By Ronnie Ash, CLC Library Specialist.
A few days ago, I received a curious phone call from a young man with an Indian accent. He said that he was with Microsoft, and that MS had been receiving numerous error messages from my computer. Their tech department had determined that my computer had a malicious infection and his mission was to help me remove it.
Following his instructions, I booted up my old computer and called up an event screen. Sure enough, there was a long list of red flagged application event errors. Now, he said, I would need to connect to the internet and allow Microsoft access to my computer so that the technician could lead me step by step through the removal of that malicious intruder. A few warning flags of my own started waving.
“Wait a minute,” I said, “how do I know that you’re not some criminal outfit looking to steal my data?” “Oh, no Sir, no Sir,” he protested. “I’m with Microsoft. If you’ll just go to www.microsoft.com I can show you.” The young fellow was as earnest and believable as could be. I was concerned for my poor violated computer and really wanted to trust him.
“Well, I can go to the Microsoft site but I can’t talk to you when I do. I have dial-up internet and one phone line. I can be on the internet or talk on the phone but I can’t do both at the same time.”
That bamboozled him. He couldn’t seem to grapple with such a concept. “Just connect to the internet and we will guide you from there.” Eventually, I convinced him that I simply could not be on the internet and the phone simultaneously. Once he finally accepted that troublesome fact he sadly declared, “Well, Sir, we cannot help you.”
A few moments of searching on TCC’s high speed internet brought the following revelation: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_7-security/please-read-dont-fall-for-phony-phone-tech-support/e5576f0a-827e-4fc0-a4b1-707add212065
My earnest young man had criminal intentions after all!
Microsoft will not make unsolicited phone calls to help you with your computer. If you receive a phone call like this, hang up.
Usually, I wail and bemoan my excruciatingly slow 26 kilobyte/second dial-up internet, but in this instance, it shielded me from the dark side and spared me from high tech victimhood. Although I hope to think that I would have been smart enough to stop short with said scammer, still, it’s nice to have friends in s – l – o – w places!
Categorised in: NE Library
This post was written by CLINTON NIOSI