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Old 2014-07-17, 15:41   #1
wblipp
 
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"William"
May 2003
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Default Microsoft Error Report Scam

http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/...1/malwarebytes

I was contacted by these people today. I hadn't heard about this particular scam before - I found the link after the call. It worked as described here - an Indian accent calling about all the error reports they have been receiving at the global support center. He had me open the event viewer to look at "all the errors caused by malware." Nothing looked particularly suspicious to me, and Microsoft shouldn't have been receiving error reports anyway. My ripe suspicion jumped to firm conclusion when he didn't actually look at any of the reports, even though he was going to show me how to fix these. I terminated he call he wanted me to browse to a "microsoft support site" that was in an ".in" domain. The pitch up to now had been about "malware when you browse the internet," so I figured this was where the malware would get installed.
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Old 2014-07-17, 15:51   #2
R.D. Silverman
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wblipp View Post
http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/...1/malwarebytes

I was contacted by these people today. I hadn't heard about this particular scam before - I found the link after the call. It worked as described here - an Indian accent calling about all the error reports they have been receiving at the global support center. He had me open the event viewer to look at "all the errors caused by malware." Nothing looked particularly suspicious to me, and Microsoft shouldn't have been receiving error reports anyway. My ripe suspicion jumped to firm conclusion when he didn't actually look at any of the reports, even though he was going to show me how to fix these. I terminated he call he wanted me to browse to a "microsoft support site" that was in an ".in" domain. The pitch up to now had been about "malware when you browse the internet," so I figured this was where the malware would get installed.
Someone tried to play this same scam on me several months ago.
They called 3 or 4 times alleging that they could provide a service to
"fix the problem".

He stopped calling when I made some directly insulting remarks
about the perverse sexual habits of his mother.
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Old 2014-07-17, 16:39   #3
kladner
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.D. Silverman View Post
Someone tried to play this same scam on me several months ago.
They called 3 or 4 times alleging that they could provide a service to
"fix the problem".

He stopped calling when I made some directly insulting remarks
about the perverse sexual habits of his mother.
A more deserving target for verbal abuse would be hard to find!
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Old 2014-07-18, 01:03   #4
Chuck
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kladner View Post
A more deserving target for verbal abuse would be hard to find!
The last time I received one of these scam calls I just said, "May I please be connected to a native speaker of English, I can't understand you".

I repeated this phrase no matter what they said. After about 20 iterations, the man became extremely agitated and abusive. He began cursing me. Then I hung up.
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Old 2014-07-18, 03:44   #5
Uncwilly
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck View Post
The last time I received one of these scam calls I just said, "May I please be connected to a native speaker of English, I can't understand you".
I make the play that I am a 'senior citizen' and milk the supposed ignorance factor as long as I can. I know what they are trying to do and I throw up road blocks at each turn. My goal is to one day keep them tied up for 1 hour. I have tied them up for ~1/2 an hour before.
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Old 2014-07-18, 10:38   #6
LaurV
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The best way to deal with these guys, assuming you have the time, of course, is to consume as much as possible of their time. They make money by calling many naive people and cheating them. If you could keep one busy for a day, do it so. They waste the time with you, and don't call other people. Eventually they pay (partially, due to internet calls) for the phones too. So, play stupid. Ask a lot of stupid questions. When they say "open explorer" you ask "windows explorer" or "internet explorer"? If they ask to open a browser, you ask what is that, is it like firefox? etc. Do "mistakes" which will force you to backtrack and waste another 5 minutes, "oh, sorry, I clicked shutdown by mistake, can you wait till the computer restarts?" then try to branch the discussion as often as you can, "oh, by the way, do you have any idea what should I do to have my computer starting faster?", etc.

For me usually works like "sorry, I am not a native speaker, can you repeat that?" etc. But I had a colleague (German guy) who was really good at doing this, once he kept a sales person from some insurance company about two hours on the phone, of course, without buying anything, and giving false ID data, etc.

Last fiddled with by LaurV on 2014-07-18 at 10:40 Reason: /s/tray/try/
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Old 2014-07-18, 11:13   #7
R.D. Silverman
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LaurV View Post
The best way to deal with these guys, assuming you have the time, of course, is to consume as much as possible of their time. They make money by calling many naive people and cheating them. If you could keep one busy for a day, do it so. They waste the time with you, and don't call other people. Eventually they pay (partially, due to internet calls) for the phones too. So, play stupid. Ask a lot of stupid questions. When they say "open explorer" you ask "windows explorer" or "internet explorer"? If they ask to open a browser, you ask what is that, is it like firefox? etc. Do "mistakes" which will force you to backtrack and waste another 5 minutes, "oh, sorry, I clicked shutdown by mistake, can you wait till the computer restarts?" then try to branch the discussion as often as you can, "oh, by the way, do you have any idea what should I do to have my computer starting faster?", etc.

For me usually works like "sorry, I am not a native speaker, can you repeat that?" etc. But I had a colleague (German guy) who was really good at doing this, once he kept a sales person from some insurance company about two hours on the phone, of course, without buying anything, and giving false ID data, etc.
Another technique is to say "please wait just a minute", then put the phone
down without hanging up, then walk away. This leaves them hanging on the
line.
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Old 2014-07-18, 12:26   #8
xilman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R.D. Silverman View Post
Another technique is to say "please wait just a minute", then put the phone
down without hanging up, then walk away. This leaves them hanging on the line.
Other fun ways don't waste as much time but are much more enjoyable.

For instance, after a request to open the control panel, wait a while and make a couple of mechanical sounds. Then when asked to describe what you can see, reply along the lines of "lots of wires and little circuit board things."

Another is to keep some VM(box,Ware} images ready to be fired up. Ensure one of them is running Windows 3.0. Have fun answering their questions honestly, accurately and fully.
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Old 2014-07-18, 12:46   #9
retina
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A lot of those techniques also waste my time. I just don't have two hours to spare with keeping one of these leeches on the line with nonsense. The method of saying "please wait a minute" is really the only practical response I have when I get calls like this. And even then if I am waiting for some important call then I'll just hang up without even saying anything because I don't want to waste an extra few seconds by speaking to them (even if it would just be abuse).
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Old 2014-07-18, 14:54   #10
kladner
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retina View Post
A lot of those techniques also waste my time. I just don't have two hours to spare with keeping one of these leeches on the line with nonsense. The method of saying "please wait a minute" is really the only practical response I have when I get calls like this. And even then if I am waiting for some important call then I'll just hang up without even saying anything because I don't want to waste an extra few seconds by speaking to them (even if it would just be abuse).
Couldn't you just put one of your duller Minions on the line, parked in front of a computer which can be re-imaged? It would be best if the machine is slow, and not running very well, either.
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Old 2014-07-18, 17:31   #11
jyb
 
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Some of these guys are really quite aggressive. After I hung up on one of them, he actually called me back and started swearing at me. I was surprised that
1) He knew which number he had called (as opposed to some automated system just making the calls for him), and
2) He thought it was worth his time and somebody's money to actually call me back just to spit venom.
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