Bluetooth - GPRS - and other words that keep me employed...

I need to have more patience...

, posted: 17-Dec-2010 12:02

I couldn't believe my luck the other night - yet again, about 6:15pm in the evening I received a phone call at home and when I looked at the phone it was a "Private Caller".

Could they be so stupid as to try phoning me again to "fix my PC"??

YES! I was so pleased. Rather than getting really annoyed with them, I decided to play along for as long as my patience would allow.

Can't remember who they said they were from, but it was because I'm a "most important operating system customer" that they really wanted to help me. 

To cut a long story short, they got me to look at the c:\windows\inf folder and claimed that all those files in there were an indication of how badly infected my computer was 8-).

What did surprise me is that the steps that they got me to do were actually quite well worded.
They had obviously gone to a lot of trouble to write their script and in some respects if they turned their skills from evil to good, they could actually be quite affective as Tier1 helpdesk staff.

Anyway, when they started with their story about "Oh dear sir, your computer is very badly infected" I decided that I had had enough (it was dinner time, trying to get dinner into a 2 and 7 year old).

So I said "Actually, I'm a systems engineer and I realise what you're up to so you can stop right there. Can you hear a knocking on the door? I've kept you on the phone to trace your call and that will be the police".

At least they were smart enough to understand that and that's when they hung up on me 8-).

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Comment by freitasm, on 17-Dec-2010 12:15

There is a long discussion on Geekzone including recordings of these calls.

I have a VM ready to use in case I get a call, to find out exactly who and what is being done.

Comment by Masterpiece, on 17-Dec-2010 13:23

Had the same call myself, they even said they had been contracted by Microsoft.....hmmm don't think so.
Although I didn't bother to turn on the PC, I did have a bit of chat with them for fun...then I got bored and hung up.

Comment by crazed, on 17-Dec-2010 14:47

Oh I love that, yea had a couple of calls like that myself afew months ago, after about 30 seconds of listening to their little talk, I took great pleasure in pulling their little story apart, before being told in a harsh Indian Acsent to "Piss Off" before having the phone slammed down in my ear lol.

You actually had more patience than I would have :)

Comment by nakedmolerat, on 18-Dec-2010 10:14

i have 1371 files in C:\windows\inf ! can you help me to clean up the virus pleaseeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Comment by Dean, on 18-Dec-2010 17:49

Just had the same call.  They hung up when I said my computer wasn't running slow when accessing the internet.  I'm curious as to what they were going to get me to do next if I had said it was slow.  Might play along a bit longer next time.

Comment by ObidiahSlope, on 19-Dec-2010 10:46

I had this call and played along.

They first wanted me to go to Stsrt --> Settings, when I told them that I did not have a start button they wanted me to go to the desktop and click on My Computer. When I told them that I didn't have a My Compter icon they asked to use to key combo Windows + R to open the run dialog. When I told them that the key combo would not work they hung up on me.

Comment by lyonrouge, on 21-Dec-2010 16:02

I ran them round in circles for a while, trying to get them to help me locate the command line, it's actually a DOS prompt in Windows for Work Groups 3.11. I didn't even have a start button, it was quite entertaining, but I do have Internet Explorer 2.0.

3g's profile

Nigel Hanson
New Zealand

Updated Profile... 

My job involves working with a variety of mainly Pocket PC or Windows CE devices, setting up GPRS connections over cable and/or Bluetooth. Setting up of these connections is either done programatically (in code) or manually (when all else fails).

Through this work (which sometimes involves visiting other parts of the world), I've come up with, err, I'd hate to call it a "wealth of information", but let's just say that I've struck enough problems over the last few years that I'm sure that SOMEBODY out there might benefit from some of the tips that I'll be putting up.

Nigel H.