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Bizarre calls from 'my computer maintenance department'

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Phones & TV
67 replies 36.5K views
miniemmaminiemma Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Phones & TV
I've had a couple of these weird calls, caller ID says 'International out of area'.

They know my name and say that they are calling because I am using Windows operating system and they have been made aware that my computer is running slowly. They say they are from my computer maintenance department :confused:

They asked if I am the main user (yes) and asked if I have become aware of the computer booting up slowly (I said no). They claim that a program is starting when I start my computer and making it slow down.

I got bored at this point and told them I am a computer technician and that they should remove my number from their database.

He said 'oh you are a computer technician, sorry to bother you, good bye' :rolleyes:

As always, after the fact, I realise I should have let him tell me what I needed to do so that I could have a better idea of what to warn you all about :rolleyes: sorry, will do next time, as I am sure there will be a next time :rotfl:
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Replies

  • Reed_RichardsReed_Richards Forumite
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    I am a computer technician and one or two of my clients have reported getting the same sort of cold call. It's presumably some sort of scam, but what are they trying to accomplish?
    Reed
  • SammzSammz Forumite
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    They ask to get access to your PC. Guess the rest is obvious.
    OD Girls On Tour
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  • miniemmaminiemma Forumite
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    PHEW! I thought I was alone there for a while :D

    No further calls here. Maybe someone will play along and let us know what they are trying to do/sell.
  • Reed_RichardsReed_Richards Forumite
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    Sammz wrote: »
    They ask to get access to your PC. Guess the rest is obvious.

    Well it is and it isn't. There are so many things they could attempt if they managed to gain access to a PC that they would be spoilt for choice.
    Reed
  • miniemmaminiemma Forumite
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    GOT THEM!!!

    They rang again today and I played along.

    They ran me (very slowly spelling EVERYTHING out) through the process of opening the Event Viewer and basically told me that all the Warnings and Errors in there were due to me having viruses on my computer!!

    They told me that this is why my computer takes a long time to start up (it doesn't) and why it runs slowly (it doesn't)

    Then she sent me to their website 'Support on click' .com and proceeded to ask me to click the Remote support button.......

    At which point I :mad::mad::mad::mad:

    There was no point in me going any further in trying to fake what I was doing because she would ask me to follow a procedure and then say "what can you see on your screen?" So I told her where to get off. (politely)
  • Jemma-TJemma-T Forumite
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    Discussed http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=1613667

    Virtually every call you get to your house is a scammer of some sort -that's assuming you're TPS'd, it's not a relative/friend etc and the number is not recognised by you (caller ID).

    If I get a call and they say "Is that Mrs Jemma-T" I immediately say "It depends".

    Your home phone is a private thing so assume it's a scam. If it's important they'll send you a letter or come to your door.

  • I have just read your post miniemma. It is amazingly similar to my own experiences in the past week.

    The first call was answered by my son who heard the word "Department" and thought it was Department of Housing calling; he then gave the phone to my husband who was then asked if he was the main computer user; at this point my husband gave the phone to me.

    I was immediately suspicious as the speaker had an accent that identified him as being from that country with all the call centres. (I'm not being racist but the accent was an issue in understanding him clearly).

    The caller said he was from 'Computer Maintenance ..... Health ... Dept'. I asked him twice more what the name of the organisation was and each time he rattled off the name very quickly. After asking him to repeat the name 3 times I gave up. I did not want to be rude. I then told him I wasn't interested in buying anything and was told they were not selling anything (a claim I found hard to believe).

    As with miniemma, he knew my name and knew I had recently had some problems/errors with my computer. I asked him if he was from Microsoft to whom I have sent error reports on occasion. "No" was the reply. I then told this person I was extremely busy and could he ring back at a more convenient time the following day. He rang back 2 hours later which was quite late at night where we are. I again told him the time was inconvenient and he would have to ring back on another day. Even at this second phone call he told me the name of the organisation but he said it very fast and combined with the accent it was extremely difficult to get the name.

    He then called me yesterday. Once again, he knew my name and started asking me if my computer was slow to boot up and slow browsing on the internet. When he said that the organisation was aware that I had recently had several errors and problems with my internet I thought, perhaps, this might be legitimate and reluctantly answered these 2 questions. I also added that the errors had occurred while using Skype.

    I was then told my computer would have downloaded lots of infectious and malicious material. This made me suspicious again as I know my virus software works well. When I told the caller that I have virus software he scoffed and made some dismissive comment which definitely rang alarm bells. He then started to tell me what I could do to improve my computer (I was already sus; add to that the caller could not be clearly understood because of the speed of his speech and his accent; I had had enough).

    I told this caller that my father is a computer technician (very true) and he had looked at my computer and we knew what was needed to fix it.

    The caller said back to me "Oh, your father is a computer technician?" I said "yes". The caller then said "Oh, okay ma'am. Have a nice day." and hung up! If the alarm bells weren't ringing before they certainly were now.

    My caller ID said the call was from "Overseas".

    I then rang my father and told him what had happened so he could pass it on.

    This organisation/company make themselves sound "official", like from a government department or computer manufacturer. I tried quite hard to get the name of the company and the best I got was "Computer Maintenance Replacement.....Health....Department..." It was obvious the caller was trained to be deliberately vague when saying the name of the company.

    When reading miniemma's story I couldn't believe they had said the same "magic words" as me - 'computer technician'.

    I am now reluctant to send error reports to Microsoft (something I do rarely) as this company can access them.:eek:

    An informative experience.
  • edited 28 November 2010 at 10:22AM
    brewerdavebrewerdave Forumite
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    edited 28 November 2010 at 10:22AM
    sheham wrote: »

    I am now reluctant to send error reports to Microsoft (something I do rarely) as this company can access them.:eek:

    An informative experience.

    NO THEY CAN'T !!! They are just trying it on - I've had several calls of this nature in the past - I told one caller that I was running a Linux distribution,Ubuntu ,on my PC - HE DIDN'T KNOW WHAT IT WAS!
    There have been forum posts regarding people who have been phoned at home by these companies when they haven't got an Internet connection!
    There are literally 100s of errors/warnings shown in the Event Viewer of any Windows PC!
    If you follow their script you will end up giving them control of your PC - At best it will cost you money to get rid of the c**p they download ,at worst they will clean out your bank accounts!!!
  • macmanmacman Forumite
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    So he knows your name? Which he got from the phone book, or the electoral roll...
    So he knows you are running Windows OS? So are 90% of the world's home computer owners...
    Try asking him which version of Windows and he'll struggle with that though.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • sheham wrote: »

    I am now reluctant to send error reports to Microsoft (something I do rarely) as this company can access them.:eek:

    This scam has nothing whatever to do with Microsoft in fact quite the opposite, from what I have read about this scam MS have been helping to track the perpetrators down.

    The scam has been widely reported in the computer press for many months.

    Anyone who phones up and claims to know about your PC is talking rubbish. (unless of course you have given them the info in an earlier call!)
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