Friday, 17 May 2013

I'd Like to Fix Your Computer

I've heard of other people receiving spam phone calls from dodgy companies claiming to offer free help and advice to check and fix problems with your PC.  I just got my first one and had a bit of fun with it.

For reference, the number that called me was 01827 880580 and the company claimed to be called "PC Wizard".  Google searching that telephone number only results in finding pages of blacklisted numbers.  I also called the number back and it doesn't connect.

The call started with an Indian sounding woman on the other end of the line who asked me to start my PC and tell her when it was ready.  I responded instantly saying that I was at the computer and it was on.  That was the only introduction we had, she offered no name for herself only that her company is called "PC Wizard".

Next she proceeded to tell me I had a control button on the keyboard and next to that is a windows button.  She asked me to press that and keep it held down and press the R button.  Now even I, as a non Windows user, know that brings up the run dialog.  When I was asked what can I see I said I had a prompt to run a command.  She asked what it contained and I said it was empty.

She asked me to type in eventvwr and asked what I could see.  I said it had brought up a window after I clicked OK but that window was empty and I couldn't see anything at all.  She double-checked that I had indeed pressed the OK button and then sounded rather confused and said she was going to pass me over to one of the senior technicians (I'm shaking in my boots now, it must be *really* bad).

Some guy (also Indian sounding) came onto the phone and wanted to take me through the same steps.  I asked him why he was calling and how he got my number.  He just quoted the same rubbish saying he was from "PC Wizard" and was the senior technical advisor, going to help me fix my Windows PC.  At this point I came clean and said that actually I'm not running Windows and I don't have a Start button, he gave a confused response (bet he's rehearsed that before).  I told him I was actually running Linux and was about to quote the data protection act to state he should not contact me again and delete my details, not that I would expect that to do a lot of good.

As soon as he heard the word Linux, he hung up.  I tried anonymously calling the number back but it doesn't connect.

It seems this is an old scam and I really do feel sorry for the people who have been caught out.


Beth said...

Well done dear for not laughing too much at them x

Peter Green said...

Heh, the exact same thing happened to me. My fiancée received a call from "The PC Technical Support Company" and she was very sceptical and explained that I worked in IT and they should probably speak to me.

They actually did phone back and they tried telling me that they had detected issues with my PC and that they could help by having me download a tool to fix the problems... Once I started asking which of my computers were at fault, and which OS they could "detect" a fault with, the guy hung up.

Brian O'Donovan said...

Unfortunately my father got caught out by this scam recently. His PC was so badly messed up by following their instructions that he had to revert to the original system image that the PC came with.

There are a lot of people out there who are not very computer literate and hence vunerable to these people.