Pinterest Stumbleupon Whatsapp
Ads by Google

They’re constantly on the prowl: cold calling scammers claiming to be from “Windows Tech Support”, who in reality have the nefarious aim of downloading spyware and/or charging you for their assistance while they are remotely connected (or, worse still, both).

It’s one of the biggest scams on the web, and it still goes on. The fact that it persists strongly suggests that the scam still works, and with VOIP offering a low cost overhead for endless cold calling, these characters have the means to call as many people as they can fit into a working day.

But let’s not be charitable. This isn’t work, but crime. It’s theft, pure and simple.

Receiving The Call

I actually received two calls from the “Windows Tech Support” scammers.

The first, just after lunch, caught me at a bad time. Snowed under with work, I laconically burst out laughing, and didn’t stop until the caller hung up. Sadly, they didn’t get the hint.

muo-security-windowstechsupport-phone

Ads by Google

Six hours later came another call. Perhaps the same lady, I don’t know as I didn’t take the first caller’s name. This one, despite her strong Indian accent, was called Rachel, one of the most English names you will find. Of course, this is part of the tactic, to present a “civilized” veneer of legitimacy for what is, surely at the back of most people’s mind, a surprising call.

Because the call itself is incredulous, it suggests, through the script that the cold calling scammers stick to very closely, that Microsoft can detect whether or not your compute has an “infection”. They’re clear on this too, the callers. This isn’t a call about viruses, as your computer’s anti-virus software can handle those. No, this is all about “infections”, some loose reference to malware.

Which, incidentally, is what they’re peddling.

The Smooth, Polite Tech Support “Expert”

Now, I just happened to be rolling three computers on the day of the call. My usual Surface Pro, my Raspberry Pi and my Toshiba laptop, running Linux Mint. This scam is designed to be used on Windows computers only, and as you may well know, Linux security issues and viruses are rare.

You can probably see where this is going…

With Linux Mint booted up right in front of me, I couldn’t help myself but make an example of these people. So I explained to “Rachel” how I was unable to make the Run box appear when pressing the Windows key and R. Opening the Run box is a key strategy of the scam, designed to show you “errors” which are items found in the Security view log in Event Viewer, a component of Windows. As I was unable to open Run and enter the eventvwr.exe command, I was passed onto “Jonathan”…

As you can hear in the recording above from my YouTube page, the “expert” I was handed over to basically continues the script with a little more authority, the initial caller’s pleasant voice no doubt intended to “soften up” the victims.

Yes, victims, because that is what we are. Whether we’re scammed or successfully spot this nonsense before it goes too far, anyone subjected to it is a victim of attempted fraud.

muo-security-windowstechsupport-run

Eventually, after the Run box fails to open (remember, I was using Linux Mint) “Jonathan” asks me to visit a website, support24.6te.net. For obvious reasons we’re not linking to it, but if we check the WhoIs result, it would seem that the website is hosted as a subdomain of an ISP or other free web host. Inspection of the webpage reveals an unsophisticated single HTML file with embedded CSS. Not exactly a professional outfit; rather the classic signs of a scam.

muo-security-windowstechsupport-website

The next step, whether the Run box can be opened or not, is to install software called AMMYY (who claim to be aware that their software is being misused in this way, but show up in many places as an untrusted service Cold Calling Computer Technicians: Don't Fall for a Scam Like This [Scam Alert!] Cold Calling Computer Technicians: Don't Fall for a Scam Like This [Scam Alert!] You've probably heard the term "don't scam a scammer" but I've always been fond of "don't scam a tech writer" myself. I'm not saying we're infallible, but if your scam involves the Internet, a Windows... Read More ) a TeamViewer-style remote desktop app 4 Remote Desktop Apps To Fetch Files In Windows & Beyond 4 Remote Desktop Apps To Fetch Files In Windows & Beyond Microsoft recently removed SkyDrive's "Fetch" feature. Here we show you how you can access files remotely on and from various device, including Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android. Read More , favoured by this sort of scam, which allows them access to your computer. At this point, the scam comes alive, as “infections” are found and you’re charged for their removal. Simultaneously, malware such as Trojan keyloggers and spyware can be installed by the scammers.

