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What I learned playing prey to Windows scammers

Discussion in 'CSO' started by RSS, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. RSS

    RSS New Member Member

    “I am calling you from Windows.”

    So goes the opening line of the well-known phone scam, where a person calls purporting to be a help desk technician reaching out to resolve your computer problems. These Windows scammers feed off people’s concerns about data breaches and identity theft to trick them into installing malware onto their machines. The scam has been netting victims for years, despite the fact that none of what the callers say makes sense.

    [ Also on InfoWorld: 11 signs your kid is hacking -- and what to do about it. | Watch out for 11 signs you've been hacked -- and learn how to fight back, in InfoWorld's PDF special report. | Discover how to secure your systems with InfoWorld's Security newsletter. ]

    I recently received such a call and decided to play along, to see how the scam evolves and who the players might be. Over a period of three months, I received calls on average of four times a week, from various people, all intent on proving that my computer had been hacked and that they were calling to save the day. I had multiple opportunities to try a variety of conversational gambits and to ask questions of my own. Here is what I found out about the Windows scammer underworld via conversations with “Jake,” “Mary,” “Nancy,” “Greg,” “William,” and others.

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