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Topic # 66095 12-Aug-2010 08:22 Send private message


Internal Affairs Anti-Spam Compliance unit is reiterating yesterday’s warning about a cold caller who offers to fix a problem with home computers. It has today received several calls and emails from people in the South Island who have received similar calls.

Senior investigator Toni Demetriou says a Dunedin computer company had received an infected PC for repairs from a customer who had been taken in by the scamster and police were investigating.

“We now believe the calls are being made from overseas, not from New Zealand as originally suspected, and quite a lot of people are receiving them,” Mr Demetriou said.  “The caller can be quite convincing. On one occasion he handed the conversation across to a ‘supervisor’ in an attempt to make the call sound more professional and convincing.  

“He also gives various explanations for the calls such as phoning from a reputable and well-known international company, maybe a security and anti-virus vendor, suggesting the PC has been infected by a virus and needs repairs.

“The sole purpose of the call is to convince someone to login to a website.  They are given a website name and once they are at the website home page they are then given a six digit code to log into that website. 

“Essentially what then happens is that the person is handing over control of their computer to the person they are talking with.   If you follow the instructions you will be allowing and authorising remote access to your computer.  Just about anything could then happen. 

“Viruses, malware, key logging software could be installed onto the computer.  Any information on the PC could be taken and any sensitive usernames or login credentials and passwords may also be logged and obtained as you continue to use your computer in the future.  If you log into your bank the information could be captured and your account compromised.  The computer may also become part of a botnet and used for spamming activities.”

Mr Demetriou said unauthorised access to a computer system is an offence under the Crimes Act.  Similarly, if the computer is infected through that unauthorised access and used for spamming activities, the Department of Internal Affairs, which enforces the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act, would investigate.     

“If anyone believes their PC has been infected and compromised the Department recommends that it is inspected and repaired by a computer servicing company. 






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  Reply # 376541 4-Sep-2010 12:43 Send private message

There was something like this that happened up here in Rodney




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  Reply # 378365 9-Sep-2010 20:19 Send private message

This scam still seems to be going on. I just received a phone call from a foreign sounding Gentleman who nasked for me by name. He said I believe you have a computer with an internet connections. Fortunetly I remembered this thread and told him he was sadly mistaken. At which time he lost interest and hung up.

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  Reply # 382514 20-Sep-2010 22:48 Send private message

Yeah a friend of mine's family got the same cold call tonight ... they're not computer literate at all but thankfully declined to take up the kind man's offer of fixing there computer for $300!!!!

But I fear that there will be people that get taken in by this. :-(

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  Reply # 382518 20-Sep-2010 22:54 Send private message

Alas, there are some very unscrupulous people out there...very sad. We, as Geeks, and the wider Geek community, have a duty of care and responsibility to protect our families and friends from these kinds of scammers, if only by providing tech support to the needy!

I know I sometimes find it a pain to help out relatives and friends that struggle with technology, but this kind of thing reminds me why it's so important to provide that kind of assistance.

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  Reply # 383609 23-Sep-2010 13:56 Send private message

This just happened to my father-in-law. Indian sounding woman from "Computer Solutions" who told him he had numerous warnings and failed to do anything about it. Offered to fix it there and then.

My father-in-law was on to it and asked where she was calling from and she hung up.




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  Reply # 383651 23-Sep-2010 15:44 Send private message

Notice how the geeks never get these calls..... :)




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  Reply # 383684 23-Sep-2010 16:26 Send private message

Yeah. Gutted! It would be great fun to get one of these calls.....




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  Reply # 391255 13-Oct-2010 11:16 Send private message

I'm afraid this is still going on. I was lucky enough to be at my uncle's place the other day. I noticed he was on his cellphone in front of his computer and the person on the phone was obviously asking him to do certain things on his computer.

I wandered over for a look and my uncle (fairly computer illiterate) was scrolling through the Event Viewer and had ranked the events by error status and was looking at errors from a while ago. This rang a bell with me so I asked him to hand the phone over. 

I took the cellphone (it said restricted number on the screen) and said 'Hi, I'm actually a computer systems engineer" (a slight white lie but I do have the qualification!) "can I help you?". There was a pause and then a guy with an Indian accent spoke. He said that he was from Computer Solutions Microsoft Centre and that he was just showing my uncle errors on his computer so that they could be fixed.

I said "Ok so what's the guy's name you've just been speaking to?" No answer. "What house have you called? What's his operating system?". Long pause and then "I've shown him some errors ..."

That gave me enough to realise he was a scam artist so I just laid into him. "This is a scam isn't it? You're talking rubbish. If you ever call this number again, I'm calling the police."

"Ok ... goodbye."

And he hung up. There was a delay each time he responded so you could tell he was overseas. If you know anything about computers it was obvious that it was a scam, but if you don't, like my uncle, then it's obviously easy to be tricked.

^ML

fab

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  Reply # 391256 13-Oct-2010 11:19 Send private message

I got one of these calls at home the other night.
I happily listened to him for a while - as much as I could understand him - but when I psuhed him along with more details abuot this "issue" he just hung up.

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  Reply # 391269 13-Oct-2010 11:39 Send private message

I think as soon as they realise they're talking to someone who knows what they're doing, they bail and call the next person in line. Call enough people and you're bound to find someone who will fall for it.

^ML 

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  Reply # 391272 13-Oct-2010 11:43 Send private message

I had a call last week, same deal an Indian guy and managed to keep stringing him along for about half an hour whilst he told me that my PC had a 'hacking software' in it that was sending my IP address to him.

He eventually gave up when he twigged I was pulling his chain but it was fun

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  Reply # 391284 13-Oct-2010 12:07 Send private message

langers1972: I had a call last week, same deal an Indian guy and managed to keep stringing him along for about half an hour whilst he told me that my PC had a 'hacking software' in it that was sending my IP address to him.

He eventually gave up when he twigged I was pulling his chain but it was fun


LOL, yeah, that "hacking software" is known as TCP/IP.

Wonder what they do if you start to follow their instructions then say "where do I find that on AmigaOS 3.0/Windows 3.11/BeOS" ? Probably hang up and go for the next one....




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  Reply # 391287 13-Oct-2010 12:09 Send private message

I almost wish I'd left it a bit longer to find out what he was going to suggest next. News articles have said that you usually get sent to a website and asked to fill in information. 

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  Reply # 391289 13-Oct-2010 12:11 Send private message

Yes, I said my PC wasn't on so he told me to turn it on and then got me to run up a cmd prompt with Windows key and R and said "What do you see on your screen" to which I said "Nothing" he said "Are you not seeing a menu" to which I replied "Do you want me to turn the monitor on too"

I think that's when he realised I was taking the p

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  Reply # 391295 13-Oct-2010 12:22 Send private message

My wife had such a call the other day, they tried to get her to turn her computer on because it had been the cause of network problems in the nieghbourhood! So what exactly do they try and do? Get you to log in to a website or something? She had enough sense to tell them where to go.

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