Now, I took “Jonathan” as far as I could before ultimately getting bored, realising I’d wasted around 25 minutes of their time and making my Linux reveal at the end. But what you should do is hang up your phone, the moment you hear that someone calling you out of the blue is attempting to repair your PC. Even if you *have* requested some telephone support from your PC vendor or work IT, verify their identity before proceeding.

The Aftermath: What You Should Do Next

If you’re landed here having been taken in by this scam, then you need to act quickly. Matthew Hughes has previously covered what you need to do immediately What Should You Do After Falling For A Fake IT Support Scam? What Should You Do After Falling For A Fake IT Support Scam? Search for "fake tech support scam" and you will understand how common it is across the world. Some simple precautions after the event could help you feel less of a victim. Read More , which is essentially to cancel your credit cards and talk to the credit card company to arrange a refund as the money has been paid fraudulently.

You should also take to Facebook, and let as many of your contacts, friends and family in the local area, know that the scam is targeting your region. These scammers tend to focus on an area code, so if you’ve been targeted the chances are other people in the area will be too. Note, however, that many variations of this scam exist, including one in which YOU make the phonecall to a scammer posing as a professional What's Fake Tech Support & Why You Shouldn't Trust Everything You See on Google What's Fake Tech Support & Why You Shouldn't Trust Everything You See on Google You’re sitting at home, minding your own business. Suddenly, the phone rings. You pick up, and it’s Microsoft (or Norton, or Dell, or …). Specifically, it’s a support engineer, and he’s concerned – concerned for... Read More .

Have you been hit by this scam? Do you know anyone who has, or is perhaps susceptible to it? Share your comments below, but also please take a moment to share this with anyone you feel would benefit.

Image Credits: Calling thief Via Shutterstock

  1. roy jamison
    November 5, 2016 at 10:41 pm

    ive been getting phone calls from a seattle number saying they were from windows but its a fraud he calls himeself fredrick the phone number is 1-206 454 1212.

  2. Bob
    October 28, 2016 at 3:21 pm

    I like to have a little fun with these guys. So far, I've told them that a) I'm still using MS-DOS 2.0, b) my computer is a Babbage Difference Engine, c) I'm using Linux. I've also had them on the line for 15 minutes talking them through the boot-up procedure of my imaginary steampunk-esque old-school computer: "Yes, I just have to start the ignition sequence...", "the valves are just warming up...", "I just need to charge the capacitators..." etc. - when I finally got bored I just asked if he really didn't know that I was just toying with him... he hung-up.

    Thing is, as far as I'm concerned, these guys are criminals, pure & simple. So, maybe I'll just try to say the most offensive, threatening, aggressive thing I can come up with. Why not? They're breaking the law and scamming hard-working and/or vulnerable people out of their money - all standards of common decency can go out the window when dealing with them.

    • Rob
      November 26, 2016 at 6:38 am

      Got multiple calls from a "Windows" scammer like this today (11/26/2016) and I gave the guy with an Indian accent a big helping of verbal abuse about his obvious scam operation. He hung up. Four more calls about once an hour from the same number since then from same number (ignored all) this evening, now it's harassment! If this goes on, I'm unplugging my phone. Going to bed soon!

  3. Vanessa
    October 28, 2016 at 4:06 am

    Last year, I was at my grandparents house studying and on my laptop when suddenly their house phone rings.
    I was some Indian dude claiming to be Windows tech telling me my computer had a virus. Told him there wasn't a laptop in the house and i hung up. He called again insisting there was a laptop in the house and so i admitted that i did have my laptop. He told me to get on my laptop and i refused, he got really frustrated. He kept insisting and so i said "nah, ill just take it to geek squad", to which he replied "they suck." Told him if my computer dies that I'll just buy another one, MAN HE WAS PISSED! He ban raising his voice at me, almost screaming, so i hung up. Called me back 2 sec later, he tried to apologize, told him if he called again i was going to cut his balls off.

