back to article Mac fans: You don't need Windows to get ripped off in tech support scams

"I'll just [tap, tap, runs a ping command] see if you have any antivirus protection. See, all the requests timed out. That is why your computer is working so slow." These were the words of "technician" caught on video trying to convince a Mac user to hand over some cash for his "help". Convincing PC users that they have a non …

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  1. Jediben
    Trollface

    I'd love to believe this article isn't a scam...

    ...But it's Apple so surely it just works?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'd love to believe this article isn't a scam...

      If you have a Mac then they already know you are gullible......

      1. Mike Flugennock
        Mushroom

        Re: I'd love to believe this article isn't a scam...

        "If you have a Mac then they already know you are gullible......"

        D'ahh, bite me. Sorry I can't come up with a more articulate response right now, especially as I have a college degree, but right now the only appropriate response I can come up with at the moment is just bite me.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I'd love to believe this article isn't a scam...

        "If you have a Mac then they already know you are gullible......"

        Or you like nice things and you aren't poor.

  2. ukgnome
    Devil

    I haven't had one of these jokers for a while. But I always have fun when they call. Amongst some of my time wasting tricks are.

    1. Loading up my riot soundboard, I let them do there "work" until I get bored and simulate either a police raid, or house invasion.

    2. From memory I follow there instructions and pretend I am a bumbling oaf....My record is 47mins...

    3. I sometimes engage them in chat, and then tell them my life story, about how my wife has just left me. The death of my child. My lust for indian men.....

    Am I going to hell?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      With regards call centre phone spam in general, a mate of mine used to make farm animal or fart noises at them, and speak nonsense in a high pitched voice, which did lead to no more calls from them, presumably as they filed him under 'nutter'.

      Another mate of mine who works in the rail industry got some dodgy PPI outfit dialing his company phone, to which he replied that it was a works related "railway signalling emergency number", and that the "call centre company could be prosecuted for endangering rail safety, by disrupting the rail communication network". Needless to say it shut the telephonist up, and they immediately promised to remove his number from their database, and he was never bothered again.

      1. Chris King Silver badge

        Messing with their tiny minds

        I had a spate of calls from one bunch of clowns, and decided to have a little fun with them the next time they caled...

        *ring*ring*ring*

        Me: Name, Rank, Serial Number.

        Them: What?

        Me: Name, Rank, Serial Number.

        Them: Excuse me?

        Me: You heard. Name, Rank, Serial Number. NOW!

        Them: I don't understand.

        Me: Call is now being traced... Please stand by... <Holds down star key on phone>

        Them: <click>

        I haven't heard from them since. Maybe they've put me on their "NUTTERS - DO NOT CALL" list ?

        1. denzil
          Black Helicopters

          Re: Messing with their tiny minds

          as soon as i know its a scam call i switch in to " how the hell did you get this number , this is a ministry of defense secure line" ( thinking of changing that to a n.s.a secure line :) ) , then insist on speaking to there managing director while mutter about the official secrets act and people going to jail for a very long time and holding the phone six inches away from my face and asking captain Mainwaring ( showing my age :( ) " to get a type one trace on this call NOW " amazing how fast they hang the phone up

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Another mate of mine who works in the rail industry[...]"

        I have had the fun of shutting up a marketer with "This is a secure line at a military installation, do not call this number again"

    2. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
      Pint

      I vote for you to get

      The Nobel Peace Prize!

    3. The Specialist
      Headmaster

      c there their all

      1. ukgnome
    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "Am I going to hell?"

      No, but your time is obviously worth a lot less than mine...

      1. Mr Fuzzy

        "No, but your time is obviously worth a lot less than mine..."

        Given that you troubled yourself to go AC and make a fool comment on how somebody else entertains themself, I suspect that might be a naughty fib.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Dad! Is that you?

    6. Steve Evans

      @ukgnome

      47 minutes, I salute you sir...

      A couple of techie friends and I have a running competition, and you've just come out of nowhere an gone into the lead.

      I partially blame myself for this as I don't seem to get any calls any more... Possibly down to TPS registration, but more likely due to how I ended my 32 minute call... With manic laughter and abuse.

      Pity really... Since then I set up the world's most borked virtual XP machine ready for them to remotely access (this was the stage we had reached in my 32 minute call), but they never call :-(

  3. corestore

    Heh

    Oh you want to connect to my computer to fix my problems??

    OK… fire up your TN3270 client…

    Wha…?? (In a strong Indian accent)

    <click>

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: Heh

      Yup!...

      <"support"> "Hello I am Paul, ringing from Microsoft. We have identified a problem with your computer"

      <me> "Oh, Hello. Which one?"

      <"support"> "Yes, your computer has a virus."

      <me>"Yes, which one?"

      <"support">"What?"

      <me>"Which computer? I have about twenty here at the moment"

      <"support" (sticking grimly to the script)>"Please can you click on your Start button and ..."

      <me>"I don't have a Start button"

      <"support"> ... <click>

      1. wowfood

        Re: Heh

        I just got childish with them.

        <support "Hi this is steve calling from Microsoft tech support. I'm calling because we've detected a virus on your computer" />

        <me "Hi this is Linus Torvalds, I only have a linux machine" />

        <support "Yes we've detected a virus on your machine and" />

        <me "Wait... so microsoft are calling, because they've detected a virus on my linux machine?" />

        <support "Yes we have detected a virus on your machine and..." />

        <me "Why is microsoft looking for a virus on my linux machine? Did you put it there? Are you spying on me?" >

        <support "Listen we have detected" />

        <me "No you listen, stop spying on me you perverted freak, and if I find you've been going through the folder with all my nudes" />

        *click*

        It's funny because at the start he's successfully faking an american accent, which gradually gets more and more indian.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Heh

      A colleague of mine engaged 'John' from Microsoft in conversation. I did have a longish chat with one or two, established that they weren't just dumb tools of the real scammers, but the first-line people know they're committing fraud, so now I can feel justified in being rude to them from the start.

      So my colleague didn't try the Linux gambit this time (kudos to the commentard who went C64 on them!). He started off with sensible questions and worry about the virus. Then asked how they knew his PC was infected. Then got aggressive. "How do you know my PC has a problem? Are you spying on me? You've already lied to me once when you told me your name's John. But you're not calling from Microsoft but from India."

      This got our caller surprisingly upset. Which is odd, as he was calling from India, but maybe he really was called John? He told my Home Counties accented colleague to "fuck off you fucking Paki". Weirdly he didn't hang up - but kept going on. I was killing myself laughing at this point. Then they got into the game of 'you hang up, no you hang up', except it was "you fuck off. No you fuck off first."

      I've got a few call centre people grumpy before, when they deserved it, but I've never heard anything like that. It took a while to recover from laughing. Our company has an ex-domestic number, so we were getting 2 calls a week from 'Microsoft support' at one point.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Commodore 64

    Last time one of these jokers rang up they said the computer I was on "now" had a virus. Closest computer happened to be my Commodore 64 so I spent a good five minutes winding up the "support" guy.

    Him - "Is you computer connected to the internet"

    Me - "Well, there's internet in the room"

    Him - "Type in xxxxxxxxx and press enter"

    Me - "It says ?syntax error"

    Etc

    1. Anonymous Dutch Coward
      Coat

      Re: Commodore 64

      Should have just had you type SYS64738... young people nowadays, really...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The invisible hand at work

    Diversifying into new markets, innovating as they go... Thanks to free-market competition we'll surely see the product steadily being improved from a simple scam to a comprehensive set of bollocks to an actual product that wastes not just your time and money but also hammers your PC for authenticity. And then, perfectly camouflaged alongside the leading anti-virus products, it will remain as part of the ecosystem, Time magazine will run a story on the whizz-kids behind it, and Gartner will hand out some delusional growth estimates for this new market segment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The invisible hand at work

      Thanks to free-market competition we'll surely see the product steadily being improved from a simple scam to a comprehensive set of bollocks to an actual product that wastes not just your time and money but also hammers your PC for authenticity

      In a word, Windows.

      1. Anonymous Blowhard

        Re: The invisible hand at work

        No; I think he means Norton.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The invisible hand at work

      Already happened - its called anti-virus software ...

  6. Dazed and Confused Silver badge

    The only good advise

    The only good advise I've ever been given by a MicroSoft employee was when one who happened to work in their fraud department suggested telling this annoying erks when they ring up

    "That's interesting, could you let me know your company details, as you see I work for M$ anti fraud department"

    and seeing how fast they get off the line.

    Personnally I've found that to be faster than my normal response of

    "You're a lying bastard aren't you"

    Faster, but somehow less satisfying.

