This is an outright scam that is running across the globe and is *usually* sourced from the sub-continent. It's unusual to leave an Aussie number and even more unusual to leave an address.
I've been tracking a number of these and recorded the call I had last night which is now on my blog here: http://www.troyhunt.com/2012/08/cold-call-scammed-again-but-this-time.html
I'll also be sharing the info with local authorities to see if we can get some traction on it.
This is the "Help4Windows" Scam where they want to remote into your PC and "fix" it. Yeah right.
I found a great way to stuff them round.
First claim you want their number so you can call them back. They usually have a number that you can call them back on. This is useful later when you want to trick them further.
Just agree with them, yes I have errors, someone said they would fix my computer and remote into it ...... Get far enough through the process them to provide you the 6 digit pin number for the logmein or support.me website and hang up. Don't click "connect to technician" and you will be fine.
Even if you do, there are about 4 things you have to click yes, OK, I agree to before they can get into your PC, so don't get too concerned. I use logmein all the time to support my clients on their PC's.
Call logmein support on the number here https://secure.logmein.com/AU/contactus/ in Australia that is 1800 658 079 and report a scam to them giving them the 6 digit pin number. Logmein will then cancel the scammers account.
If you want to repeat the process, I just call them the scammer back from time to time and say you are ready for a remote session, say you were busy before and are ready to go, yes I'm on the support.me or logmein123.com website and am ready for the remote support, get another 6 digit pin and then report it to logmein to be blocked again.
I've done this a lot now, you would think they know my voice, but I've had about 10 of their accounts cancelled. Logmein are aware of this issue and are only too pleased to assist.
Go Scam the Scammers
Got these scam artists calling me today from the Windows Support Centre, suposedly calling from Sydney, however all three people I spoke to had very strong Indian accents. After wasting their time, they encouraged me to click to www.support.me, and then enter a access code, that would have given them access to my computer - which of course, I did not do, however I did enjoy wasting 15 minutes of their time! I think this scam has changed the way it works They are noe calling saying we are from Windows Refund department and say they will refund money for a program that I have not used They ask you to call back on a Sydney number (02) 8005 8264 to verify that this is correct They then ask you to log onto a computer service so they can access your computer and log you into Wester Union money transfer system. I rand Western Umion and they confirmed this was a scam I knew about the scam so went through the steps "hypotheticaly with him first to waste time. He insisted I do all the cleaning myself, they dont need to log into the PC. Get to teh actualy steps to see fi he does anything different from the norm and oh..theres a problem.. i will need to log in ;) His name was "alex" nth sydeny postcode 2060 An Indian guy calling himself "Austen" purporting to be working for Microsoft "Help for Windows" tried to convince me that a random log of events in the "Computer Management" folder of my computer were instances of malware attack or hackers trying to access my computer. They aren't. I knew this, but I wanted to see where it was going.
So I played dumb-but-suspicious in order to waste as much of his time as possible, and also for the opportunity to analyse the techniques he uses to gain the trust of his mark, and was eventually lead to a website: http://www.showmypc.com/. I was directed to download a program which would give someone remote access to my computer.
The would-be scam artist is calling himself Austen, and says he is working for "Help for Windows" which (apparently) has an office in North Sydney. He gives his number (02) 8005 4980/">(02) 8005 4980 and encourages you to call him back on your mobile, as if this somehow proves that he is who he says he is, and also, so that you pay for the joy of being scammed, rather than them having to pay long-distance call rates from India.
His technique seems to be based on saying whatever he needs to say to keep you on the line. He gets slightly ticked off when his identity and authority is called into question, plays the sympathy card: "hey, why you being so mean to me... I'm just a little guy working for Microsoft". He flatters your ego, bows to your "greater authority", and he can even pull the emotional blackmail of the "If you don't trust me, I can't help you, and you'll be stuck with these invasions of your computer" variety. He'll even sneer and condescend, and suggest that you're stupid if you keep asking questions. He even talks around in circles, and makes absolutely no sense at times, but it's all just a confidence trick to get you to question your better judgement and give some random stranger access to your passwords, social media, online bank account access, and who knows what the hell else... blackmail fodder?
Microsoft doesn't cold call its customers:
This particular scam has been going for quite a while now, and there seems to be little the authorities can do to stop it:
http://phonenotes.org/(02) 8005 4980
This practice is disgusting and needs to stop... think about how they could devastate the life of an elderly person if they managed to gain access to their life savings. When are the authorities going to stop this crap? This is fraud!