  4. Welsh Bryn
    October 26, 2016 at 2:06 pm

    Just had a call from my 14yo son who is back at the family home on 1/2 term break while I'm at work. He took a call from an Indian sounding gentleman claiming to be from our ISP's tech department. After the callers initial introduction he got him as far as opening my laptop and hitting Windows key +R which brought up error log. My son being suspicious told him he wasn't happy when the guy then asked him to type in some further stuff so hangs up. The Indian persists calling time after time insisting the 'issue' needs to be attended to immediately. My son rings me at my office as the house phone rings again for the umpteenth time. I suggest he tells him to call me on my mobile (my mobile is part of bundle from my isp) but not to give him the number. When he says he cant as I need to be in front of laptop I tell my son to ask if he'll call back after 5:30 when I will be home to assist. The Indian insists it cannot wait and that the support centre closes at 5:00pm. My lad hangs up. The house phone rings again. My son quietly pulls the phone cable from the socket. Good lad.

  5. Bruce Wold
    October 23, 2016 at 9:43 pm

    I live in Riverside County, CA. i get a call from this group approximately 4 -times per year. Usually, I am away from my computer working when they call so I just hang up. However, I was in front of my compute a few minutes ago when the scammer called. He gave me the name of his company - I typed it into Google immediately and I clicked on your web site. After reaching your web page, I began reading your comments to him (Sammy). I asked him why every time his company calls I always speak with someone with a South Asian accent. Since he was calling from Texas, I told him there should be someone there who speaks with a Texas drawl - no response. Anyway, I toyed with him for 15-minutes and finally told him to send me an email if he knows all about my computer he should know one of my email addresses. His response was to raise his voice to make me feel there was great urgency and that I should comply with his request. I finally tired of the whole act and told him I was going to hang up. Just a word of caution to all - Do not touch your keyboard while these folks are on the phone with you!!

  6. Natalie Hidalgo
    October 3, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    I just got a call, and put the phone down next to my speaker and finished listening to B-52's Love shack. I dont think he wanted to share the love. sometimes i thank them for personally monitoring my computer out of all the billions of people on Earth, and how special i feel. Many times I start preaching at them, I tell them that God loves them, and he can deliver them from a life of crime if they would ask Jesus to forgive their sin. For some reason they hang up before i can take an offering.

  7. Peggy
    September 20, 2016 at 7:13 pm

    This may be a repeat. I can't tell if I already sent this. I rec'd such a call from Conception. I said I would call him back. He gave me the number 844-334-9105 to call . this was about 10 minutes ago. Peggy

  8. Peggy
    September 20, 2016 at 7:09 pm

    I just received such a call. I said I would call them back, and Concepscion said I could call him back a 844-334-9105. I'm assuming this is what u are speaking of. I did not call.

  9. Janet Sasnett
    September 12, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    Just got the call about 11:59 am. Same spill. I use my phone and hardly ever pull my computer out. I didn't fall for it. Yes it was an Indian man, couldn't understand him or his name.
    2 minutes later, he called back wanting to know what was a good time to call back and talk to the person that uses the computer in the house. I dialed *69 and retrieved this number: 802-381-8376.
    I just hung up!

  10. Miguel
    September 6, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Got the call today from someone with a thick Indian or Pakistani accent. I confronted him and told him to get an honest job and stop scamming people. I asked him how proud is his mom or wife about what he is doing and that he was tarnishing his race reputation...Boy , did I hit a chord with the guy. He told me Americans are killing his people and because of that they are trying to steal as much money as they can from any American. This scam goes beyond fraud, this is a planned attack, not military but financial. I do not know who to call to report it. Then he laughed at me saying they will continue to steal and kill Americans as much as they can.

  11. Valeriu Beligan
    August 27, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    I tried to copy of preinstalled windows from Microsoft, I type the key and verification failed. I was send to a technician prefix 866 from India. So I gave up.
    My strong opinion all these scammers are working for Microsoft, the biggest scammer of them all. Microsoft is contracting technicians from India, try your self if don't believe me.

    • Christian Cawley
      August 30, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      Microsoft are suing them, it's a matter of public record.

