Friday, May 10, 2013

Be Careful Out There with "Tech Support"...


Long time readers know that The Engineer is no ordinary, geeky, anti-social, one-track mind “normal” engineer. He's also an inventor. My house looks the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang...as does my backyard. It's all good though. We are SO going to win the zombie-apocalypse! I did find out another fun character trait just this week though, which is rather amazing since we'll be celebrating 30 years together come December.

He likes to mess with telemarketers. He especially likes to mess with fraudulent ones. Me, when I smell a scam, I hang up, and not so politely. The Engineer? He likes to play along, then try to get them off script, and then smother them with technical questions.

He got a phone call last week from a “Microsoft” tech support guy in India kindly letting him know that his computer had been scanned and contained some malware, but all he had to do was go to their website, download the solution, and it would remove it. Not being an idiot, The Engineer began asking a LOT of questions. To his credit, this fake tech guy COULD keep up with most of them, until he asked, “So what kind of system am I running?” The guy said, “Well sir, it doesn't matter. Our software works with any system.” “Well if you know so much about me, why can't you answer this simple question?” Mr. Tech, of course didn't know anything, and when called on it, went on to explain that they were actually NOT from Microsoft tech support, but an independent company trying to sell their software. The Engineer left the conversation with a polite, “I don't need your service, thanks for your time.”

He then looked it up, and it's the latest scam going around. IF you've accidentally fallen for it and gone to the website and downloaded anything, you should shut off your computer and call all your financial institutions immediately. Good luck – you're identity has just been stolen.

I guess they don't give up easily, or there are multiple scammers out there using the same strategy, because of course he gets another call. This time, he interrupts very quickly with, “So what you're asking me to do is go to your website, download a virus that will give you access to all my personal information and then you'll use that information to steal my identity.” The guy ACTUALLY SAID, “Well yes, and WTF are you going to do about it?” The Engineer calmly says, “Hang up on you and tell as many people as I can about this.”

So he asked me to write this post and tell all ya'lls. You're welcome.

32 comments:

Sheena-kay Graham said...

Always beware of scams. The Engineer is a genius.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wow, they are really getting bold, aren't they? Not a chance, dude.
And we don't even answer the phone if it's someone we don't know.

Brian Miller said...

good on him for taking the guy to the task...ugh...its pretty sickening what people will go through to make a buck eh?

LD Masterson said...

It's good you're spreading the word. Too many people fall for this crap.

I'm with Alex. We let the answering machine screen our calls.

Suzanne Furness said...

Yeah I've heard of these type of scams before. Seems they will try anything these days. Thanks for the warning.

JoJo said...

Wow. Scammers and hackers are just evil. This is why I never answer my home phone. No one has the number so all I get are telemarketers.

Lexa Cain said...

Wow. That's awful. We don't have telemarketers in Egypt. I'd forgotten what it was like and never realized how lucky I am. Your husband is awesome, btw! :-)

Silvia Villalobos said...

The nerve of that second guy! The Engineer is a nice and patient person. Thank him for us anyway.

Andrew Leon said...

I am astounded, and I don't know why. There have been times when I've messed with telemarketers just because it's fun, but I don't have the time for that kind of thing anymore.

Ornery's Wife said...

We don't have a land line anymore, just cell phones. I have a couple of apps that block calls. After I have gotten a spam call I block it. I am constantly amazed at how many times they try the same number!
tm

Alison Sommer said...

I've gotten those calls before. They drive me nuts, arguing with them does nothing so I just hang up. I feel really bad for people who fall for that crap.

~Sia McKye~ said...

Thank you Mr. Engineer. My secretary, the answering service, screens my calls. If I don't know you, sorry, I'm not answering. Better things to do.

I'm always leery of scams and when it comes to computers, omg, don't mess with my computer. I never download anything I'm unfamiliar with and even attachments from those I know, I scan prior to opening--better safe than sorry.

Oh, I had to tell you. I love the captcha photo. That's great. I'd love to have one.

