Just Hang Up: Why You Shouldn’t Taunt Fake India Tech Support Scammers

So by now this should all be familiar to you in 2017…

The phone rings and at the other end is someone claiming to be from “Microsoft Tech Support,” or something of the like. They’ll have a super thick India Accent, and some crazy American Anglicized name like “Joseph Smith” or something.

They will continue to tell you that your Windows or MAC computer has been compromised. That there is a virus so ratchet that even Microsoft themselves picked it up. The virus, they insist, will damage your computer and steal all your reputation information, as it will get in the hands of the most dangerous drug lord or pr0n (porn) company. The good news: there is something you can do to save your PC from the fires of hell. They massage you to make you feel safe.

You can trust them, and give them access to your computer. They’ll then search through your computer and install some software that will lock up your computer and prohibit you of using it. They will hit you up for a lump sum of cash. The problem is, it was all a scam to begin with.

I received a call yesterday while visiting my grandpa at the hospital on my computer support line. The gentleman was so devastated and frantic that he begins sharing this similar story. He proceeds with “I was so much in a hurry that I just let him take control using a software he asked me to install called Teamviewer. He then goes and installs a software and I’m locked out! He says in order for me to get back in, I will need to go purchase 2 x $100 Gift Cards at Best Buy.

Ladies and gents, they don’t work for Microsoft. Even if they did, there’s no way they could possibly know you’ve got a virus. You’ve just given your hard working money and full access to your computer to someone sitting in a boiler room somewhere in Bangalore.

Unfortunately, because there’s a lot of trusting American’s out there, this scam is highly effective. It piggybacks off Microsoft’s good name and employs scare tactics to catch thousands of people and swindle them for hundreds at a time. People are fighting back by wasting as much of the scammers time as possible.

Tip: We recommend installing an App Called Truecaller on your smartphone Android / iPhone to be able to have it pick up the party calling you. If it says India, run.

Here are some examples of folks having fun with these scammers. I suggest you fight back and have fun yourself if you are bored. Record the call if possible to share your success with Social Media. You can use an App called TapeACall

“We are official tech support for Microsoft”

 

I read a brilliant Forbes article the other day which looked the Indian call center industry. The average entry level call center salary in India is about $300. Now, suppose they’re working four, forty hour weeks. That means they’re earning an hourly wage of about $1.75.

Given that I’ve seen examples of these scams earning as much as $350 at a time, there’s simply no way you’re going to stop this from being immensely profitable.

Do You Trust Them With Your Computer?

Often, those doing the trolling will grant them access to a virtual machine that had been especially set up for that reason. These are, as the name suggests, virtual computers that run on top of an existing, real computer. What happens on a virtual machine doesn’t have any impact on the underlying computer, so they’re ideal for malware analysis, and other security-related tasks.

Take The Higher Road

There’s this Confucius quote I really like. It goes like this. “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.”

I genuinely believe that. I genuinely believe that it’s inherently self-destructive to get riled up, and angry. I genuinely believe that instead of picking a fight, you should just let it slide and move on. I genuinely think that picking a fight with a phone scammer is a bad idea, and you should just hang up.

And, it goes without saying, you should probably tell your family about this scam. Prevention is always, always better than a cure. If you, or someone you know, have been stung by this scam, you might want to share this post with them.

Cheers,

Cesar

 

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