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(Ars Technica)   Ars Technica writer gets a call from a scammer calling him "from Windows". Then the fun begins   (arstechnica.com) divider line 45
    More: Amusing, Ars Technica, Windows, remote access, roots, Start Menu, desk chair, error messages, rotary dial  
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7251 clicks; posted to Geek » on 05 Oct 2012 at 2:37 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-10-04 09:49:01 PM  
Cool. I always wondered what the entire sales pitch sounded like. I don't have a Windows computer, so I can't string them along like this guy did.
 
2012-10-04 10:00:35 PM  
nicely done, bunch of rat ba$tards
 
2012-10-04 11:09:32 PM  

bingethinker: Cool. I always wondered what the entire sales pitch sounded like. I don't have a Windows computer, so I can't string them along like this guy did.


But you could still string them along if other posts by Linux users on other websites are to be believed.

For one thing your inaccurate answers might be the symptom of a real virus.
 
2012-10-05 12:57:50 AM  
It's a damned shame that Google Voice doesn't work just a little bit better than it does.

When scammers call my google voice number, nothing rings and the call goes straight to "voicemail" that I never see until I go spelunking in my spam folder.
But, the only way to get calls routed from google voice to my iphone is to have one google voice number and one iPhone number, so the spammers who call directly to my phone tell me all about how many free cruises I've won, how to reduce my debt, and that my car warranty is expiring. Never have gotten the "calling from a windows" scam before. Maybe I'll start answering the unknown numbers now, just to see if that one pops up.

/ CSB, my favorite was the "extend your car warranty" scam. I played along just to waste their time. Kind of figured out their script. They would hang up on you if your car wasn't within a certain age range. So my crowning achievement was this:
"press 1 to extend your warranty" [1]
spammer: hi, you wanted to extend your waranty.
me: yes that's right, but I have a few questions.
spammer: ok, I'd be happy to answer, but first may I ask you the make model and year of the car?
me: sure, it's a 1985 DeLorean
spammer: sir, we only cover vehicles less than 5 years old.
me: oh, it's only a year old. See, it's kind of a long story. There were these libyans, you know what I mean?
spammer: sir, I thought you said it was a 1985 car, yes?
me: yeah, but like I said, these libyans wanted me to build them a bomb, but I gave them a shoddy bomb casing filled with used pinball machine parts and...
spammer: sir, do you have a car that was made after 2003?
me: well no, but like I said, this one's only a year old. Look, enough about me though. Like I said it's a long story. Let's cover some details about the warranty and what kind of stuff it covers before I waste both our time telling this drawn out story.
spammer: ok...
me: I really need to know if your warranty covers damage that occur in alternate timelines?
hello? hello?

That's the farthest I ever got. My master plan eventually had us getting to the point where the ridiculous stuff I wanted coverage for on my car wasn't covered, so I would follow up by asking them if they cover phone booths. It's a shame we never got there.
 
2012-10-05 01:05:59 AM  
I'm thinking, it would be nice if somebody (maybe an employee from the company that makes the software) would find some exploitable bug in the remote desktop software they use, then write a tool that uses said exploit to just absolutely pwn the scammers while keeping you safe.
 
2012-10-05 01:06:03 AM  
 
2012-10-05 02:03:35 AM  
If these guys ever call me I'm going to just tell them to do the needful.
 
2012-10-05 02:24:30 AM  

serial_crusher: / CSB, my favorite was the "extend your car warranty" scam. I played along just to waste their time. Kind of figured out their script. They would hang up on you if your car wasn't within a certain age range. So my crowning achievement was this:
"press 1 to extend your warranty" [1]
spammer: hi, you wanted to extend your waranty.
me: yes that's right, but I have a few questions.
spammer: ok, I'd be happy to answer, but first may I ask you the make model and year of the car?
me: sure, it's a 1985 DeLorean
spammer: sir, we only cover vehicles less than 5 years old.


Ha! The ones calling me didn't care that it was more than 5 years old. They were relentless for about 6 months so I started making shiat up. I'd tell them I've got a 1982 Mercedes 380SL (or whatever) and make them figure out how much it would cost for the extended warranty I'd keep them on the line for a while and then tell them I was just bullshiatting them. They finally put my number on their OWN do-not-call list since they obviously don't respect the government's.
 
2012-10-05 03:18:01 AM  
I wonder if one could sue them in small claims court, get a declaritory judgement, then use that to sue to seize their domain name?
 
2012-10-05 03:37:16 AM  
From Ars' article, someone recorded one of these scam calls (and let them loose on a Dutch language VM no less). http://www.troyhunt.com/2012/08/cold-call-scammed-again-but-this-time. html The video is quite fun.
 
2012-10-05 03:49:32 AM  
Once, while looking up some info for my mother concerning calls from bill collectors, I came across this page. Never had the chance to really use the script, but I've had it bookmarked ever since. I wonder if anyone has ever used it successfully.
 
2012-10-05 03:59:24 AM  

Tickle Mittens: I wonder if one could sue them in small claims court, get a declaritory judgement, then use that to sue to seize their domain name?


Actually, you probably COULD--under the law, you can sue for $500 per violation of the telemarketing laws in the US, $1500 per willful offense (and asking for a copy of their do not call policy and not receiving it within ten business days IS enough to bump it up to "willful", as is having them call at all if you are on the FTC or state DNC list to begin with).

And after you get the judgement (as it's fairly rare to nonexistent that the farkers show up in court), you could very well have the court issue an order stipulating garnishment of corporate profits and seizure of corporate assets--and yes, you could conceivably include domain names and hosting under that, as there IS precedent for seizure of these in cases where companies have been sued into bankruptcy.

(Of course, the fun you can have with this varies from state to state. Kentucky has a relatively wimpy $1500 limit for small claims so you can only ding 'em once, but you can always have fun siccing the A/G on 'em--thanks to telemarketing violations actually being felonies here. In most states, small-claims is a more reasonable $5000 limit, and in some states you can go as high as $15,000 per offense.)

The trickiest bit in actually TAKING the SOBs to court is determining where the corporate offices are--a lot of these actually explicitly incorporate overseas to make filing a subpoena more problematic (as you have to go through international jurisdiction) and most of the perps use falsified WHOIS info and mail-drop addresses when they use anonymising WHOIS registries. (More than a few even use stolen credit card info to pay for the domains, so even subpoenas for CC info aren't always helpful.) Even ANI records aren't as helpful as they once were--most telemarketer scum are using VoIP providers that operate as the telco equivalent of "pink providers" (spam-friendly hosts) and are based overseas in known problematic jurisdictions for getting a subpoena for user info. The same is increasingly true of hosting for websites of telemarketing scum.

To give an example with some particularly tricksy ones I've dealt with--one group of telemarketer scum seems to operate from a telemarketing firm in Portland, Oregon that has had a very long history of running overseas phish-farms (primarily in India but also in the Philippines and in Singapore) and a second group (running a roof-repair scam) operates out of a telemarketing center in Guadalajara--in both cases, Google searches identified the perps, but even the state A/G is having some difficulty in building enough of a case for extradition because of having to pull phone records via subpoena, dealing with "pink VoIP providers" overseas, and the whole overseas-jurisdiction mess. That said--if you can find an American connection (and there inevitably IS one), the research can pay off nicely in both lawsuits and in sending out the legal-beagles--the main difficulty is building a good case that can't really give any grounds for appeal and is enforceable.
 
2012-10-05 04:32:22 AM  

Optimal_Illusion: Once, while looking up some info for my mother concerning calls from bill collectors, I came across this page. Never had the chance to really use the script, but I've had it bookmarked ever since. I wonder if anyone has ever used it successfully.


Interesting that that page asks you to send your contact information to someone.
 
2012-10-05 04:58:51 AM  
But was he typing furiously. I don't think he explained that part well.

Oh yeah, he's a "journalist". The major to fall back on if you fail out of EVERYTHING else.
 
