The scam call

I just had coffee at my grandmothers, when suddenly the phone was ringing. She answered. As the caller was speaking English, she handed me the phone.

The caller, saying he is from Microsoft Support who happened to have an Indian accent (this actually falls into place ;), told me that they have noticed, via my SSID (haha), that my computer is infected with malware and they would now assist me to clean it.

Of course this was utter bullshit and just some blah blah to confuse the average luser answering the phone. Curious to what would happen – I expected something like getting assisted in downloading a Trojan, hoping to get its URL – I pretended to be the dumb luser and followed his instructions (in my mind).

But at first, I told him the PC is off and I need to start it.

Actually I just put the call on hold for 5 minutes (do they pay for those calls?) and finished my coffee whilst explaining to my grandmother that this is a scam call. After the time passed I told him the PC is ready now.

In summary he wanted me to do the following (explaining it in a painfully slow way, also spelling out every command, ensuring I really do what he says by asking what I see after every step):

  • Press Win + R
  • Enter cmd and press return
  • Enter “assoc” press return

When he asked me about the Start thing, I played with the thought to pretend I’m using Linux or Mac, but then again he might have hung up.

This whole very short procedure took some minutes because he was SO slow.
That was when I lost patience, I just could not carry on being that slow, so I did the following:

When he asked about the output of the assoc command*, I decided to end that tragedy at that point and so I spelled out (also slowly) “F U C K Y O U” in a very serious voice. Short pause. He was surprised. Then he begun insulting me and I started to laugh diabolically until he hung up. Success.

I never received such a scam call before and to be honest I never thought I would ever answer one.

After some quick googling I notice that this type of calls of were active in Switzerland some months ago and now it seems that they are hitting Germany.

I know the most of you are technically skilled and would never fall for something but does this apply to your friends and family too?
Don’t let them fool you, have some fun with them instead :)

Here are some related links:

* Which just shows the programs linked to any file extensions – he probably did that so he could “prove” my computer is infected or something as the output is probably confusing for the luser (GUIDs, file extensions etc.)



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2 comments

  • Reto Haeni

    Thanks for the post and for linking. Yes they are quite active in pretty much all of western Europe – they also have called me at home :)

    I do like how you spelled out the result of the command. Frustrating them doesn’t work as its business but increasing their cost with longer calls does. Unfortunately pretty much the only thing one can do besides reporting it to the police.

  • Mark H

    Just tried with me to, the line was horrible, Said he was with “PC Protect” in Boston.
    Made him struggle for 10mins then he went and got his so called ” Floor manager ” who then tried,
    at this point i went and made coffee left him hanging for 5 mins, Alex the “Floor manager” said i needed to install “Teamviewer”. so after 25 mins of making him repeat himself, i told to wait while i check out who he say’s he is and the so call firm he works for.
    At that point he put the phone down.
    The phone number shown was fake unless “PC Protect” is a Nightclub in New Jersey at night.

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