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Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 232178 3-Apr-2018 12:40
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INDIAN SCAMMERS' NEW SCARE TACTICS:

 

At 9:30 this morning I received a call on my home phone from a guy purporting to be calling from 'Spark Telecom'.

 

As well as my phone number, he also had my residential address, so it's clear that these space-wasting parasites have NZ telephone books.

 

He told me that my broadband would be out of action for 15 days because some guy named 'Jim Spangler' (LOL) in Wellington had been using my broadband overnight.

 

However, he continued, I didn't need to worry, because 'Spark Telecom' would be able to fix this for me.

 

Being an IT guy who's fielded many of these calls, I get a kick from wasting these idiots' time, so I strung him along.

 

His intention was obviously to access my computer, after which he'd tell me I had jllions of bugs which I would have to pay them to get rid of.

 

Usual story.

 

I managed to keep him on the line for almost four minutes (he must be new to the game) by responding with comments like 'Oh, dear' and 'That's terrible' and 'How will I manage without the internet' etc.

 

However, when he finally got to the real purpose of his call - accessing my computer - he asked me if I had a laptop, computer or tablet.

 

I replied that I wasn't sure. He repeated the question. I answered hesitantly that I thought I might have a tablet. This seemed to throw him. He asked again. 'You mean, you don't have a computer or a laptop?'

 

'No. Only a tablet. One of those Anneroid thingys.'

 

Click. Rude chap. Not even a 'Goodbye and thanks for your time.'

 

The point of my post: If you really want to screw with these fools, the very worst thing you can do to them is waste their time.

 

So, use your imagaination. See if you can beat my four minutes :-)

 

 

 

 


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Meow
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  Reply # 1987594 3-Apr-2018 12:54
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I've got a troll VM that appears as a regular computer - has an Acer background and is riddled with malware and appears to be well used. It doesn't even appear to be a virtual machine to the scammers thanks to it being emulated in qemu.

 

I let them have their fun and just have a script to slow the vcpu down to 100MHz every few minutes to simulate a problem. VM is on a VLAN routed through via a VPN provider so they don't even have my real IP address etc. I then try and pay them with a fake credit card number which just declines. My record is just over 2 hours on the phone.





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  Reply # 1987630 3-Apr-2018 13:56
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michaelmurfy:

 

I've got a troll VM that appears as a regular computer - has an Acer background and is riddled with malware and appears to be well used. It doesn't even appear to be a virtual machine to the scammers thanks to it being emulated in qemu.

 

I let them have their fun and just have a script to slow the vcpu down to 100MHz every few minutes to simulate a problem. VM is on a VLAN routed through via a VPN provider so they don't even have my real IP address etc. I then try and pay them with a fake credit card number which just declines. My record is just over 2 hours on the phone.

 

 

 

 

Beautiful. Wish I got these calls so I could have similar fun!


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  Reply # 1987655 3-Apr-2018 14:24
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I have never had one of these calls.  I wish though. 


xpd

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  Reply # 1987658 3-Apr-2018 14:28
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surfisup1000:

 

I have never had one of these calls.  I wish though. 

 

 

Im still waiting as well. My XP VM is awaiting their connection........

 

 





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  Reply # 1987744 3-Apr-2018 16:08
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I get these calls all the time, I don't really have the time to string them along, although they do tend to hang up when things get too difficult.





Amanon

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  Reply # 1987751 3-Apr-2018 16:20
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Extra points for

 

a) Getting to talk to another person (e.g. their supervisor)

 

b) Getting them to swear at you

 

c) Death threats (in either direction)

 

d) Recording the call for our amusement

 

 


'That VDSL Cat'
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  Reply # 1987753 3-Apr-2018 16:26
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has been going around for awhile now, total pain.

 

 

 

One of the key reasons that proactive outbound measures are a little less effective over voice.





#include <std_disclaimer>

 

Any comments made are personal opinion and do not reflect directly on the position my current or past employers may have.


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Reply # 1987756 3-Apr-2018 16:33
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michaelmurfy:

 

I've got a troll VM that appears as a regular computer - has an Acer background and is riddled with malware and appears to be well used. It doesn't even appear to be a virtual machine to the scammers thanks to it being emulated in qemu.