  7. Tanuki
    Stop

    The last Indian one of these who called me got a fruitily expletive-laden earful about why the curry I ordered on the computer half an hour ago hadn't been delivered yet and whether their call was about fixing this.

  8. MonkeyCee Silver badge

    I like to act as a confused buffon, then "find" another family member to help out. Best I've done is four (father, son, grandson, daughter), although I think they cottened on at my Jamie Oliver mockney attempt for the grandson :)

    If they claim to be from MS, I'll just ask them about actual genuine support tickets I have with MS. And point out that they have my payment details on file already. Or just put them on hold.

    My work colleague uses her rape alarm on them. After first donning protective headgear. She even did it to someone trying the bank scam (call on landline, don't disconnect) by blasting the fake dialtone (which then disconnected). Lovely lady, but don't sneak up on her either.

  9. Kebablog

    Fuck off normally works for me

  10. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Happy

    You may gloat you Fandroids, Windroids etc

    Buy I predict that it won't be long before they start calling about the malware on your phone.

    -----> smug git Icon as I can't have this problem with my Nokia 6310i.

    1. wowfood

      Re: You may gloat you Fandroids, Windroids etc

      "Hello this is Steve from Microsoft tech support. We've detected a problem with yoru phone"

      "You're right, there is a problem with my phone. Apparently it's running windows, better get that sorted asap!"

  11. Frankee Llonnygog

    "Your computer has a virus"

    Oh no! The missiles might launch themselves!

  12. Martin Kirk

    I have a model dalek someone gave me many years ago. Press a button and it comes out with some useful phrases, such as "You will be exterminated". It can be quite interesting listening to them trying to engage it in conversation.

  13. Tachikoma

    My elderly, retired neighbour had this with her Windows laptop the other week, they convinced her to "confirm" her bank details then make her install:

    www.teamviewer.com

    And then ravaged her online accounts before clearing out her bank account. She was terrified when she realised what was going on, wouldn't answer the phone or go near her laptop until she found out I worked in IT and could secure her laptop. I had to help her over the next few days to sort out all her online banking, paypal, email, FaceBook, ISP, phone number, everything. She is on a pittiful state pension and they cleared her out of her (small but significant to her) savings.

    I'm name dropping the software company as not only did they ignore the feedback I gave them about the "hack" but they make their software nearly impossible for regular users to remove as it doesn't appear in All Applications or Add/Remove Software.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's not Teamviewer's fault

      Teamviewer is just a remote control program which is extremely helpful for remote support - the scammers us it because it can be used for free to gain access to a victim's machine. You might as well ban cars because child molesters and drug dealers use them.

    2. tony72

      TeamViewer is a very widely used and perfectly legitimate remote control/support application, I'm amazed you haven't heard of it. If these scammers abused it, or did something to make it hard to remove, that's hardly down to the TeamViewer developers.

    3. The Real SteveP
      WTF?

      I've used TeamViewer for years, and can confirm that it DOES indeed appear in All Applications/All programs or Add/Remove programs, and is EASILY removable, not that you need to remove it as it is indeed a bona fide support program. Unwittingly inviting a nasty third party onto your PC is NOT a hack, it's the result of 'social engineering' and is nothing to do with the legitimate software provider TeamViewer.com...

      1. wowfood

        I think the one thing we've learnt from this is that although Tachikoma used to work in IT, it was probably currys tech support :P

        Either way I do feel sorry for the elderly who fall for this kind of thing, not really their fault but still, I've told every old person I know if they get a call from anyone regarding their computer they should call me first.

        1. Tachikoma

          "Tachikoma used to work in IT, it was probably currys tech support :P"

          Would have been quite nice actually, instead of government cuts, outsourcing and crappy canteen food for the last <double digit> years, I would have had a staff discount for printer paper!

          I know the software is legitimate, we don't use it as our management think Windows RDC is still the only way to connect computers, hell we only updated to IE8 in the last 12 months...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Considering the scammer most likely had admin access to the computer, they most likely did some alteration for teamviewer to be harder to uninstall, not like it is hard to do, especially if they have a script at hand.

      Also teamviewer a perfectly legit software, the scammer just use it has it is made to be easy to set up a remote control server even by the less knowledgeable end user.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "hack"

      It's not a hack, its being used properly (though not for legitimate reasons) so why would Teamviewer be required to do anything about it?

