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TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers 251

An anonymous reader writes "At TechCentral, we get on average called at least once a week — sometimes far more often — by a friendly sounding Indian national warning us that our Windows computer is infected with a virus. The call, which originates from a call centre, follows exactly the same script every time. Usually we shrug them off and put the phone down, but this week we thought we'd humour them to find out how they operate. As this week's call came in, the first thing the "operator" at the other end of the line tried to establish was who was owner of the Windows computer in the household. I'd taken the call. It was time to have some fun. I told the scammer that I was the PC owner. He proceeded to introduce himself as "John Connor." I laughed quietly as I imagined Arnold Schwarzenegger's Terminator hunting down this scamster in the streets of Calcutta. Perhaps he should have come up with a more convincing name."
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TechCentral Scams Call Center Scammers

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  • by Peter Simpson ( 112887 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @12:41PM (#47757739)
    I kept the guy online, playing dumb, for about 15 minutes, until he finally gave up and told me to call Microsoft.

    At which point, I asked him if I should tell them I was running Linux.

    His reaction was priceless...and unprintable!
  • weekly (Score:4, Funny)

    by Spaham ( 634471 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @12:43PM (#47757759)

    Is this the weekly article about people who decide to "take the call" and "investigate" and "make fun of the scammers" ?
    We've seen this MANY times...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @12:46PM (#47757811)

    I rather like telling them to hold on while I go into the other room so I can hear them better, then setting the phone down with the line still open and going back to whatever I was doing before they called.

  • Unimpressed (Score:5, Funny)

    by namgge ( 777284 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @12:47PM (#47757815)
    The author is overselling himself. You haven't scammed a scammer until you've got them to send a bag man from Nigeria to a remote Scottish Island to collect your investment in cash.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @12:51PM (#47757863)

    and you fucked it up

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @12:53PM (#47757885)

    Did the same thing. When I told him I was running Linux, he said "Sir, you have been wasting my time!" to which I replied "You called me." Then he hung up. Priceless.

  • My Grandma (Score:5, Funny)

    by master_kaos ( 1027308 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @12:55PM (#47757921)

    Best way to annoy these guys is get them to call my grandma. She has 15 year old computer with 64MB ram that somehow runs xp. It literally takes 10 minutes to boot the pc. She also barely knows how to turn on the monitor. These guys were talking to my grandma for about 50 minutes when finally she said "maybe you should talk to my grandson he is in IT support", they promptly hung up after that.
    She asked me if it was legit I said no, never ever listen to what these guys say because they will try to scam you and get your money. Unfortunetly sometimes she has a bad memory and 2 years later she fell to the exact same scam. I got her to call her credit card company to halt/cancel any payments, and I told her to buy a new pc because there was no way in hell I was reformatting a 64MB xp box. It took me over 2 hours just to backup documents.

  • by EmperorOfCanada ( 1332175 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @12:55PM (#47757925)
    A frustrating friend of mine who periodically calls me for computer help but will argue with any help I offer got nailed by one of these guys. Except that he argued with them the whole time and wouldn't follow their instructions. The only thing that ended up being changed was that he deleted his browser icon from his desktop.
  • by nedlohs ( 1335013 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @12:55PM (#47757927)

    What could possibly be unprintable on slashdot?

    Fuck, shit, cock, ass, titties, boner, bitch, muff, pussy, cunt, butthole, Barbara Streisand!!

  • by HornyBastard ( 666805 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @12:59PM (#47757959)
    I usually get 1 of these calls per month.
    I like to see how long it takes before they swear at me and hang up.
    One time i started the conversation with "I like pie", and spent the next 20 minutes telling this guy about all the pies i have eaten in my life.

    My favorite of all time was a lady with a very attractive voice. Every time she told me to do something, i made up a bullshit error message. She was sounding very confused when she finally asked me what version of windows i was using and i told her windows 19.
    She tried to explain to me that the latest version of windows was windows 7, but about halfway through my story about how i wanted a very fast computer, so i built a time machine to go buy a new computer in the future, she started using some very colorful language, including a few words that i have never heard before, and i can swear in 17 languages.

    Every time i get bored, i watch the phone and hope for another call from them.
  • by just_another_sean ( 919159 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @01:00PM (#47757965) Journal

    Barbara Streisand

    Come on, what if my children had been in the room!?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @01:01PM (#47757975)

    My high score was 50 minutes. I kept pretending my computer was rebooting on it's own and took a long time to boot up. When I finally caved and told him I run Linux, he STILL tried to sell me because I could gift his product to my parents because 'older people are not so good with computers'.

    Time permitting, I always take the call and keep them on as long as possible.

  • by Zeromous ( 668365 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @01:02PM (#47757979) Homepage

    I deliver them to a VM i run just for this purpose, with the background of goatse.cx

    I then tell them it's not so much the infection as it is the distention.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @01:04PM (#47758017)

    What could possibly be unprintable on slashdot?


  • by Culture20 ( 968837 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @01:40PM (#47758425)
    A phone bot wouldn't work very well, but you could hire a call center. Maybe even the same call center.
  • by robstout ( 2873439 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @02:28PM (#47758971)
    The best revenge I heard was someone spinning up a VM of Windows 7, and having 2 folders on it: Personal, and Finances. The Finance folder was full of infected files, while Personal had some very nasty porn. Then he let the scammers get access to the VM, and watched them donwload the files.
  • by Bob the Super Hamste ( 1152367 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @02:28PM (#47758975) Homepage
    Sounds like what I did to the "your car's warranty is about to expire" people about 3 months after I got my jeep. I figured they got a dump of people who had recently purchased a used vehicle. I was mostly polite but would string them along. With that Jeep there was no way they would ever offer a warranty (at the time it was 15 years old and only had 368,XXX miles on it) but would act interested. Eventually they would want vehicle information and telling them it is a '96 with that mileage they would inform me that it didn't qualify for a warranty. At this point I knew the conversation was over but once I did get it "escalated" to a "supervisor", the guy one phone over, and got to do it again.

    I also like giving the phone to one of my children. It is down right hilarious to hear a 3 year old get fed up with these scammers, mine really likes to tell stories and eventually tell the scammer to "Stop talking now! I'm trying to tell you something!". My 6 year old is a much better communicator but is very inquisitive and will ask them all sorts of questions.
  • by Oligonicella ( 659917 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @02:38PM (#47759075)

    Sir or madam, I truly admire your tenacity - and your sense of the sublime. I'm a little more direct and short. As I've said here before, when I get such a call I immediately start talking in a soft and quaky voice. Like that of an eighty year old. This makes them listen closer and hopefully turn up their volume. I lead them on for a couple of minutes so they're focused and calm and then scream at the top of my lungs like I'm being murdered with an axe. Reactions range from screaming themselves, cursing me out and once trying to find out if I was OK at which point I laughed and *then* they cussed me. All quite cathartic.

    Moral: If you work for sleazoids you're a sleazoid, don't expect civility.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @03:00PM (#47759313)

    guy pranks a scammer using a soundboard


  • by Reemi ( 142518 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @03:47PM (#47759723)

    Did this and amazingly they stayed online with me for 30 minutes.

    Then I said: But wait, I think we have the wrong computer. Let me boot the other one.

    Whole call lasted 40 minutes.

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin