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Old 11-12-11, 11:24 PM   #1
mechBgon
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Scam awareness: callers posing as tech support / virus removal

If you know people who'd be prone to trusting a caller, you might want to make them aware of this: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/phone...s-reports/4198

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In June of this year, Microsoft published a warning about the scams, including results from a survey it conducted in the U.K., Ireland, U.S. and Canada. The survey showed that across all four countries, 15 percent of those surveyed reported having received one of these phony support calls.
As Ed concludes his article: if someone calls and claims a virus has been detected on your computer, just hang up.

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Old 11-13-11, 12:09 AM   #2
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Thank you.
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Old 11-13-11, 12:58 AM   #3
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You're welcome! I could easily imagine older folks being cowed into cooperating if they're not confident about their computer skills. Not trying to stereotype the old folks, of course!
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Old 11-13-11, 11:07 AM   #4
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A girl in my department (we are IT) got such a call. Pretty funny.
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Old 11-13-11, 04:31 PM   #5
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This actually happened to me.

Someone called claiming to be from MicroSoft stating that my pc was sending error messages out over the internet.
They got a little confused when i told them I was using Linux at the time and that I had not had an internet connection for about 2 weeks (I was waiting for it to be transfered to a new supplier and had been using a friends wireless). It took them a good 5 minutes before they realised I was just trying to keep them on the phone as long as I could before they hung up
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Old 11-13-11, 05:11 PM   #6
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My mom might fall for this, except a) her phone # is unpublished, and b) she has never gone online. She's now asking me about ISP's and home networking... I told her to go to Radio Shack, as they get paid to be frustrated. I did warn her that if/when she finally does access the Web, she'll easily have 3 hours worth of updates... *shudders*
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Old 11-13-11, 06:12 PM   #7
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My mom might fall for this, except a) her phone # is unpublished, and b) she has never gone online. She's now asking me about ISP's and home networking... I told her to go to Radio Shack, as they get paid to be frustrated. I did warn her that if/when she finally does access the Web, she'll easily have 3 hours worth of updates... *shudders*
If she does, I'd make it a top priority to put a router between her computer and her modem to provide a perimeter firewall against worm attacks while she gets patched up. It doesn't have to be fancy, just get something. If it's a Windows system, I've also got some good advice at the link in my signature.
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Old 11-13-11, 06:16 PM   #8
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The people who do this really are scum. I used to listen to them and act concerned only to tell them I didn't have a computer, but then I found this on another forum and I reckon this is a more fun approach.

Him: Your computer might have downloaded a virus or spyware
Me: A virus? You mean my computer has a cold?
Him: Something like that
Me: Should I put waterproof sheets down, in case it sneezes on the carpet or something? That would make a mess
Him: It's not a cold
Me: But you just said it was a cold
Him: It's like a cold. Your files and folders have a virus
Me: My folders have a cold? I just checked in the drawer and none of my folders are sneezing. Are you sure?

Then he moved onto spyware...

Him: Never mind the virus, you could have spyware
Me: Spyware? You mean like MI5, or James Bond
Him: That sort of thing. You'll have to check...
Me: I just looked around the room, there's nobody here except me. No spies anywhere. Not even behind the door.
Him: It won't be in the room
Me: I know it's not in the room, I just checked...
Him: I need you to check...
Me: Do you mean someone is spying on my wife?
Him: No, not like that
Me: You've got me worried now, let me check that the curtains are closed. Do you think my neighbour has a telescope or something?
Him: No, it's in your computer
Me: James Bond is in my computer? How did he do that? There's not much space in there. It is James Bond's really small child hiding in there? How did he get in there?
Him: It's not like that
Me: But you said James Bond was spying on me. Does James Bond have a cold?

... and later he needed me to sit at my computer, which created its own difficulties ...