 

I let them have their fun and just have a script to slow the vcpu down to 100MHz every few minutes to simulate a problem. VM is on a VLAN routed through via a VPN provider so they don't even have my real IP address etc. I then try and pay them with a fake credit card number which just declines. My record is just over 2 hours on the phone.

 

 

That is awesome

 

John





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  Reply # 1987768 3-Apr-2018 16:53
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@michaelmurfy is my hero.





Life is too short to remove USB safely.


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  Reply # 1987951 4-Apr-2018 07:34
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I have nowhere near the record of @michaelmurfy but had a scam call encounter recently that had me sweating for a short time.

 

Usual call from scammer claiming to be from Spark and that somebody was cloning my IP address to access the internet. I said I'm with VF so unsure why he was calling me from Spark.

 

I suggested that I call him back. He said he's from the technical department and if I called I'd only get through to customer services. He insisted he needed to get access to my computer to help me stop others using my internet.

 

I said I'm on unlimited so happy for others to use my data. He said Spark is not happy about this and I must let him access my computer to stop it, otherwise Spark will disconnect my internet account. I called his bluff and pleaded with him to please cut off my internet.

 

He said your internet will be disconnected within 48 hours. Call terminated.

 

2 hours later I get a call from my wife, saying that the computer is not connecting to the Internet. I start breaking into a mild sweat. I tell her about the scam call, and naturally start wondering could that have happened, and said I'd call her back.

 

After about 30 minutes, got her to check ONT lights and router lights, they all showed activity. Her phone was also connected to wifi at home, and phone was accessing the internet. Whew breathed a sigh of relief.

 

I suddenly remembered that the previous day I had turned off the wifi on the laptop as I was doing some audio recordings and didn't want email notification sounds to corrupt the recordings.

 

I did have a recording of the call but forgot to export the recording before I recently did a factory/data reset on my phone. But it certainly amused my family and work mates for a few weeks everytime I played back the call.

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1987958 4-Apr-2018 08:00
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Dulouz:

 

I get these calls all the time, I don't really have the time to string them along, although they do tend to hang up when things get too difficult.

 

 

This. The problem with wasting their time is that you are also wasting the same amount of your own time.


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  Reply # 1987971 4-Apr-2018 08:40
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I had a call from “Microsoft” the other day telling me there was a problem with my Windows or some such story. I actually don’t have a Windows box in the house. Ended it pretty quickly when he asked about my computer and I said I didn’t have one. “Not even a laptop?!” No.

Just be warned that if you want to have a war of words with these guys, it can get pretty nasty. A female relative of mine took a call a year or so back while I was around, and once she had told him where to go, he started threatening to do all sorts of things to her. I won’t go into details, but suffice to say that if you decide to go down that route, you should probably be prepared to hear some upsetting things.

+1 to michaelmurfy for his awesome scammer trap.

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  Reply # 1987983 4-Apr-2018 09:09
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alasta:

This x 2. The problem with wasting their time is that you are also wasting the same amount of your own time.



This. So we have gone the opposite way to the above posts in our household. Not being computer savvy enough to string scammers along, when our phone is answered, if there is a pause (while other calls are dropped), or a lot of background noise, then we just hang up without saying anything. Has the bonus of avoiding cold calls for ventilation systems, timeshares, etc.

I do wish I had the time and the IT skills to fight back, but I don't.




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  Reply # 1987984 4-Apr-2018 09:09
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I read a story recently which warned against pissing off these scammers.  The article suggested that they would add your number to a "harass" list so that you get even more of these calls.  Don't know if that's actually true, but worth keeping in mind before venturing into battle.  And I say that as one who has enjoyed baiting the scammers in the past ("what's a computer?  I've got a Casio FX82 - does that count?")


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  Reply # 1987988 4-Apr-2018 09:12
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I get these calls from time to time. I managed to get a scammer to swear at me a few years ago by playing extremely dumb. He finally lost patience and blew his cool. That doesn't seem to work so well any more, though. They have cottoned on and now just hang up if they don't get immediate results. I wish I had the know-how and patience to follow michaelmurphy's example. 

 

There is a guy who has made a name (and money) from stringing the scammers along. I can't recall his name at the moment but he is quite famous. He published a book and did a Ted talk about his experiences. He was also at the last Adelaide festival and I saw him there. Very funny, though a lot of the material was the same as the Ted talk.

 

 





I reject your reality and substitute my own. - Adam Savage
 


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