Tuesday, May 10, 2011

PC Virus Phone Scam

Unfortunately regular contact with unscrupulous folk that are out to scam you is now part of normal life.

For the sake of populating Google with a warning, here's a brief rundown of our latest unsolicited phone call from an offshore scammer that we hear is actively targeting hapless Kiwis at the moment.

The phone rings and the caller ID unit flashes the unusual number: 123456. The call is from Lyna, an Asian woman with English as a second language claiming that she is from "Microsoft Windows." 

There is an air of urgency as Lyna bursts forth at a frantic pace in broken English claiming that she has identified that my computer is under attack! There is no time to waste. She asks if I'm in front of my computer and fortunately it's close to hand.

I'm instructed to press the Start Button, right-click My Computer and select the Manage option in the drop-down list. From the Computer Management window I'm instructed to click the event viewer and scroll down the information where I am instructed to look out for some ominous icons that will apparently confirm that my computer has some trojan horses roaming around and could crash at any moment. I report that there is indeed worrying icons with exclamation marks and crosses! (NB: these icons are normal).

Luckily for me, Lyna from "Microsoft Windows" is there for me and I am instructed to go to a website www.teamviewer.com to download free remote access software. Up until this stage I had been playing along trying to figure out what the sting would be....now it was becoming more obvious. 

I've used Teamviewer software before and it's a simple and nifty way to remotely connect computers. Teamviewer is a legitimate solution, however Lyna from "Microsoft Windows" wanted me to use the free software download to allow her to take control of my computer and have a bit of a ferret around. Yeah Right! 

Before I was able to press Lyna for further information the day-job started to make demands, so I had to ring off. Before I hung up I was given a phone number to urgently call back: +61280033463.

Interestingly the phone number connects but no-one answers and it appears on a website Liveservice4pc, a computer diagnostic company. The domain name has been registered 9-months ago by an Indian entity where we suspect our unsolicited phone call originated from. 

While interviewing Google, I can see that this rouse has been going on for some time. Who knows what the scam artist will do after being invited to be connect to a victim's computer. There could be all sorts of information available to them, like credit card and internet banking details or a key stroke logger could be easily stored to stealthily record future sensitive information. 

We suggest you give these dodgy folk a wide birth!

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