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Laeli said...

I had one of those dudes call me. He was SO rude and pushy that I laughed and laughed because seriously dude? That kind of phone manner is not going to get you anywhere. I thought scammers were slimy and smooth, not this guy..

Gregg Metcalf said...

Can't fault the boldness and brashness of an "honest" crook. At least the one told you. Yes, more seriously we have to stay on guard against these scams and scammers!

Jo said...

We don't answer calls from someone we don't know either.

All y'all Tina? That didn't come from Sweden LOL

JO ON FOOD, MY TRAVELS AND A SCENT OF CHOCOLATE

Maggie Winter said...

What a nasty thing to plan. To sit down and think ok let con people and scare people and destroy them. They obviously have skills surely they could find a better way to work. Why oh why do they do this, have we really made money that important, of course we have and the dream of easy money and who cares who it hurts, so sad. Thanks for the head up I hope it helps someone I'm in Brazil so safe from that one but not from many other I'm sure.

Shelly Arkon said...

Thank you for the warning. Tweeted.

Hugs and chocolate,
Shelly

Ice Girl said...

Smart guy! That is a horrible scam, though, thanks for the warning!

Amy "Lyre" Turner said...

First, your husband is my hero for messing with the telemarketers. Hero, I say.

Second, thanks for sharing this tidbit! It's good to know the latest scams.

Rachel said...

You should tell us more about him messing with telemarketers. I don't usually even answer my phone and my mom will use every curse word she can think of to make them take her off their list.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Your husband sounds a bit like mine. (Must be that smart-ass engineer gene.) I've gotten a number of calls from those so-called "tech help" people, too, and I must confess, I haven't shown them much in the way of Southern hospitality.

theikmarket said...

Scammers don't give up easily, indeed! I've received several calls from the same phone number and they always have a new trick every time. But I've already named the number as "phone scammer" in my phone book so I'd always know it's them.

I have reported them to http://www.callercenter.com and posted their phone number for everybody to see.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I'm stunned that guy said that! We screen our calls, so I haven't dealt with this one yet. I'd love to see what would happen if King Geek happened to answer the phone. That would be delightful.

Shannon at The Warrior Muse

Usha Menon said...

I am a new comer .I would like to join A to Z challenge.Kindly let me know where and how I can see the rules. Regards

P V Ariel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
P V Ariel said...

Hi Tina,
THis is really a great warning!!!
Indeed the Credit goes to our Engineer!!!
Indeed a great alert!
You brought out well with the initiative of your hubby engineer LOL
Sad to note that the this fake tech guy was from India. :-(

P V Ariel said...

Hi Usha Menon,
Good to see you here, so sad to note that this year's a to z blog challenge is just concluded the other day.(April 30) The next year's challenge will if God willing will be from April first on-wards. nice to be at your page at the Emergency Ward notes.
Keep writing
Keep inform

Ini Oru Varsham kaathirikkendathundu Madam.:-)

Sandy said...

Good to let people know. It's been years since I've answered the phone without screening via the recorder...when we had a land line. Don't even have one now, and sure don't miss it.
Oozing Out My Ears

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Tina .. thankfully I don't answer the phone unless I know who it is .. and I'm very careful with my emails too ... I just don't go that route - but I bet many less savvy people do ..

Thanks to hubby for this tale of scambag-life ..

Happy weekend .. Hilary

DL Hammons said...

I'm tech-savvy enough not to fall for these ploys, but I don't answer phone calls from anybody I don't know anyway. :)

organizationandinspirationforfellowwriters said...

They are getting brave! We got this phone call in the summer. Luckily, I had just heard about it the day before and, while I am usually suspicious, it helped to know that this was a scam.

By the way, I really like your idea of a page dedicated to Past Participation Prizes.

Lucy said...

Thanks for passing the word on.
Why do people waste their talent on stealing and taking what doesn't belong to them and they feel perfectly fine doing it? Just baffles me.

Have a wonderful Mother's day :)

Lucy from Lucy's Reality