2012-10-05 05:14:12 AM  

Tickle Mittens: I wonder if one could sue them in small claims court, get a declaritory judgement, then use that to sue to seize their domain name?


If you can get their phone number to "call them back" you can sue them for violation the no-call list for sure. Plus, you know, criminal charges and all. Best just not to answer any calls you can't identify. Those days are long over.
 
2012-10-05 05:36:44 AM  

Great Porn Dragon: Tickle Mittens: I wonder if one could sue them in small claims court, get a declaritory judgement, then use that to sue to seize their domain name?

Actually, you probably COULD--under the law, you can sue for $500 per violation of the telemarketing laws in the US, $1500 per willful offense (and asking for a copy of their do not call policy and not receiving it within ten business days IS enough to bump it up to "willful", as is having them call at all if you are on the FTC or state DNC list to begin with).

And after you get the judgement (as it's fairly rare to nonexistent that the farkers show up in court), you could very well have the court issue an order stipulating garnishment of corporate profits and seizure of corporate assets--and yes, you could conceivably include domain names and hosting under that, as there IS precedent for seizure of these in cases where companies have been sued into bankruptcy.

(Of course, the fun you can have with this varies from state to state. Kentucky has a relatively wimpy $1500 limit for small claims so you can only ding 'em once, but you can always have fun siccing the A/G on 'em--thanks to telemarketing violations actually being felonies here. In most states, small-claims is a more reasonable $5000 limit, and in some states you can go as high as $15,000 per offense.)

The trickiest bit in actually TAKING the SOBs to court is determining where the corporate offices are--a lot of these actually explicitly incorporate overseas to make filing a subpoena more problematic (as you have to go through international jurisdiction) and most of the perps use falsified WHOIS info and mail-drop addresses when they use anonymising WHOIS registries. (More than a few even use stolen credit card info to pay for the domains, so even subpoenas for CC info aren't always helpful.) Even ANI records aren't as helpful as they once were--most telemarketer scum are using VoIP providers that operate as the telco equivalent of "pink providers" (spam-f ...


I wonder where in portland, oregon. I'd love to *ahem* find some legal way to harass them.
 
2012-10-05 06:06:38 AM  
Interestingly I had them call on Tuesday. Mentioned I run Linux and he hung up.

What the phone companies need is to give us the ability to do with calls that PBXs can do right now. What I want is any calls that come in as private caller, malformed number or 1800 number should never make it. A whitelist would also be good and govt numbers can't be blocked. hmm maybe I will patent this...
 
2012-10-05 06:23:59 AM  
I've had two of these in the last 3 months. Middle-east accent, obvious boiler-room noise in the back. We have a small IT group in-house, and I know all of them (yes, we have a couple of Indians). If I had more time, I'd play along for a little while just to waste their time. Would be nice to have a good punchline to end the call after I take them away from scamming someone else for even three minutes. Too bad I really was tied up in stuff at the time. When they said, "hi, this is John from Computer Services" or whatever, I just paused for two seconds, said, "no you are not," and hung up.

I also sent an internal e-mail in case they were robo-dialing our exchange. I am more worried about someone letting these guys inside our network than I am that they will get a credit card number from one of our employees for "repairs" to a company computer.
 
2012-10-05 07:21:54 AM  
Like them or not, how do you write articles about technology and not own a windows pc? They write tons of articles on MS software yet they don't own one? How do they test or try out the stuff they're writing about?
 
2012-10-05 08:00:28 AM  

Tickle Mittens: I wonder if one could sue them in small claims court, get a declaritory judgement, then use that to sue to seize their domain name?


They don't own a domain. They have a free website hosted by webs.com.
 
2012-10-05 08:03:41 AM  

abhorrent1: Like them or not, how do you write articles about technology and not own a windows pc? They write tons of articles on MS software yet they don't own one? How do they test or try out the stuff they're writing about?


