Margaret (pling) wrote,

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Scam Phone Calls *sigh*

In a piece of weird synchronicity I briefly skim-read a slashdot article on scam phone calls that are currently afflicting the UK a week or so ago, and now I've had two of the calls within the last week! The one yesterday was a chap who asked for me by name (the obvious guess from the phone book entry) & claimed to be calling from "the Computer Maintenance Department of Windows Operating System" (you could practically hear the capitals) and apparently my computer had downloaded an "unwanted file" *gasp* I was in the mood to play a little bit, so I asked him if he could tell me what operating system my computer was running and how it had told him anything ... and there was a little pause, and he hung up on me. No fun ;) Guess if I wanted real fun I should've played dumber and done a silly-woman voice & said "oh goodness me, that sounds bad!" ;)

Mentioned it on rep, for people's amusement there, and purple pointed me at a blog post about this sort of thing which matched my half-memory from the slashdot article I've now re-found - looks like the payload for the scam is to convince you to let them have remote access to the pc & they subsequently bully you into paying for antivirus/security software you don't need (and that possibly don't exist anyway). Probably as well I didn't play too dumb, I'd've only ended up losing my temper, I think it's pretty nasty :/ Feels worse to me than the automated email phishing or 419 scams, coz it's a real person having a real conversation with you, they're not anonymously ripping someone off. I found on Suffolk Police's website a form for giving the police info & filled that in with the details such as they are, not expecting them to do anything in particular about those calls (obviously) just in the hope that someone somewhere is investigating and more data can help spot patterns, etc.

Reading the comments on the digitaltoast blog post astonished me once again at how difficult people find it to hang up the phone on cold-callers. Comments saying "they're so persistent" ... well, yes, but the phone has a disconnect-the-call button, press it. If it's a cold-caller at the door it's just as easy - don't fully open the door in the first place then shut it if it's a salesperson. Bare minimum politeness is satisfied by saying "no thank you" and then hanging up or shutting the door, I don't see why cold-callers require anything more. Even the ones that shout "well you're a very stupid woman" through the door when you turn down their offer of wonderful things for so-so-so cheap ;) (That was a double glazing salesman.) I've never had anyone persist after I've hung up/shut the door, but if they did I suspect a threat to call the police would work wonders.
Tags: computer, phone scam

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