Him: So I need you to go to your computer and turn it on
Me: That's going to be difficult for me, the phone won't reach
Him: Your phone won't reach the computer?
Me: No, the cable is only 10 feet long and the computer is at the library half a mile away. The cable won't reach.
Him: So I need you to go to your computer
Me: I'd have to hang up and go to the library
Him: Shall I call you back another time?
Me: You could but if I'm here I can't reach the computer and if I'm at the library I can't answer the phone
Him: Oh, when shall I call you back?
Me: You could send me a long extension cable. It would have to be tough because I have to cross the road and wouldn't want it to break if someone drove over it
Him: Shall I call you at the library?
Me: Is James Bond hiding in the library?
Him: Something like that
Me: If you send me a long lead they might let me use the phone at the library. I'd have to keep my voice down, they like people to be quiet in the library.
Him: OK
Me: It could be a problem, if I'm whispering on the phone on a long lead at the library they might think I'm James Bond and throw me out. Then what would we do?
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Old 11-13-11, 06:32 PM   #9
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If she does, I'd make it a top priority to put a router between her computer and her modem to provide a perimeter firewall against worm attacks while she gets patched up. It doesn't have to be fancy, just get something. If it's a Windows system, I've also got some good advice at the link in my signature.
The two options for ISPs are Cox Cable and ATT. Her apartment is pre-wired for Cox (though she doesn't use it), and her landline belongs to ATT. I told her to check with management, as the building may have an 'exclusivity' deal with Cox.

I tried to explain my home network set up using coffee cups and straws (long story). Wall->modem->router->laptop. I could tell she wasn't quite following, and the kids were getting antsy, so that's why I told her to go to Radio Shack.

I told her (and a coworker who is of similar age) not to bother with Norton, McAfee, or any of the other paid subscription A/V services. Just install MSE and let it do it's thing. I've used AVG, Avast, and other freeware, but installed MSE upon your recommendation and it's been working just fine ever since. I'm also telling everyone who'd listen to install AdBlock on whatever browser they happen to be running.
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Old 11-13-11, 06:47 PM   #10
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The two options for ISPs are Cox Cable and ATT. Her apartment is pre-wired for Cox (though she doesn't use it), and her landline belongs to ATT. I told her to check with management, as the building may have an 'exclusivity' deal with Cox.

I tried to explain my home network set up using coffee cups and straws (long story). Wall->modem->router->laptop. I could tell she wasn't quite following, and the kids were getting antsy, so that's why I told her to go to Radio Shack.

I told her (and a coworker who is of similar age) not to bother with Norton, McAfee, or any of the other paid subscription A/V services. Just install MSE and let it do it's thing. I've used AVG, Avast, and other freeware, but installed MSE upon your recommendation and it's been working just fine ever since. I'm also telling everyone who'd listen to install AdBlock on whatever browser they happen to be running.
Good deal. By the way, do you recall what version of Windows she has (2000, XP, etc)?

If it's WinXP, it does have an integrated firewall that would do in a pinch. But prior to Service Pack 2, it was disabled by default, so you'd want to get it enabled before making the physical connection. In pre-SP2 versions of Windows XP, it was named the Internet Connection Firewall, and can be enabled like this: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/l.../bb456986.aspx



Without the ICF or a router, an exposed WinXP SP1 or SP-nothing system can be expected to be auto-infected over the wire in under 30 seconds, it had major wormable vulnerabilities.

Also, the best companion items to go with MSE are another couple of freebies: Microsoft EMET and Secunia PSI.
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Old 11-13-11, 07:01 PM   #11
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Her laptop is from the Acer Timeline series and it has Vista (dunno what version, though). Yeah, I should put Secunia on there; I put it in on mine a couple of weeks back and it let me know that one of my browsers was 'end of life'. I like how I can scan everything, choose 'install solution' to what needs fixed, and then rescan just the patched programs. Initial score was 92%, but now at 100 .
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Old 11-13-11, 07:17 PM   #12
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That's good, Vista isn't swiss cheese and does have a firewall. When it sees the connection, it should ask if she wants it to be Home, Work, or Public. Public is the one you want when plugging into broadband, because it assumes no other computers should be allowed to make unsolicited contact.


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Old 11-13-11, 07:30 PM   #13
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BTW you might want to drill her on the usual "scareware" scams. I shot some video, not the best quality but it illustrates the point:


Without knowing what's what, this is another way to be defrauded.
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Old 11-13-11, 10:19 PM   #14
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Thanks for the warning.
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Please dont outsmart the censor. That is a very expensive censor and every time one of you guys outsmart it it makes someone at the home office feel bad. We dont wanna do that. So dont cleverly disguise bad words.
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