      Also probably the reason you can't find it in add/remove programs is because it wasn't installed in the first place. You initially have a choice as to either install or just run it. (Are you sure you work in IT?)

    6. This post has been deleted by its author

  14. Dr Wadd

    It would be rather amusing if protection.com modified their settings so the ping started to return a message informing the recipient of the call that someone was attempting to scam them.

  15. Bloodbeastterror

    Name dropping...?

    @ Tachikoma

    I'm so intrigued by your comment "I'm name dropping the software company" that I've created a Register account just to ask the question - which software company? The only one I see is Teamviewer, and it's completely reputable - I use it myself. (I see that someone has just made the same comment...)

    Your story is tragic - these people are total scum. I have had a number of calls and I (like others above) like to waste their time by stringing them along for a while. In a very panicky tone: "What??? A virus??? Is my health at risk??? Is my family ok???"

  16. Maharg

    My grandfather is able to do what he needs with technology, he uses Skype, has a smart phone and can upload pictures to email, but once he was trying to get into a Hotmail account he had forgotten the password to.

    Cut a long story short, he was down to just guessing the password, which locked him out.

    After a quick Google he found a phone number to ring that said it was Hotmail support and could unlock your account. I was visiting at the time so he rang it put it on speaker and let me listen in as, “I work with computers”.

    It was answered, as a lot of call centres you ring from the UK are, by a guy with an Indian accent reading a script the conversation went something like…

    “Welcome to Microsoft Hotmail helpline, my name is Daniel how can I help?

    My brother told the guy he couldn’t get into his account as he had forgotten his password.

    “Ok”, said Dan “can you tell me your email address of the account you want to access”

    He told him.

    “Ok, let me do some checking” (sound of typing)

    “OH NO!” Dan exclaimed “You have a virus in the email! You must act quickly to have it removed or it will infect your whole computer”

    What?

    “You have to quickly go to this site www.sharemypc.com (or something similar) and I can remove the virus” said Dan, sounding desperately worried

    So we start asking some questions

    “Why do you need to access to his PC?”

    “So I can remove the virus, otherwise it will ruin the computer, go to that site quick!”

    “We can’t get into the email account from this PC, because it is locked out, that’s why we rang you”

    “Yes but I can use the PC to access the account and remove the virus, you have to be quick, it will ruin your PC”

    “But if you are in the account can you not remove it yourself?”

    I have to do it from your PC, I can’t access it from here, quickly you must hurry, or it will spread and ruin everyone you knows PC as well, you must be quick and go to that site and I will tell you the instructions to let me access your PC”

    “If you can’t access the account, how do you know it has a virus?”

    (Sound of paper being rustled)

    “….The virus will spread unless I stop it, you must go to the site, it’s the only way to stop the virus”

    “If the email account has a virus that will ruin this PC, why would we want the account to be accessed from our PC?”

    “Because, that’s what I have to do”

    “Why?”

    “Because that’s how I stop the virus”

    “Ok say I let you access this PC, what will you do?”

    “I will stop the virus, you must go to this site www.sharemypc.com so I can remove the virus, do it now!” said Dan, sounding a bit annoyed.

    “No, what exactly will you do, tell me what steps you will take to remove the virus”

    “It’s very technical, you won’t understand”

    “Try me”

    “excuse me?”

    “I’m very ‘technical’ I will understand I want you to explain to me what you will do”

    “There is no time to explain, the virus will ruin your computer, and I must stop it”

    “Can I speak to your supervisor please”

    “No”

    “Ok, bye bye.”

    He never did get his Hotmail account unlocked, in the end he registered a new one with the service he wanted.

    The unfortunate thing is while I did enjoy stringing the guy along, I know if I hadn’t been there my granddad, and a lot of other people would have just gone along with it, because he is used to people telling him what to do with compute

    1. Mark Allen
      Flame

      Google Search Scams

      These scams via Google Search AdWords are getting common. Just search for anything like "hotmail password", "lost Facebook password" and common faults like that and you will see the AdWords bought up by these evil scammers.

      I had one client who, just like Maharg's grandfather, had lost their hotmail password. They also searched for a "fix" and called the scammer who was advertising via Google AdWords. They followed the scammer on the phone. Right through to letting them remote control the PC (that time it was LogMeIn). Again the same scare tactics about viruses, etc.

