Network Security

Support scams: Can we help you with those?

Since I moved house a few months ago, my life has been mercifully short of unsolicited calls offering me assistance with imaginary viruses, though I've had a fair number of calls offering me help with problems I may be having with my mortgage (which doesn't exist either). Different scam, though possibly from the same call center.

Alas, it seems they've found me. While the lady on the phone just now didn't start off by telling me that I had a virus, she did start off by asking me whether I had problems with my computer, such as error messages and poor performance. I suppose I should have played along a bit to see which variation on the scam she was leading up to, or if there was some new wrinkle I hadn't come across, but I get tired of hearing this guff, especially on my own time.

So I explained that the only trouble I have with my computer is a surfeit of scammers ringing me with support-desk scams. I guess she must have had trouble with my accent, since she offered to help me out with my problem. Which struck me as quite comical for at least 20 seconds, but that wore off when it took me three attempts to convey the message that as far as I'm concerned she is the problem.

Or perhaps she really believes that she's carrying out a legitimate service: Cold calls of this type clearly work to scripts, and aren't necessarily well enough acquainted with the technology to know that scripts based on trickery like the CLSID trick explained here. In which case, she probably thinks I'm just a grumpy old man with no computer problems and no manners. Well, she may not be entirely wrong about some of that, though I can't say that all my computers are trouble-free. Still, I figured she was just asking about the machine I was using at the time.

Get daily email updates

SC Media's daily must-read of the most current and pressing daily news

By clicking the Subscribe button below, you agree to SC Media Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.