Sunday, February 13, 2011

Saved by my pathetic broadband connection

I thought I was pretty savvy to the dangers of telephone and internet scams but I got caught out yesterday.   The caller said he was a "Windows Support Advisor." I was suspicious and questioned him as to  why he was calling and how he had my telephone number. He said that my details were registered  when I bought my computer and that they contacted Windows users when they received 5 error reports. My windows applications had been corrupted by a virus and he needed to guide me through the process of repairing the damage.

Still suspicious, I followed his instructions and clicked on computer management and saw warnings where he said I would and accepted that this was a genuine call. He told me to highlight certain items in the list and delete them. I tried but wasn't able to delete them and he told me to open Internet Explorer so that he could help me directly. Fortunately for me, broadband in rural areas is poor and using my landline disrupts the internet connection. I couldn't get online. I asked the advisor to call me on my mobile but he said he wasn't allowed to do that but gave me a number to call him back on. Again, fortunately for me, the reception was poor and I said I would get help from someone else and rang off.

This is what I discovered when I rang PC World's TechGuys:
Microsoft do not have your personal details
Microsoft never call you
If I had managed to get online the bogus caller would have either gained access to my passwords etc or got me to download a virus

I will no longer complain about my BT Total Broadband that is anything but! I was saved by its inefficient technology.

10 comments:

  1. Gosh what luck.I think i would have fallen for it too.Thanks for the warning.

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  2. m. you handled everything magnificently! It's a good thing to have techs you trust as a resource. I hope you reported the call to he authorities. They can trace it and maybe even catch the perps.

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  3. M&M

    I decided to expose my foolishness in order to warn others.

    e
    I don't know to whom I should report it. I have the London telephone number that they gave me but the scam itself is coming from India I think. I have learned that I should go to the techs straight away if anything else happens!

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  4. Aren't they complete (fill in the blanks as your sensibilities allow)

    It's so easy to get caught out ...and who wants to be suspicious of every one ?

    Don't feel bad and the warning to others is very kind.

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  5. Good night above! It is so easy to be deceived. People are so scarily sneaky nowadays. :( One can only hope that somehow, some day, in some equally sneaky way, Karma comes to bite him back.

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  6. Today I was asked directions to Liverpool Street station by a fellow who didn't seem to take much notice of my directions. When I got home I found my cloth bag had been slashed at the side, I assume to steal my purse. But I must have registered something in my unconscious, because I held it close to me so they (for there must have been a few people involved) could not steal my purse.

    There are some wicked folk around.

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  7. Colleen

    As Val says, we don't want to be suspicious of everyone but incidents like these do put us on our guard and that is not a happy way to live. I'm glad they didn't get your purse.

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  8. I thought of you today when I had a call from obviously a call centre but asking strange questions about our computer setup.
    I just said the person who deals with all that stuff wasn't here - thanked him nicely for calling and put the phone down.
    Too easy - as you nearly found out - to be had
    Cathy

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  9. Cathy

    Well done for recognising the scam. Would you believe that the same people rang me again today! "I'm Philip from Windows Support," he said. "Oh no you're not. You have already tried this scam on me and I've reported you to the police" soon got him off the line. Unfortunately, the calls come from India so there doesn't seem to be much chance of catching the rotters.

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