      What saved my client was comical. The Remote Scammer couldn't get much done... well, this client is in the middle of West Sussex... where the "broadband" mega fast 200kbps. And that is on a good day. The scammer couldn't handle the sludgy speed and gave up.

      What really annoys me though is Google is taking the money from these people for the AdWords. Try it yourself - think in "Home User" mode and google some common problems they will have, then notice the scammy sounding URLs at the top in the Ad-Words. Google needs to step up its level of fraud detection here.

      I'm now training my clients to never trust the pink ad-words boxes...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Google Search Scams

        What really annoys me though is Google is taking the money from these people for the AdWords. Try it yourself - think in "Home User" mode and google some common problems they will have, then notice the scammy sounding URLs at the top in the Ad-Words. Google needs to step up its level of fraud detection here.

        Although it's fairly known I'm not a huge fan of anything Google beyond its search engine, I have to speak in their defence here: it's nigh impossible for Google to distinguish between scammer and who offers genuine support without going through that whole process themselves. However, I too had a friend call up in panic because of such a fake tech support, and when I informed Google of the ad in question it disappeared in about an hour. They're not asleep at the switch, there's just such a flood of scam agents out there that Google's management model can't cope either.

  17. Black Rat

    Spam HandlIng Therapy

    Your inglish is awful, please be speaking Hindi. Usually gives phenomenal results.

    but if they are persistant there's always this...

    Wrong department, you need to call this number .... 020 7632 3035 or

    020 7664 9274 [ because nothing says "screw you" better than a diplomatic incident ]

    1. Alistair Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Spam HandlIng Therapy

      teamviewer works on linux

      Gentoo. Xvwm. teamviewer.

      Confusion.

      laughter.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    american accents

    I've been getting about a call a week when I'm in (and about 3 or 4 missed calls) for about 3 or 4 months now from 'pharmacies'... god knows who the hell gave me my phone number and address, but I noticed at the same time I started getting spam mail with all my address and phone number on it... I wish I could find out the ba^%rds that flogged my details.

    anyhoo.. the new thing is the american accents - almost convincing... you can still hear an indian tinge, and of course they are always 'jane' or 'jim' or summit.

    there must be some schools over there now training them in speaking american sounding english....

    Frankly, they could do with sending all the onshore IT indians I work with on the same course so I could understand what they hell they are saying.

    1. The Jon

      Re: american accents

      Seeing as though North American English accents outnumber British English accents globally by about 5:1 it's hardly surprising is it?

  19. Mike Flugennock
    Holmes

    Paging Claude Rains...

    I'm shocked -- SHOCKED -- to discover that the cold-calling tech-support scammers have branched out to Macs.

    Meanwhile, only tangentially related... I found a spam voice mail on my mobile phone from some clown with an Indian accent so thick you could cut it with a knife, informing me that he'd found some issues with my Windows 7 system and offering his "help" -- pretty astounding considering we only have Macs at our house.

    Dumbasses.

  20. Frank Marsh
    FAIL

    Browser speed

    Another howler from the video: in order to test "browser speed", the scammer opened up another terminal window and ran ping www.safari.com. Brilliant!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Browser speed

      What's more, he demonstrates his lack of knowledge by closing the window to kill the ping command instead of typing Control-C.

      1. mistersaxon

        Re: Browser speed

        Ctl-c would not get out of his teamviewer job probably. Rather than faffing sending Ctl characters it's easier to hit the X. I really must set up a nice unfriendly VM that can run teamviewer et al. I'd use the IBM HMC appliance or one of their SAN simulators but those don't. If anyone can think of a way to feed teamviewer full-screen into a single application with no menu bars I would be delighted to know it - can I run the app, rather than going to the web site and set up a connection so the caller shares his hard drive, for example?

  21. Ted Treen
    Alert

    Happened to my sister...

    My sister got a little suspicious when "Microsoft Online Security" called - complete with Indian accent - about a 'devastating Windows virus" on her computer.

    An iMac running Lion.

    She asked me for advice. She brought the football referee's whistle I recommended and kept it by the phone.

    It was around three weeks later they called back, and one long loud blast from the whistle, right by the phone's mouthpiece, seemed to put them off.

    Wonder if their eardrums have recovered...

  22. Herby

    One way to cure this

    Just add a line in your hosts file to make protection.com point to 127.0.0.1. Then call them and see what they do.