Looking at the author's previous pieces it seems like he mostly covers general tech/internet news stories rather than reviews. http://arstechnica.com/author/nate-anderson/

I presume he was working from a home office
 
2012-10-05 08:07:57 AM  
Rather than the straightforward "I'm running Linux" direction, the last time I got one of these calls I went the more existential direction with the "I don't believe computers exist, can you really prove that computers exist? What if they're lying to us?" This took a while, but was certainly more fun.
 
2012-10-05 08:14:25 AM  
Give him control, but first, change your background to Goatse and have the system playing 2 girls 1 cup in as many instances of VLC as your system can take.
 
2012-10-05 08:49:52 AM  

YodaBlues: Give him control, but first, change your background to Goatse and have the system playing 2 girls 1 cup in as many instances of VLC as your system can take.


Expected this, got furious typing instead.
 
2012-10-05 08:51:03 AM  

serial_crusher: That's the farthest I ever got.


You're lucky... I get the "Press 1 to find out how you can consolidate your credit card debt!"
[1]
"Hi, are you interested in consolidating your credit card debt?"
"Yes."
"How many credit cards do you have?"
"2"
[click]

I haven't yet figured out what the magic number is.
 
2012-10-05 08:55:21 AM  
I prefer the time honored method of grabbing a straw and a glass of water and pretending to take hits from a bong and getting more and more incomprehensible as the call goes on.

"Sir I want you to open your start menus"
*bubble bubble bubble*
(raspy voice) Wha? Star menu? You're crazy, I don't have any star menus, OHHHHH START MENU (giggle)
*bubble bubble bubble*
(cough) OK I clicked it like ten times what is supposed to happen again?
 
2012-10-05 09:23:46 AM  
I tend to just ask them if I could put them on hold for a moment while I boot up the computer, then I turn the TV on to one of the 24hr movie channels (Galaxie channels on my cable package) and just leave the phone there until they hang up. Last time I did that the guy actually stayed on the phone for nearly 30 min before hanging up... and calling right back to call me an arsehole. The guy actually left a message on my answering service for my wife (as the phone is in her name, they called for her. I answered as her husband and didn't give my actual name, just "Mr. NotTechhellBecauseSheHasHerMaidenName".) saying "Ma'am, your husband is a real farking arsehole. I hate your husband."

Interestingly, I haven't been called about my computer since. Shame, since I have so many other things I want to do to them. Ah well.
 
2012-10-05 09:30:44 AM  
I've gotten a couple calls recently from these type of scammers. I have to say, they're persistent. The first thing I've asked them when they claim my computer has a virus is what my IP address is. I figured that would tip them off that I'm not stupid enough to fall for their BS, but no, they simply say they "monitor the internet". Then I'll ask how they know the phone number associated with the computer they're monitoring, and ask if my ISP has been giving out my information without a warrant, then go off on a rant about warrantless wiretapping and accuse them of being part of a government conspiracy. Eventually they catch on to the fact that they're not going to get anything out of me, usually when I start laughing, and hang up. I figure it's better they're wasting time on someone like me who knows what's up than someone who might actually fall for the scam.
 
2012-10-05 09:36:15 AM  
The ArsTechnica one is pretty good, but for real hilarity and awesomeness, I prefer this story.
 
2012-10-05 10:16:03 AM  
gotta make a note of some of these . . .

Last time I just asked which machine, told him I had 5.

he hung up.

//Scammers these days, no patience.
\damn kids
 
2012-10-05 10:29:05 AM  
Windows Yeah! Try to keep it on the down low about the macs not having these kind of problems. If people start switching it could hurt my PC repair business. I mean Windows 7 now 8 MS has only had 30+ years to get past this vulnerability issue. And thanks for Nothing Mac!!!
 
2012-10-05 12:32:00 PM  
That was so funny. I mean, I'm in tears. Gems that the scammer says like:

Microsoft never provides support for the Windows operating system

I mean it's funny because it's "true".
 
2012-10-05 12:43:04 PM  

Cretony38: Windows Yeah! Try to keep it on the down low about the macs not having these kind of problems. If people start switching it could hurt my PC repair business. I mean Windows 7 now 8 MS has only had 30+ years to get past this vulnerability issue. And thanks for Nothing Mac!!!


