New Windows “Malware” Arrives Via a Phone Call
“Hello sir. This is Sam, calling from your Windows Service Center,” the caller said. Since this was the second such phone call I had received in as many days, I was intrigued (partly because we are Mac based and don’t have Windows PCs).
“That’s great,” I told him. “What’s going on?”
“Well, sir, the reason that I am calling is that we have been receiving a lot of error reports from the computer that you are using.” Sam continued: “There are some junk files that are corrupting your computer and we need to clean them up. I will guide you through the several steps that are necessary,” Sam told me.
I told Sam he was in luck. One of his colleagues from the IT support company we use happened to be right in a neighboring office. I offered to get him and put him on the phone since the tech would certainly be more knowledgeable than I am. Surprisingly, Sam said he would hold, and when I came back with a slightly different voice as Joe, he started to use the same script, ignoring the fact that Joe was supposedly his colleague.
Once “Joe” started to ask a few questions, however, Sam changed his tone. “You are a f****** a****,” he yelled at Joe, before saying good bye (yes, Sam was polite until the very end).
I did a little bit of checking into these scams and there appear to be several variations on the initial theme. If you fall for the scam, you will end up allowing the tech support person on the other end to have unfettered access to your computer, which includes all the information you have stored on it. That person could infect the computer with malware. Most of the time, the scammers are intent on selling you a support package for several hundred dollars, however.
If you get such a call, and decide to call back to see if the phone number is legitimate, you will be surprised to find out it is a working number at the call center in India.
Regardless, it’s a scam, so don’t let yourself be taken in.