On 7 November, 2013 16:50:15,
in How To,
by Dirk Strauss
Scumbag Scammers – I have always maintained that the easiest way to hack someone, obtain access to their PC or to get someone’s password is to simply ask them for it. There is a worrying trend in the world where more and more people’s private information is being compromised by unscrupulous individuals. Large companies are being hacked regularly while people are having their identities stolen. And while all this is going on, you as an individual think that you are safe from all of this because you use two-step authentication, one-time pin’s, LastPass to manage your passwords and so on. Well think again.
Scumbag Scammers Prey On The Weak
For the past year I have been receiving calls from ‘Microsoft’ claiming to have detected virus infections on my PC. While I really admire Microsoft and their capabilities, I do believe that should Microsoft collect information from my PC, it will never contain any personally identifiable information. In fact, whenever I submit anything to Microsoft, there is usually a section that tells me that the information I am about to send will not contain anything that could identify me as Dirk Strauss. Microsoft will never call you up and say ‘Hello Mr [Insert your name here], this is [insert scumbag scammers name here] calling you from Microsoft Windows about your computer’.
Right, so obviously when I started receiving these calls I immediately knew that this was a scam. While the intelligence of the moron on the other side of the phone varies greatly, their modus operandi is largely similar and is as follows:
They tell you that their server has picked up that your PC is infected
They take you to your event viewer and show you the red and yellow flags telling you that those are caused by malware or virus infections
They then ask you to go to a site (www . cts247 . com) and request that you to use the LogMeIn service to give them access to your PC
What they do after this once they have access to your PC is unknown, but I bet you can guess that it isn’t anything nice
The Website They Take You To
While folks who work in the IT industry might largely be safe from scammers such as these, it is the average Joe I’m very worried about. People like my mother or my in-laws who are retired and haven’t grown up with computers, smartphones and the like are especially at risk. Sometimes these scammers really seem to know what they are talking about. I must also say that in the past year of receiving these calls, they have honed their technique. I have played along with them to see what they are up to, I have put the phone down on them, I have insulted them, I have frustrated them by pretending to be the dumbest end user imaginable, I have antagonized them, I have pelted out swear words at them (yes it got so bad) and still they continue to call.
View the Scumbag Scammers Website Details
So I decided to monitor and research them and their scam. I receive on average 3 calls a month from them. At one time, I received a call from them several times a day for about a week. They never seem to let up. Then they started calling me and asking for me by name. This disturbed me a bit because where did they get my name from? Admittedly, it is only D Strauss but still. But it was this last call from a Mr Adam Thomas from Microsoft Windows about my computer that really made me realise what a carefully thought out plan they have and how well they execute it.
A few things:
They always call me from the following number 00 1800 180200. Google this number. You will be amazed at the search results.
They always sound like they are in a call centre somewhere. Whether it is background noise provided by an audio tape or actually a call centre is anyone’s guess.
If it is a call centre, then that goes to show their level of commitment to their endeavour.
Scumbag Scammers – Listen To My Conversation With ‘Adam Thomas’
Scumbag Scammers Will Always Be Around
So what is left for me to do other than write this blog post and try to raise awareness. Don’t be fooled by these people. Be vigilant and educate your friends and family to not divulge any personal information on-line or via the telephone. Make them aware that they should not give anyone access to their PC on-line either. The worst thing of all of this is that these scammers use the most effective weapon against unsuspecting individuals. That weapon is us and our gullibility.
Disclaimer: Apologies to all other scumbags out there for having your name associated with scammers. Scumbag Scammers was the nicest word to use without resorting to using expletives to describe these scammers. No scumbags were harmed during the writing of this article, hopefully only scumbag scammers.
Dirk is a Software Developer and Microsoft MVP from South Africa. He loves all things Technology and is slightly addicted to Twitter and Jimi Hendrix. Apart from writing code, he also enjoys writing human readable articles. "I love sharing knowledge and connecting with people from around the world. It's the diversity that makes life so beautiful." Dirk feels very strongly that pizza is simply not complete without Tabasco, that you can never have too much garlic, and that cooking the perfect steak is an art he has yet to master.