New scam has hackers or phishers phoning users: Be warned

A good friend — a computer expert — just sent me this account of a strange experience this afternoon. It’s scary, especially for those whose “skeptic flag” is turned off. Be alert!

Got a weird phone call just now. Guy with Indian accent who said he was calling to help me with my Windows problems — I don’t have any, but he said they were calling ‘all’ Windows owners to fix problems causing computer to run slowly. He rattled off the name of his company, and after I asked several times I finally got: “Support On Click.” The number on my phone readout was 05-247-9749 — and it said “Out of Area.” Odd number.

Cautiously, I let him continue. He had me click Start-Run and type in eventvwr, and then click on Applications and tell him how many Error flags I had — well, there were hundreds, just from this past month. He asked for a little info about them, and started a spiel about how many people were having these kinds of problems. It sounded like the canned beginning of a sales pitch.

I finally said I wasn’t interested and hung up on him. He called back a minute later but I let it go to voicemail, whereupon he hung up.

Was it a sales pitch to get my credit card? A scammer planning to get me to read him something fatal off my screen? Hacker wanting me to enter some command that would give control to a virus or something? I would have hung on to find out where he was going with this, but he was taking too long. Clearly, he was prepped for inexperienced computer users, so he took forever with his instructions, and I lost patience.

Again: If you get a call like this, at home or at work… don’t do what the caller wants. It’s undoubtedly not good for you.

Z Trek Copyright (c) Alan Zeichick
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