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This Is Microsoft Support Telephone Scam


JerrySTL
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My youngest daughter's in-laws fell for a scam and I, being the computer 'expert', have been trying to fix it. Here's the details.

 

http://triplescomputers.com/blog/casestudies/solution-this-is-microsoft-support-telephone-scam-computer-ransom-lockout/

 

Basically you get a phone call saying they are from Microsoft Support. They convince you to remote into your computer. They show you some bogus error messages. Then they lock it up and demand payment to let you back into the 'fixed' computer.

 

Fortunately he didn't give the scammer any money as they often don't unlock the computer anyway.

 

First I puled the hard drive and backed it up to another external hard drive.

 

Then I was able to use a Windows PE boot-up CD to get into the computer. Once in I used System Restore to get past the password screen. However that didn't fix everything. For example Norton wouldn't work and neither would IE, Firefox, or Google Chrome. I had to go back to a system restore point in mid-June.

 

Now I'm running a couple of virus checkers. Next I'll do a lot of updates such as Windows Update, Java, and Adobe Acrobat.

 

Tell your friends and family (especially older, trusting individuals) not to believe anyone calling you on the telephone wanting to fix your computer.

 

 

 

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I had to rescue somebody from this the other week.  Fortunately, the scammers usually want money for the "fix", so they don't do malware, ransomware, etc. They don't want people to call their credit card company, because the more reports that occur, the harder it is for them to get a company that will process credit card charges for them (several large tech support scammers in India have been locked out from taking credit cards this way, effectively killing their business).

 

Even so, when I help someone, I now have to go in and assume their computer is compromised.  The scammer may have left remote control software or other things installed, and I tell the person to report the charge as fradulent, so the CC company reverses it.

 

I got called by them.  My response is "Hey, do you know Jerry in Windows Programming?  He's right down the hall from me.  He's such a character."  Other options also include "Um, I'm sorry, I own a Mac", or just putting the phone down and telling them you'll be right back with your laptop --in thirty minutes because you left it at your cousin's house.

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I do not believe anyone who calls anymore... What I do is ask for their phone number with extension. If it legit  I will call them back and talk with them.. other then that I will just hang up if they give a strange pause when I ask questions. 

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I do not believe anyone who calls anymore... What I do is ask for their phone number with extension

I ask them if they can hold for a few moments, and then tell them they caught me in the middle of taking a massive dump, or I tell them I'm jerking off and ask them to talk dirty.

They usually hang up.
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My youngest daughter's in-laws fell for a scam and I, being the computer 'expert', have been trying to fix it. Here's the details.

 

http://triplescomputers.com/blog/casestudies/solution-this-is-microsoft-support-telephone-scam-computer-ransom-lockout/

 

Basically you get a phone call saying they are from Microsoft Support. They convince you to remote into your computer. They show you some bogus error messages. Then they lock it up and demand payment to let you back into the 'fixed' computer.

 

Fortunately he didn't give the scammer any money as they often don't unlock the computer anyway.

 

First I puled the hard drive and backed it up to another external hard drive.

 

Then I was able to use a Windows PE boot-up CD to get into the computer. Once in I used System Restore to get past the password screen. However that didn't fix everything. For example Norton wouldn't work and neither would IE, Firefox, or Google Chrome. I had to go back to a system restore point in mid-June.

 

Now I'm running a couple of virus checkers. Next I'll do a lot of updates such as Windows Update, Java, and Adobe Acrobat.

 

Tell your friends and family (especially older, trusting individuals) not to believe anyone calling you on the telephone wanting to fix your computer.

Nice job on the fix strategy.

 

I didn't realize Win PE was available (much less even known about) outside of Microsoft.

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Nice job on the fix strategy.

 

I didn't realize Win PE was available (much less even known about) outside of Microsoft.

 

WinPE is available for a number of data recovery or cloning software products.

 

I use Macrium Reflect (Free Edition) for disk cloning at home, and you can get PE along with the install to boot it live.

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It's pretty amazing that they can remote in.  Criminals are getting smarter.  

 

They usually ask you to install a software product called LogMeIn Rescue.  The "Support Companies" actually pay for this, because it helps them.  You go to a website and click on a link and it begins a client install for you.  Or sometimes they use free programs (TeamViewer, etc.)  These companies are usually running a multi-person call center out of a back room in India and cold-caling people.

 

Once they're in your system, they usually defrag your hard disk drive and maybe perform one or two basic tweaks, after showing you Windows Error logs (which show a lot of frightening errors that really aren't serious) and they may install a freeware antivirus program to show you they're doing something for you.  Then you get billed several hundred dollars.  They don't blackmail or steal identities, but their services are still fraudulent; your system probably was never infected or had the issues they claim.

 

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2012/10/i-am-calling-you-from-windows-a-tech-support-scammer-dials-ars-technica/

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WinPE is available for a number of data recovery or cloning software products.

 

I use Macrium Reflect (Free Edition) for disk cloning at home, and you can get PE along with the install to boot it live.

Cool. I did know of it until I started working here.

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I will not lie to a telephone scammer. Instead, I ask the caller to tell me which operating system I am using. Windows or Mac isn't good enough. I want the caller to tell me which version I have, down to the latest upgrade I have installed. This usually results in some nervous stammering on the other end of the line. That's when I thank the person for calling and wish him or her a pleasant evening. 

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I will not lie to a telephone scammer. Instead, I ask the caller to tell me which operating system I am using. Windows or Mac isn't good enough. I want the caller to tell me which version I have, down to the latest upgrade I have installed. This usually results in some nervous stammering on the other end of the line. That's when I thank the person for calling and wish him or her a pleasant evening.

you've had people calling and trying this scam?
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