Riiiight. Because the same idiots who download random crap from the Internet and run it as admin in Windows wouldn't, given Linux, just as quickly type "sudo " because some website told them to, or do whatever the MacOS equivalent is, given a Mac.

I've been living in a Windows world since 1992, and the only virus I ever got hit with was an old DOS boot sector thing called Stoned, which, IIRC, happened before I was running Windows 3.1, back when I was DOS-only. To listen to the Mac and Linux people, I'm extraordinarily lucky. I happen to think it has more to do with the fact that I'm not a complete freakin' idiot.


/I do work for Microsoft, but these opinions are mine alone and do not represent Microsoft.
 
2012-10-05 01:05:25 PM  

Bloody Templar: it has more to do with the fact that I'm not a complete freakin' idiot.


I don't mean to get all cynical, but generally, that's it. Not that the populace is dumb, but it's like cars, you don't have to be a highly-qualified mechanic to own, operate, or whatever with an automobile these days. We're at a point where it's pretty much the same thing with PCs and Internet. It's the age of the digital shady mechanic, and just like there are people who get scammed on auto repairs, we get stories of people's computers getting clobbered by fake techs "From Windows."
 
2012-10-05 01:45:33 PM  

serial_crusher: Story of masterful trolling


Welcome to my favorites list :)
 
2012-10-05 02:55:28 PM  
If it were me, I'd create a GUI interface using Visual Basic. See if I could track an IP Address.
 
2012-10-05 03:31:16 PM  
Surprised his next call wasn't from the Viper.

/obscure(?)
 
2012-10-05 07:22:00 PM  

Rwa2play: Surprised his next call wasn't from the Viper.

/obscure(?)


West windows first.

/Damn weather dominator
 
2012-10-05 08:34:39 PM  
I use Team Viewer all day to help my customers out.
You'd be surprised at how jammed up their browsers are.
Ok. I see the problem already.
Yes?
You're using IE.
But how do I get on the internet?
Maxthon 3, Chrome, Firefox, I don't know, just don't use IE.
I can use another IE?
No. IE is like a car you drive on the information highway.
You have a garage with a lot of cars in it you want to drive a vw from 1980 or a tank, made by Ferrari?
Uhmmm...
Then I go on about how cookies are like those plastic wrist bands you get at a club that tell the staff what you are allowed to do with out question, and how pop ups are the 3x5 card of the 20st century.
They get it, after a while.
I give crash courses on how to find stuff and how to download safe stuff.
Remedials get sent to Kim Kommando, and the accelerated ones get custom URLs for hot fixes.
Stuff like how to get obsolete adobe versions and other stuff you can't find.
What they pay is thousands for tech support.
What they get is patience and custom education.

I'm going to go private consultant when I retire, because, there's a lot of money to be made as a trail guide.
 
2012-10-05 10:11:11 PM  
The reason these scams and robocalls are proliferating lately is due to the emergence of virtually untraceable free/cheap VOIP bulk calling methods. They can call from any country for the same cost as across the street. I don't know what's going to fix this problem, but the phone companies need to start showing some responsibility, or else have that responsibility shoved down their throats.
 
2012-10-05 10:54:25 PM  

nytmare: The reason these scams and robocalls are proliferating lately is due to the emergence of virtually untraceable free/cheap VOIP bulk calling methods. They can call from any country for the same cost as across the street. I don't know what's going to fix this problem, but the phone companies need to start showing some responsibility, or else have that responsibility shoved down their throats.


Free/cheap SIP VoIP combined with a fair number of the SIP providers in particular being to telemarketing as "pink providers" were to spammers (before spammers largely moved on to fast-flux networks), more specifically--there are SIP providers in particular that explicitly do most of their business with overseas phish-farms who buy VoIP accounts. (There are two or three of these in the US, at least, and many more overseas; quite often they're explicitly marketed as being able to get around do-not-call regulations because the phish-farms are located outside of the US.) Same farkers are downright infamous for forging CID info--one group who was pulling this locally ended up getting busted when they were forging their CID to point to modem pools of a local ISP (yes, modem pools still exist even for DSL sellers, apparently :D).