      Come on, there are far more entertaining conspiracy theories out there!

  12. Paul Blart
    August 19, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    I love these calls and get about 2-3 per week on our various rollover lines at work. I always use the same tactic with them:
    India: "are you at your computer, sir?"
    Me: "yes, I was just trying to rub one out"
    India: "hit control and 'R'...now what do you see, sir?"
    Me: "two chicks sharing a d___...they are really going at it!"

    I'll do this every time they ask what I see on the screen. It makes my day. I hope I have a file with this company that reads "people at company X watch a ton of porn".

    • Christian Cawley
      August 30, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      You sir, are a very bad man!

    • Elsie
      September 30, 2016 at 7:20 pm

      I just got a call from these "people." I ask if it was a cold virus, flu virus, pnemonia virus, or scam virus. He started to laugh at me. When they tell me to do something, I just tell them that I see Allah and Mohammad sacrificing their sacred cow and sacred goat. They seem not to get that I won't do anything. I enjoy playing with them, just to see how long I can keep them on the phone.

  13. Joris Kerdijk
    August 17, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    I'm still on the phone with them right now, he just hijjacked 500 euros. What should I do???

    • Vishnu
      August 19, 2016 at 5:15 pm

      Extract your head from your rectum and stop blindly trusting people who call you at random?

  14. eue
    August 10, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    As a former Microsoft phone support guy: Maybe it depends on the support area, but in all departments that I know of, we were NEVER EVER allowed to take over control of the Customer's environment even if the Customer requested it. Just a security precaution. Disobeying the rule could result in immediate dismissal.
    So if someone wants to control your computer, watch out :)

    • Christian Cawley
      August 30, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      Thanks for the insight, eue!

  15. Ross
    August 4, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    My 79 yr old father was called. Luckily he new that it was false because my wife works in IT. He kept the Indian dude on the phone and asked where was- no respone- the got New York - then asked what city and street cause he used to live there- confused the guy- who replied east coast- oops. Finnally my dad put me on. I asked tough questions. Got the "supervisor". I asked where he was and asked for more info as to what is the error code they are receiving. He wouldn't answer then called me a "shit". Not very professional from a Windows employee.

    • Christian Cawley
      August 4, 2016 at 7:55 pm

      Great share, thanks Ross. Nice to know your father was clued up enough not to get taken in :)

  16. Sedition
    July 28, 2016 at 2:28 pm

    They just called a few minutes ago...AGAIN. I'm in cyber security and have a nasty sense of humor, so pulled up a web page that has small wave files of a person with a heavy Asian accent saying various things from as simple as "hello?" to some very salty language. I put on the speaker phone and let them talk to my computer for a bit, answering their questions as best I can with the "safe" responses, then dig into them with the more colorful ones.
    It is beyond hilarious listening to them have an argument with a sound page.

    • Christian Cawley
      August 4, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      Hi Sedition, that web page sounds very useful!

      • Jeff Rudd
        August 10, 2016 at 8:41 pm

        buklau dot com if you want to have a little fun with them.

  17. steve
    July 27, 2016 at 6:59 pm

    if anyone wants to call and wish these guys a happy day the number is 631-480-2281

  18. Marjatta DiSerio
    July 26, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    I also fell for this scam. It happened just as the others described. The names they used were Jack, Stella, Richard. I cancelled my credit card I had used to pay them $177.

  19. kellington
    July 15, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    yep- well i fell for it.....happened to me yesterday, totally like you wrote here!! seemingly "nice" person hooked me in-and then a second "manager" came on to take me thru the rest of the cyber violation. Both had names like 'Steve Wilson' and the 2nd was 'John Wilson' and i asked where they were, i said forgive me but that is a pretty american-like name for some one who has a deeep Indian accent, like you...he started to get really agitated...i said 'i think you are scamming me!!!' and that is UNFORTUNATELY afffffter i let them deceivers on my pc. :( i cannot beeeelieve i let them in! I am reeeallly very good about questioning everything in life, but once again, they had quite a convincing method of manipulation....kind of felt like i was under their spell!! sooo anyways, after calling 'John Wilson' out- he started getting angry and maniacal....when i called him out on his name and telling him i ain't paying $h*t- he started to curse me "F*** you!" he said "your computer is now crashed mother f**ker!" they got in there in a short time, and made it so i needed a password to get in. i was on dell tech support for 2 hours after and sick to my stomach all day and night- having felt like i had just been cyber raped. what an ordeal!!!! i hate that i let this happen. anyways they did not get any of my money, and i went to a friend's computer shortly after and changed allll of my passwords. curse these dark souls who do this!!!

  20. Juanita
    July 1, 2016 at 4:09 am

    After 10 minutes on the 4th such call in 6 months I finally hung up on her and reported the call to the FCC. Next time the call I will do the same, after wasting a lot of their time and getting as much detail as I can.

  21. Melanie Totcky
    June 30, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    I have been called several times by "WindowsTech Support" and I use a Mac. I do my best to waste their time - as much as I possibly can - and then eventually tell them I am on a Mac. Today I was called by Vapesecure - no longer claiming to be Windows Tech Support but still claiming that my PC is sending them information on errors and problems that I am having but don't know about. Today I only waisted about 12 minutes - I asked the tech which computer was reporting the issues because I have 4. He ended up hanging up on me.

  22. CryTears
    June 24, 2016 at 12:47 am

    Hey...most of these Indians believe Cows are sacred...so telling them to hold on a minute because you're about to slaughter the cow you got strung by its feet in the mobile slaughter truck....then BANG!....then describe to them how this cow didn't die as planned and is writhing around suffering, banging its head against the side of the truck...and their god of destruction "Shiva" is seriously pissed and is about to go after the Indian callers....they'll take this seriously and will have nightmares!..

  23. CryTears
    June 24, 2016 at 12:36 am

    i wrote a long post, but its gone....my experiences with my scamming them!

  24. Kathy
    June 23, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    I was hit by this scam several years ago, and fell for it. I lost over $600 in funds to them, and before I even hung up the phone, my credit card info had already been misused. At this point, I get at LEAST one phone call per day from all over the US, and I block all the numbers. Doesn't seem to make a difference. I've tried dozens of ways to get them to stop calling...from hanging up, to asking for company names and phone numbers to faking a police trace on the line to asking for managers to speak with and finally screaming at them. Nothing works. Its the worst scam and still active in June 2016.

  25. Les
    June 15, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    My call is the same format with this very important difference. At the point where the caller, Eric Lewis, started to get firm with me he then started to say things like:

    You don't know who I am... I will f#*^ you over I am a terrorist and will kill you. And other life threats. needless to say a coward.

    • Christian Cawley
      June 15, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      Wow. That's disgusting. Stay safe Les -- hangup when you get these calls!

  26. Anne
    June 13, 2016 at 6:16 pm

    I have gotten hundreds of these calls at home. i have tried everything to make them stop. They keep calling because they haven't been able to steal money from me yet. When they tell me they are James Smith, I tell them no you are not you are calling me from India and you are a thief. That usually made them hang up or I did. But then I just bought a whistle. I love it. When they call and tell me who they are I blow the whistle as loud as I can into the phone. They used to call me 5-10 times a day. Now, we are down to one every so often. I hope I damage their hearing for a while anyway.

    • CryTears
      June 24, 2016 at 12:34 am

      I'm disabled (MS and Fibromyalgia pain) and so i must spend a lot of time in bed, with nothing to do but watch TV, Netflix and reading as my eyes allow...so I'm having fun being entertained whenever they call me....about 4-8 calls per day....so I'm always acting stupid....hard of hearing and worried sick about my new laptop Dell computer having serious virus I keep getting when I visit porn sites...think I've embarrassed a few of these scammers, describing what these fat lesbians doing,,,they refuse to go along and watch a few of these...i always ask if they'll watch a few of them, i'll let them fix my computer and I've got plenty of money, no family to give it to...got $10 million in the bank and tons of credit cards.

