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Thread: Phone number leaked to India-based scammers

  1. #1
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    Phone number leaked to India-based scammers

    Yesterday I got a phonecall to the landline in the house where I live. Someone claimed to be from Microsoft R&D in California and said that they my windows computer had sent warning messages to through their server and that my computer was probably infected with "malicious programs and hidden junkfiles". He wanted me to connect to their servers to fix the problem.

    I soon realised that this was a scam. Some searches on the web confirmed this and that the call could have originated from a company in Kolkata India called Komantra. This is an article with some info about them. http://www.hindustantimes.com/News-F...e1-823574.aspx

    Additional info:
    - I run only linux in my house. But there is an old computer with windows on it which is sometime used to make some book-keeping. It is connected at those time with the internet.
    - The landline to this house is actually not in use. I cannot make calls on it but I can recieve calls. No one calls on this number so that's why this freaked me out a bit.
    - The people who live here atm don't even know the number to this phone. And I can't imagine that the owner of the house has ever posted this number online.


    So one important question remains;
    How did he get my phone number? How did he know the name of the person owning the house in which I'm residing?

    Then I thought of the code I posted in the thread
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2178162

    Could he somehow had gained knowledge of the phone number or about my connection through some of the info I posted from the wireless log?


    By the way. He will call me again on monday evening European time. So if there are any suggestions on what I should ask him, feel free to post them here. I will not do anything he tells me to do but maybe I could get him to reveil some more info on this.

  2. #2
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    Re: Phone number leaked to India-based scammers

    Not an Ubuntu support question; moved to Cafe.

    I think it's highly doubtful this scammer got your phone number from anything you posted here.

  3. #3
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    Re: Phone number leaked to India-based scammers

    Depending on where you live, landlines can be publicly available by default.
    At least where I live, you have to opt out of having the owners name, street address and number from being published in the white pages.
    Sometimes it can be opted out of but is still easy found through Public Records, such as Property Assessment stuff for local government needs(ie property taxes, zoning laws).
    And sometimes, they just randomly guess.

    Here's an old thread with some fun suggestions

    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...phone+scammers
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  4. #4
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    Re: Phone number leaked to India-based scammers

    The phone companies sell phone number lists to telemarketers. Here in Canada, the do not call lists are publicly available, and they are a great source of phone numbers too.

  5. #5
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    Re: Phone number leaked to India-based scammers

    "So if there are any suggestions on what I should ask him,"

    I've had three or four of these calls and I usually ask (playing dumb again) how they know my computer has a virus and when they have tied themselves up on that one spring it on them that I'm using Linux. It might be a good idea to tell them that the phone call can be traced before telling them you know it's a scam, might reduce the risk of you getting further calls.

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  6. #6
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    Re: Phone number leaked to India-based scammers

    When I receive these type of calls, I usually just tell them they have dialed the wrong number, have a good day, and goodbye. For me they are so infrequent it's not that annoying.
    "The needs of the many outweigh the greed of the few"

  7. #7
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    Re: Phone number leaked to India-based scammers

    Quote Originally Posted by timbo3 View Post
    So one important question remains;
    How did he get my phone number?
    Where I live, telephone numbers follow this format:

    (area code - always between 01 and 08) (exchange code - four digits starting with a 6 or a 9) (four more digits)

    If you know those rules, you can ring any landline telephone in the country, starting with 01 6100 0001 and ending with 08 9999 9999.

    Some will be business numbers, some will be residential, many will be disconnected or invalid, you'll even find yourself dialing faxmachines, payphones and emergency telephones in lifts. But if you program a computer to dial those numbers, and connect a valid number to an operator, you can start your own outgoing call center.

    And that's what scammers, telemarketers and legit market research companies do. However, most people get indignant that "they got my number from somewhere". I even spent about a minute trying to explain it to one woman who still couldn't understand how a company could dial a random number that just happens to be hers, and for the call to actually connect, without us "getting my number from somewhere".
    I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.

  8. #8
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    Re: Phone number leaked to India-based scammers

    Quote Originally Posted by timbo3 View Post
    By the way. He will call me again on monday evening European time.
    No, "he" won't. Somebody else, whether from that company or a different one, will call again at some random point in the future, but scammers don't keep appointments.
    I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.

  9. #9
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    Re: Phone number leaked to India-based scammers

    How do you know they got your number - did they use your name? They could just be dialling numbers at random. They may be trying to make money by trying to fool you into phoning a premium rate number or they may be trying to fool you into installing some malware.

    Just tell them you don't use Windows because it's <insert your favourite expletive here> They should go away.

    You could try contacting the police as fraud is a crime but if they are in a different country from you they are unlikely to do anything about it apart from advising you just to tell the scammers to go away.

  10. #10
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    Re: Phone number leaked to India-based scammers

    Tell them you do not own a computer and hang up.
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