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Thread: Beating back the telephone virus scammers

  1. #101
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    Re: Beating back the telephone virus scammers

    Quote Originally Posted by Dale61 View Post
    I told her that she had just been scammed, so reformat the HDD and start with a fresh install.
    If she has anything to do with money (Internet banking, PayPal, on-line shopping, etc.), also change all those passwords.

    I have my honeypot Windows XP set up on Virtual Box with slow CPU, low RAM, etc. where I can let them play around and waste their time. But they haven't phoned me back yet!
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  2. #102
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    Re: Beating back the telephone virus scammers

    Nine months later (!), and the scammers phoned again. I had my Windows XP honeypot ready!

    Riding off the back of genuine websites (LogMeIn, ConnectTechnician, Ammyy), they had a not-very polished speech. Well, not polished to someone who knows something about computers, but it would quite easily take in your "normal" Windows computer user.

    My honey pot with Windows XP was (deliberately) very, very slow (Virtual Box is great in allowing this!). Thus, I managed to waste over two hours of his time (every time we had to wait for the computer to respond, I got on with something else in my Ubuntu session ). That's two hours that he was not scamming someone vulnerable.

    Here are some points that I noted during the conversation.


    • He was calling from India.


    • He was calling from Microsoft Support Services because my computer had notified Microsoft that it had "automatically downloaded malicious software".


    • The malicious software was the reason why my computer was so slow.


    • He had me open the Event Viewer (eventvwr) and pointed out the error messages (which, by the way, are completely normal in Windows). "Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! Your computer is completely damaged!" he exclaimed.


    • After taking control of my computer (while getting me to do things he could have done himself; I don't know why), he hovered the mouse over the bit in the task bar that hides icons. The tooltip read, "Hiding inactive notification icons". He said, "Oh my God, your icons are completely gone! Never mind, our technician will solve that for you."


    • He secretly loaded a file into my C:\ folder, named Licence Checker.exe. He then had me run it.

      It pretends to check with the Microsoft server and then reports that my license has expired. Funny -- it still managed to check with Microsoft's servers when I reran it later after disconnecting from the Internet. It must be clever!

      (Of course, when you purchase Windows with a machine, its license does not expire.) He explained, "You see, your license has expired, and so now your machine is running illegally. Tomorrow, your computer will not start up any more. You are running in a grace period. But don't worry, our technician will fix that for you."

      And, oh gosh, when you look at the message... it's only one hour before the computer becomes inoperable!


    • He ran me through a genuine website that showed a support package; then in a new browser window took me to his PayPal payment page to pay him (not the genuine company) the fee. He told me that this would cover my computer and all other computers in my household that I should ever get, for life.


    • I baulked at the price of $299 (obviously -- I wasn't going to pay him!). He reminded me that I was using Windows illegally because the license had expired, and so if I did not renew, it would mean I could not run any Windows ever from this household any more, as my address was registered with Microsoft as running illegal software.


    • I still baulked, saying I would take my computer to be recycled, and purchase a reconditioned Mac computer from the computer shop down the road. He offered me a massive discount, down to £80 (about $127). Naturally, I still refused, and he said "it is as you choose", but I would never again be allowed to run Windows in this household.


    Oh well, I guess he'll have to sue me, LOL.

    The lies and the level of deceit are disgusting. I have reported his PayPal account to PayPal, though I doubt PayPal can do anything about it.

    I wonder if there is anything else one could do?

    I have attached a couple of screen shots (note the spelling and grammar mistakes).

    If you would also like a copy of the supposed licence checker program, let me know -- but, warning, it may contain malware (my honey pot was in a VM where it couldn't harm anything else).

    EDIT: I am no longer sure that ConnectTechnician is a bona fide website.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Paddy Landau; February 17th, 2012 at 04:54 PM. Reason: New information
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  3. #103
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    Re: Beating back the telephone virus scammers

    You experience seems very similar to that of people who have been targetted by this company:

    http://windowsesolution.com/contact.php

    I have had a few calls from them in the various guises that they use , and always let him talk me through the process, which involves getting windows users to open the "event viewer" and look at all the "critical warning error messages"
    He then proceeds to tell me that he can give me an access code for the website and he can access my computer and fix the problem which "Microsoft cannot fix"

    They call using a VOIP/SKYPE number but always leave a UK number as a contact number.

    Huge scam, and not funny for those who are tricked into believing that they need to spend the £100 in order to keep using their Windows computer.

    However there is immense satisfaction in waiting until the guy finishes his pitch and then saying, "Oh, sorry did I mention I am running Linux?"

    He hangs up pretty sharp after that.

    The company mentioned above is part of a huge list of companies operated from Kolkatta in India, with registered offices all over the world.


    Let all your Windows using friends know about this thread too!

  4. #104
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    Re: Beating back the telephone virus scammers

    That's pretty sad and pretty funny at the same time.

    I'm sure the scam works too, otherwise they wouldn't keep doing it.
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  5. #105
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    Re: Beating back the telephone virus scammers

    Quote Originally Posted by winh8r View Post
    However there is immense satisfaction in waiting until the guy finishes his pitch and then saying, "Oh, sorry did I mention I am running Linux?"
    Well, I used the honeypot to keep him on the phone for over two hours, rather than telling him I use Linux. It keeps him busy wasting his time.
    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesA View Post
    That's pretty sad and pretty funny at the same time.

    I'm sure the scam works too, otherwise they wouldn't keep doing it.
    Sadly, yes, they do take in many people. I have my suspicions that they also install other software, perhaps keyloggers.
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  6. #106
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    Re: Beating back the telephone virus scammers

    This site has most of their numbers listed on it somewhere.

    http://whocallsme.com/Phone-Number.aspx/02080990390

    The page shown has comments from people who have been called by them too.

  7. #107
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    Re: Beating back the telephone virus scammers

    Quote Originally Posted by Paddy Landau View Post
    Well, I used the honeypot to keep him on the phone for over two hours, rather than telling him I use Linux. It keeps him busy wasting his time.

    Sadly, yes, they do take in many people. I have my suspicions that they also install other software, perhaps keyloggers.
    Probably. It was odd to see them run something in a cmd window, when they had a GUI program that did the same thing.

    Kind of makes me wonder if they ran a batch file that installed other things.
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  8. #108
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    Re: Beating back the telephone virus scammers

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesA View Post
    Probably. It was odd to see them run something in a cmd window, when they had a GUI program that did the same thing.
    It issued the command "tree" before displaying the error message, which looks like technical fancy stuff to a rookie user. I think using the command line was intended to awe.

    I pretended to be suitably awed as the directory tree scrolled past!

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesA View Post
    Kind of makes me wonder if they ran a batch file that installed other things.
    They come in with either Team Viewer or LogMeIn (mine was the latter). They are able to install and do other work without having to display anything to you; that's how they installed the fake license checker program (while I was being awed by some other nonsense).
    Problems with WINE?
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    In my day, we had outdoors in which to run, play, and socialise. Now we have computers to do those.

  9. #109
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    Re: Beating back the telephone virus scammers

    I would have called the police from another phone during the attempted scam.

  10. #110
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    Re: Beating back the telephone virus scammers

    Ridiculous for sure.
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    Tomorrow's an illusion and yesterday's a dream, today is a solution...

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