    Even better would be to have a computer sitting next to this one that is in the hosts file as protection.com which you can turn on/off ping responses. Then when he tries, it fails, and when you try it, it succeeds. That would really fluster the guy!

    Fun with scammers. In some places it could be considered a "sport". Simon, are you listening?

  23. Tom 35 Silver badge

    The most effective thing I've found

    Is to say something along the lines of...

    Your mother must be so disappointed to have gone to all the effort to raise you only to have you end up as a crook.

    Often results is a string of 4 letter words and anatomically impossible suggestions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The most effective thing I've found

      This doesn't always have the intended effect.

      My then production manager once got a call from a double glazing firm and said something like this. The result was a conversation with a student who said this was the only vacation job he could get.

      The manager was a nice guy, asked the student what his subject was and where he was located, and then suggested he try a local engineering firm that might need shopfloor summer cover.

      The student eventually called back to say that he was now on double the double glazing firm rate, and thank you very much for the suggestion.

  24. Guildencrantz

    Every newbie silver surfer should be bought a copy of

    "Delete This at Your Peril: The Bob Servant Emails"

    to show them what a viper's nest the whole online world is before it gets unleashed on them. I did that for my dad when buying him a laptop and it's stood him in good stead.

  25. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    My latest caller (and the last two) claimed to work for "windows". I guess it's encouraging that they aren't smart enough to get the details right. I typically ask "does anyone ever fall for this idiocy?" and hang up.

    Since this is a more widespread problem than I thought and seems to be the same crowd working the phones from Bangalore I shall move on to plan B: shouting in my best Welsh-Pakistani accent "DON' BE CLEVER DICKIE!"

  26. Ian Bremner

    My favourite anecdote about this was my boss at my old job got a call form one of these claiming to be from Virgin about the virus they detected on his computer.

    He strung them along for a bit bifore:

    Boss: Sorry, what was your name again?

    Scammer: it is Daniel sir.

    Boss: And you work for Virgin and give remote support for end users?

    Scammer: that is right sir.

    Boss: that's odd, I don't have a Daniel on my team.

    Scammer: Excuse me sir?

    Boss; Sorry, did I forget to mention I am the manger for Virgin Digital Home Support technicians? how about you put me through to your supervisor and he and I have a little chat about you illegally misrepresenting yourself?

    The fun thing was, he did actually get through to someone claiming to be a supervisor and proceeded to rip several strips off of him

  27. channel extended
    Angel

    My fun

    I like to simply reply in nonsenical chinese.

    "this is john from *******. saa You have a virus on your machine we need to fix."

    Me: "Cing How? Soy dang lo?"

    They hang up pretty quickly after that.

  28. D.S.C.
    IT Angle

    Impossible!!!

    I usually answer that I can't possibly have a virus because "I don't have a computer". Once, by mistake, I said "I don't have a phone". Either way, it worked and they went elsewhere.

  29. sisk

    They once called my wife while I was at work. They told her all the computers in the house were infected and asked to remote in. That made her suspicious since hers was the only one not running Linux, so she reached for her cell and gave me a call while still on the line with 'tech support'. No fun antics there. For some reason my wife, who was suspicious enough to ask me, wasn't sensible enough to believe me when I told her it was a scam. She just kept saying "But they say I have a virus." I finally told her to shut down her computer and let me fix it when I got home. And, surprise surprise, after scanning it with her antivirus, malware bytes, and my ClamWin Portable, it was determined that there was no virus on her system.

    1. Ted Treen
      Pint

      @Sisk

      I hope your best beloved isn't running with an admin account...

      She is??

      Ooops!

      1. sisk

        Re: @Sisk

        She's married to a computer tech. Do you really think I'd let her ignorantly run as admin given that I'm the one who has to fix it when her machine gets messed up?

  30. mistersaxon

    Scum

    My best result so far was to string the guy along for a while and then, before I let him onto my laptop I asked him if his mother knew what he did for a living.

    "I'm sorry?..."

    "Does your mother know that you lie to people and cheat people for a living? Is she proud of her criminal son?"

    "I'm sorry?..."

    "Are you? Are you really sorry? Are you going to give up this filthy criminal job you're doing and get a job that will make her proud of you or are you just going to keep lying to her and feeding off other people's misery? You make me sick."

    "..." *click*

    I like to think he went home sobbing and mended his ways. He certainly didn't call me back.

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