Immigration Dept might be raiding the address soon, and that of other suspected call centres. i've had the same experience. they even told me that they wanted to return money that i'd paid to them. when i told the bloke i hadnt paid any money he got very upset. i told him to calm down and laughed at him and told him to stop playing with himself and hung up, but they keep ringing. its annoying... The woman who called me was "Genellia" with a terrible indian accent so thick I couldn't even really understand her. I knew it wasn't right because I've never given permission for anyone to contact me about anything with my computer. She even said she could fix the problem without being online which is interesting. Just the same I got the website and number and said I would call back if I thought it was legit. Then I found these blogs. Soooo grateful. I hope these guys pay for what they are doing. They try to sound so nice and polite on the phone, which just makes me feel sorry for them and their families. Love Roberts idea, scam the scammers... genius! Just had a very interesting phone conversation with a gentleman with an Indian accent. He advised me that he was from Microsoft Help Desk and that his company had conducted a survey of my neighbourhood finding that 31% of all PC uses had files down loaded that disrupted their computers. He wanted to check and was wanting me to open my computer to his site. I got his phone number making out that I had no problem if I should have a problem I would ring for assistance. I wanted to know more about their prising he won't tell me that that was something the supervising technician would discuss with me should they find a program planted on my PC. I hung up to take another phone call. Then the supervisor rang me back to try to convince me to open my PC. I told him that I have an automatic checking system installed to bar the types of files he refered too and on doing so he hung up. I was entertained for 15 minutes and for 15minutes they wasted their time. Everyone should waste as much of these bottom feeders' time as possible. It cost them!! Just had my second call from Help for Windows located at North Sydney. Austen this time - phone 02 800 54980. He went into great detail about how Chinese university graduates were hacking into computers worldwide and only they could save me from this illegal practice. lol. A man with a thick Indian accent, reportedly going by the name of Jason Williams, attempted to gain unlawful access to my computer via a failed attempt at social engineering. It just so happens that I own a computer company and as such routinely coach our clients to be aware of scams such as these.
When I pressed this guy for the name of his company, he responded with: Help For Windows
When I asked him where is office is located, he replied: Nova Scotia
I asked him for his office number and he provided: (631)604-4321 although Caller ID was reporting (510) 943-3040
When I asked for his website address he responded: What do you want to do with that? I will answer all your questions.
He tried to convince me that this was a routine call to check up on my computer because all Windows computers have problems.
I persisted with my questioning until he hung up abruptly.
He was very persistent and, unfortunately, we have a number of client that have fallen victim to similar scams.
These guys deserve prison time. I hope they burn for their crimes.
Also had a call same as all the above. Was shown the red errors and yellow triangle. I was suspicious but had let them in to scan so am hoping that my PC is OK and it was money that they were after. When they wanted payment of $149 this is when I refused to pay over the internet. They still gave the same telephone number and North Sydney address. Same story 40% of PC in my area had been infected! Names were Sylvie and Ricky Fisher.
Does anyone know of a reputable company to check my PC?
"Help for Windows" has just contacted me with identical behaviour as related by other contributors to date.
Initial caller not identified, but "technical" advisor called himself "Michael".
Telephone number and address match exactly.
From the beginning I was suspicious and made sure I was not connected to the internet during our conversations.
The final request to allow them to perform surgery on my computer was not welcomed and the caller was advised to await further instructions.
A return confirmation call is most unlikely!
They could have put a keylogger on your computer, which would enable them to know everything you do on it. They are especially looking for your bank/credit card information and the password you use to access it so they can clean out your account, also your personal tax ID number so they can steal your identity.
Contact your bank etc. ASAP so they can check your account for unauthorized debits, and the office that issued your tax ID so they can make sure nothing is amiss.
Also contact your Internet service provider, and ask if they can run a scan on your computer to check for malware. Don't run a scan with the security system you got from them-it might not be able to remove malware.
Hope this helped.
A guy called RickyFisher has called for the 2nd time (first time I hung up saying I was uncomfortable with the call) as a genuine windows customer he was callling to tell me files from my computer with windows XP were being received - an online infection was on my PC that was not detected from my virus program. I would need to login to my PC, not requiring to access the internet and check the configuration etc, etc. Suspicious, asked for address and employment ID, of course non have been verified - address 66 Albert St,North Sydney next to KFC !! He had my personal details etc, also pressured me to call back ASAP. Nothing was confirmed and family members have been notified to hang up. Austen call me 3 times today claiming he was from Helpful Windows in Sydney offering me help with my slow running computer Telephone No. (02) 8005 4980Austen informed me this was not a scam as this was the first thing I ask himAs I was using the computer when he called I ran a computer virus control which turned my computer off, He said he would ring me back again which he did this time I was on another Phone He than rang me back when I was making Tea I haven't heard from him since , which has given me time to check this wed site out for which I am thankful for
0 complaints this year
50 total complaints
Anonymous on (02) 9029 5035
Unknown caller, no voicemail...
Anonymous on 0456 798 872
They hang up if you answer. Blocked them.
Anonymous on (02) 4229 9432
Spam robo call claiming to be from some legal department.
Anon on 0417 838 426
Robotic scam caller about tax suspension. Don’t entertain call
Anonymous on (02) 6339 6879
Tax office your tax file no being suspended and kail time