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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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  • better coverage (Score:5, Informative)

    by Mr 44 ( 180750 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @01:01PM (#47757973)

    Here's some more interesting and informative articles, even: [] [] []

  • Re:Unimpressed (Score:5, Informative)

    by neilo_1701D ( 2765337 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @01:09PM (#47758067)

    Nice reference, Sir! That is one of the classics in 419 eater. []

    My personal favorite was The Incredible Shrinking Artwork ( But you can waste far too much time on that site.

  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @01:25PM (#47758275)

    It's not harmless stringing them along like that. What you're really doing is giving them invaluable experience and training in responding to people who might simply be on the cusp of getting taken.

    Acting like an idiot who types slow and has a LOT of questions is not only amusing but wastes time cutting into profits and capacity to contact new victims. As a bonus the experience may help advance your acting career. Ultimately on the job training arguments don't appear to me to carry sufficient heft to outweigh competing arguments. When you hang up and they talk to an honest to god sucker this also counts as on-the-job training.

    Remember kids your computer is off, you have to walk slowly down creeking stairs into the basement to turn it on.. and once there it is very old... it takes *FOREVER* to boot. Be sure to express your displeasure with the performance of your computer.

  • by RevWaldo ( 1186281 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @01:35PM (#47758381) []

  • Re:Is he a senior? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Dragonslicer ( 991472 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @02:32PM (#47759017)

    This also explains using names like John Connor. You and I would be able to recognize the source of the name. It's much less likely that a senior citizen would, so it gives them a way to filter out the people least likely to fall for the scam.

    Really? The original Terminator movie came out in 1984. People now in their 60s would have been about the same age as most of us here. Someone now in their 90s might not know about the movie, but I would bet at least as many people in their 60s and 70s know the name John Connor as do people in their teens and 20s.

  • by mabu ( 178417 ) on Tuesday August 26, 2014 @06:36PM (#47760995)

    I got a call two days ago from these people. I strung them along until they gave me a web address to go to in order to download some software and run it on my computer. Then while they were expecting me to do that, I ran a WHOIS on the host and IP, found out who was hosting them (it turned out to be an American company) and I contacted their abuse team and reported the site as being fradulent. 24 hours later, their web site was shut down.

    It also helps when you contact their abuse department, that you tell them you work for an antivirus company and you're going to add the IP address of the site to your blacklist. In many cases, there are hundreds if not thousands of web sites operating from the same IP. They will take quick action rather than have one bad customer cause 900 other customer sites to not be accessible.

"This is lemma 1.1. We start a new chapter so the numbers all go back to one." -- Prof. Seager, C&O 351