What needs to happen is that the FTC needs to be given on a federal level the same general power the Kentucky A/G has on a state level--that is, flat out stop with the civil-fine pussyfooting and declare violations of telemarketing law to be federal felonies (possibly even using the precedent of federal computer crimes statutes as an example) so that extradition and prosecution of the perps can take place.

Hell, I'd even go so far as to say this might be one of the few instances I'd REALLY like to see the feds go full-on Judge Dredd on these assholes, but something tells me that handing federal judges some nifty guns and sending them on hunting expeditions might not fly in other countries :D

(Pretty much all the FTC can really do is fine them, have a court injunction filed against them, and then if they're REALLY lucky and the perps are REALLY dumb they MIGHT get some of the perps on contempt-of-court charges--and if they're especially dumb and do it to folks in states like KY where felony charges can be filed, then the FTC gets to work with the FBI and the A/G in question to make a federal case out of it. This doesn't really give them much of a tool to stop things--both the phish-farm responsible for "Rachel from CardMember Services" (likely to be Telephone Management Corporation, which has been linked to a number of other phish-farms including "free home security system" scams targeting the elderly and may be linked to a now-defunct "international telco" phish-farm named Asia Pacific Telecom--which has since rebranded itself "Pacific Telecom" to sound confusingly similar to the legit (and now borged into AT&T) PacTel) AND several tentacles of the phish-farm in question are still violating the law despite two separate FTC rulings telling them to knock it off--they typically rename the "international telco" end of the phish-farm ops, and maybe move them into other countries and slightly change the details of the phish-farm op. It doesn't help that one of the people known to be linked to this is a Netherlands national with connections to other countries, which makes it practically difficult to extradite even on a good day.)

Often, you can find the history of the perps by basic Googling (that's pretty much how I found the perpetrators of what I have termed the "Guadalajara Roofing Hail Damage Scam"--and yes, multiple state Attorneys-General HAVE reported these farkers as nothing more or less than an offshore phish-farm that hits up places that have had recent severe weather)--building the case to the liking of federal prosecutors (which is necessary if you're going to have to get law enforcement in OTHER countries involved) is rather more difficult and a lot more I's need dotting and a lot more T's need crossed, so to speak. In some cases, it's actually more effective to sue the bastards into bankruptcy...

One thing the VoIP-based phish-farms are also expanding into is "survey scams"--basically a variation of the bad old "You've won a free cruise" scams (where you end up on a ship whose seaworthiness is dubious, and are subjected to a time-share spiel, and charged as much in bogus "customs" and "tax" fees as it'd cost you to BUY a ticket via a legitimate cruise line), and these have also had a habit of "rebranding" when caught (the latest iteration of the "Celebration Cruise Lines" scam--which purported to offer free cruises for answering a rather heavily GOP-skewed survey--is a rebranding done by Imperial Majesty Cruise Lines, which operated the "free cruise" scam under both d/b/a's of Imperial Majesty until fined by the FTC; they then started the scam up again via a VoIP-based phish-farm using the "Celebration Cruise Lines" name targeting households in the UK and Ireland, and then started targeting Stateside phone lines starting in March 2012). They'll also claim they're non-profits, etc.--all of which are attempts to slide under exemptions to do-not-call laws for surveys, not-for-profits, and political calls.

(Speaking of which, those exemptions need to go away too--I doubt we'll ever get the politispam to go away, but a "do not call-plus" that prohibited all solicitation save for governmental surveys (say, by the Census Bureau) or legitimate government business would be nice. :D)
 
2012-10-06 01:16:11 AM  
CSB -

I have a Linux PC running Linux Mint LXDE that I lovingly tweaked to make it look extremely close to Windows 7.

oi49.tinypic.com

One of these scammers called my house about a month ago while I was at work, and my wife told them I was working and that it was my computer and I was the only one who was allowed to use it. Said that if I found out she was using it, I would beat her when I got home, so she better not touch it. (Damn, I loved hearing that one.. she's so creative)

Anyways, she told them when I'd be back, and sure enough, they actually called about 30 minutes after that and ran me through the motions. I sat down at the desk, woke both the Linux box and my Win 7 box, went through the messages, etc.. from the Windows event logs, and then once they told me they wanted me to load up the remote control software, I feigned attempt after attempt until they said to use TeamViewer - I have Teamviewer installed on the Linux box for exactly this sort of thing.

After a little more feigning of problems, I finally let them in to my Linux session.

Indian douchebag: "Sir, I don't think this is working. Are you sure this is Windows?"
Me: "Yup. Oh, I know why you're having problems. I spent some time and modified the GUI so it would look better"
-- Indian dude should have REALLY picked up on my tech savvy from this statement.. *sigh*
Indian douchebag: "Oh... okay.. " He proceeded to fumble around the system for at least 3 minutes before he asked me again "Are you sure this is Windows? I don't think it is and I think you are wasting my time."
Me: "Yeah, you got me, it's Linux. I've been jerking you around while my police neighbor runs a trace... hello?"

Good times...

/Yeah, didn't really run a trace.. but it was fun saying it.
 
2012-10-06 01:20:43 AM  

Happy Hours: bingethinker: Cool. I always wondered what the entire sales pitch sounded like. I don't have a Windows computer, so I can't string them along like this guy did.

But you could still string them along if other posts by Linux users on other websites are to be believed.

For one thing your inaccurate answers might be the symptom of a real virus.



I got a call from these guys 2 weeks ago. Kept 3 different guys on the phone for 57 minutes before my wife made me hang up.
I even got one to wait while I went to the bathroom.

The trick is to sound stupid and old (if they ask, you're 72).
Also, have them repeat everything 3 times and mispell constantly

I had the first guy going for 15 minutes... he talked me into loading a url into my browser and downloading an .exe file. Of course, with the whole spelling errors, repeating, etc.. I could tell he was losing his patience.

When we got to the point where he told me to double click on the .exe and I kept telling him I got an error message. He had me download it again (again, having to spell out the address 3 times)... then try to open the newly downloaded file. I finally told him "Of course, it won't work, I'm using a Mac". The silence on the other end of the line was priceless.

Then I told him the Windows machine was in the other room... mad him wait while it slow booted (aka: I watched football), and had him spell everything out 3 times again... still didn't get it. Finally gave up on me and passed me to his "manager" who I played the whole Mac stunt on again....he eventually passed me to a third guy who was falling for it again. That's when my wife got home and made me hang up.

I couldn't believe they let me string them along that long. I almost felt sorry for them.
 
2012-10-06 11:26:56 PM  

wraith95: Optimal_Illusion: Once, while looking up some info for my mother concerning calls from bill collectors, I came across this page. Never had the chance to really use the script, but I've had it bookmarked ever since. I wonder if anyone has ever used it successfully.

Interesting that that page asks you to send your contact information to someone.


After crafting such a clever bit of prank, wouldn't you want to get some hard info on what kind of agita you caused the cold-callers?
 
2012-10-08 03:30:43 PM  
I got this one a few months ago. Strung the scammer along until we got to the "Let me remote control your computer" stage, then told him "No". He started to come unglued around the seams and threatened me with having the "Viruses" become active and take over my PC. I responded with "Do you enjoy lying to people? I am a windows system admin, and I know that Microsoft NEVER calls you about issues. " He got downright irate and told me I couldn't possibly be a System Admin and that I was lying to him. We went back and forth on this, me calling him out by asking him to describe the functions of console commands, where he would go to look at TLS settings (no, I didn't give him a hint that it's a browser setting), And so on and so forth, using as many acronyms as I could. I finally couldn't take it anymore and burst out laughing and hung up on the guy. I have not been called back by them since.

/CSB done.
 
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