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Idiot Scammers

By ScienceRules - 15 July 2011 18

Dagnabbit, I’ve had persons from the sub-continent calling pretty much every day the past month or so pretending to be from “my computer company”.

Either they are monumentally stupid or can’t afford a phone book for anything other than Chisholm. I either keep them on the phone for up to an hour (yeah, I amuse easily) or give ’em an earful of poetic justice till they hang up but they keep calling back.

What’s the psychology here? Do they think they can wear me down or is it perhaps different outfits? Either way they don’t seem to have a viable business plan going for them. Maybe I could offer to be a consultant if they give me their bank account details…

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
Idiot Scammers
Spectra 4:10 pm 15 Jul 11

Thoroughly Smashed said :

Unfortunately the people that make the initial call aren’t scammers themselves, they just work for contracted call centres and most have no idea that they’re involved in a scam, they’re just reading from a script.

That may be true some of the time, but the way this fellow tells it, at least some of the outsourced scammers are fully aware of what they’re doing. That’s a fascinating article, by the way, if you’ve ever wanted a small insight into that suspiciously sub-continental-sounding “Bruce” you get when you call a support number.

Stevian 1:52 pm 15 Jul 11

alljacq said :

I used to play the village idiot with the vermin, got a laugh from the wife for a while. Now when my caller id says overseas private I simply say three words A F P they hang up instantly. On one occassion they persisted so I kept repeating AFP then I heard the word sh*t and they hung up.

Classic

alljacq 1:49 pm 15 Jul 11

I used to play the village idiot with the vermin, got a laugh from the wife for a while. Now when my caller id says overseas private I simply say three words A F P they hang up instantly. On one occassion they persisted so I kept repeating AFP then I heard the word sh*t and they hung up.

schmeah 1:36 pm 15 Jul 11

While I haven’t had the experience that others are reporting, I did – just yesterday – get one of those phone calls that rings for half a ring, and if you answer it (which I did) goes to a dead line.

I awas approaching an out of range area so thought the call was legit. When I got back to my office I called the number only to find it was one of those scams where when you call back, you go to a voice mail that tells you to check out a website.

The last time this happened I was in uni about 5 or 6 years ago and back then I was getting these phone calls at least once a week by the same number.

I thought this rubbish advertising was long dead, so I was pretty angry that I gave them at least half of what they wanted.

grunge_hippy 1:16 pm 15 Jul 11

I had one a few weeks ago, but his accent was so bad that I couldnt even understand him enough to have some fun.

Thoroughly Smashed 12:52 pm 15 Jul 11

I’ve only had one of these calls, sadly. I held the guy on the phone for 45 minutes by pretending to be utterly computer illiterate. Unfortunately the people that make the initial call aren’t scammers themselves, they just work for contracted call centres and most have no idea that they’re involved in a scam, they’re just reading from a script. The one I had was very persistent, most of the times I failed to follow his instructions (or reported that the instructions didn’t work) he just went right back to the start. Anyway it’s only when you agree to allow a remote desktop connection that the real scammers become involved and start installing malware on your computer etc.

I’ve heard of people allowing them to make the remote desktop connection and then exploiting the scammers’ own poor security to do as much damage to their payment systems as possible etc.

zippyzippy 12:49 pm 15 Jul 11

I am getting the scam calls too. They must have started a Canberra blitz. I think they’re using VoIP so making them wait probably won’t smash their phone bills.

Henry82 12:28 pm 15 Jul 11

AFAIK the do not call register does not apply to inward bound calls from overseas.

We got one 2 days ago. We just say “Write me a letter” then hang up.

It’s the shotgun approach, most will tell them to bugger off, but theres that small percentage of people who get sucked in, download the software, install the program and pay to have it removed.

Jimbo311 12:12 pm 15 Jul 11

A friend of mine got one of these callers. After they introduced themselves, my friend said “hold on, someone’s at the front door”. He went back to finish watching his tv program. About 25mins later, he came back and the person was still waiting on the phone – a little irritated by this stage. My friend then told him he used Linux. At least my friend ensured that the scammer’s phone bill won’t be cheap.

thatsnotme 11:23 am 15 Jul 11

I’m pretty sure these people don’t really care about the Do Not Call Register – they’re trying to scam you, so trifling matters like that aren’t likely to really bother them. They’re also most likely using some form of auto-dialing system, and I doubt they really care about keeping detailed results on who they’ve called before, and what the result was.

Personally, when I answer, get that pause, then someone telling me they want to talk to me about my computer, I just hang up and forget all about it.

AG Canberra 10:38 am 15 Jul 11

Yep – it seems that they love Chisholm for some reason.

If you have a few minutes it’s worth talking to them and playing along a bit. This leaves them a few less minutes to speak to someone that might actually do what they want them to do.

Common points to ask them:
Which computer is infected (say you have three, and they are all running windows)
How do they know yours is infected?
How do they know your IP address?

By the time we get to actually doing anything that may damage my computer I usually start asking about cost or viruses or where they are based (George st Melbourne CBD seems to be a common address).

My kids now know the script well enough to play along when they take the calls.

If you have a spare 5 minutes give it a go – its fun playing them along.

Spectra 10:34 am 15 Jul 11

A friend of mine strung one of these pricks along for about half an hour. Just before the scammer finally hung up in disgust, my friend swears he heard him mutter “dammit, this is my first day scamming – give me a break”.

Classified 10:25 am 15 Jul 11

We get it a lot. We’ve had a bit of fun winding them up:

“Yep, sitting at my computer. Now, can’t see that box. Yes, I’m on the website. Oh NO – there’s smoke coming out of the back of the computer!!”

Then they hang up.

I can’t believe they keep trying this crap, they must have called us a dozen times this year.

Stevian 10:06 am 15 Jul 11

I just say “Yeah I know that scam” and hang up. I get a call about once a week

Leon 9:57 am 15 Jul 11

This may be a widespread problem, as we’ve also had it for a week or so. The Do Not Call register (https://www.donotcall.gov.au/enquiries.cfm) advises recording the date and time, and the caller’s name, company, phone number and other contact details, plus the matters they wanted to talk about.

Even if they give false information, this information may help the Government to track them down.

The best response I got was when I played along with a very persistent caller. I got onto my computer and followed his instructions. When he realised I was using Linux, he abruptly hung up.

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