upto along with the audio from the call, so others dont suffer the real issues of this type of scam. So if you get a call from the PC Wizards, abracadabra them away by hanging up.
If you have also experience a run in with these helpful folks and worse still parted with your card data, please share your experience in the comments.
Since I have discussed this blog post with several media outlets now I thought I should add some key points that people may not be aware of for this type of scam. Its probably obvious to most these scammers want you to provide them your credit card details so they can charge you £119 to fix your bogus issues, but more importantly they now have your credit card details for use for any purchase, or sell your card data on. They now also have full access to your machine, so they can run keyloggers to capture your credentials when doing online banking, as well as online shopping, and finally they could sell or rent your computer out for use in a Botnet for use in further criminal activity. This is a simple scam, but really with multiple wins for the bad guys if you take the bait.