      whenever they ask me to press the windows key...i tell them to hold on a minute....having them wait at least 5 mins, i come back to tell them my windows don't have any keys...that they're those old fashioned ones you crank open....these guys fall for this every single time and get frustrated that I'm taking their time by my going to the bedroom or livingroom windows!
      And when they try to tell me what numbers/letters to enter, Like TBR14HG...they misuse the actual words...but I get letters and numbers mixed up...and when I repeat the words, I say T-as in tirds....B-as in butt-hole....R- as in rectum and so on...and then transpose numbers when repeating back...only a few have actually caught on to my game playing, and have been angered to the point of calling me ugly names, telling me they're going to rape, then murder me...to that, i invite them, telling them its been a very long time since having my way with a man...and that I've spent time in prison for attempted murder by chopping off a few manly parts, then cooked a big pot of soup...I always ask if they'd like to join me for lunch... think I'll start recording these, some are over the top hilarious because I'm great at "role play" & acting...I'm a cross between Rosanne Barr and Lily Tomlin...but dang they got my home and cell phone numbers and they have my service code information, so Dell must not have good security....recently had some work done and was done remotly....scary they're able to scam people like they are...its paying off well because so many people are just plain old stupid!...at least I'm being entertained AND as long as I've got them on the line, they're unable to call your aging auntrie...maybe people should send me a few dollars! LoL....

  27. Tim
    June 9, 2016 at 11:37 pm

    I got one of these calls earlier today. They wanted me to download a software from a web page they directed me to... I told them i would not download anything until he (Alex w/ a heavy Indian accent) could send me something verifying who he was and what he was saying was legit. This went on for several minutes and i would not download... He eventually hung up saying that my windows 10 products would eventually not be working. I replied with "you mean the one's i paid for?" and he said yes.
    My brain was telling me something wasn't right, and i'm glad i googled this to confirm it. Don't do it no matter how much they tell you on the phone who they are.

  28. Gayle
    May 23, 2016 at 5:05 am

    What to do now. I was stupid, I needed my computer desperately, a message came up warning me not to turn off my computer, I was in danger of messing up my computer etc, etc. I called the help # on the message and after getting on my computer told me I had the "koobface" worm. He told me he could fix it and protect my computer...5 hrs later he had different programs installed ... tracker, anti virus software, firewall, etc. He gave me the choice of payments beforehand and like a moron I choose the 5 yr protection plan and paid with cc. The next day I called with problem and he spent time fixing it. Also sent me a receipt. BUT when I checked out the address, it is a private home, phone # is from England, tech is Indian...how screwed am I and what can I do now? Appreciate any help
    Thank you Gki

    • Christian Cawley
      May 23, 2016 at 6:26 am

      Hi Gayle - find reputable repair shop or engineer, and have your PC assessed professionally and legitimately.

      • Rod Croger
        June 1, 2016 at 9:10 pm

        Wow....The Jokers tried to pressure but they keep the pressure up so high that I knew something was not right. Plus I could not see my way into giving them my checking account number. They should be executed for their bold "crappiness"....I looked up scams on my IPhone and discovered all of the information that these assholes were trying to use in Scamming me.....Thank God I avoided the pit that they dug for me.......

  29. Dainette
    May 18, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    I got a call yesterday at my desk number from Bakersfield, CA 661-834-3140. An indian man named James said that he was with Windows Technical Dept and my computer was at risk and he needed my IP address. Now I'm No Fool but I decided to play along. I told him that I was at work and that my laptop is at home. He says, I'll hold while you go get it. LOL I say, Sir, I wont be home for hours. He says, I'll call you back, what time? I say 8pm. Silence...
    Then he says can I call you at 6pm, I say no. I wont be home til 8pm.

    At 8pm he called, 3 times in a row but he kept hanging up.
    Today, he called my desk again. I told him that I dont use my laptop and that it's been dead for months. He said it's still at risk, I'll call you back. I told him no thank you, then he got irate with me and started yelling about my security and hackers getting into my computer.
    I calmly said No Thank You, Dont Call Me Again and hung up.

  30. sally jarvis
    May 16, 2016 at 11:48 am

    I kept them occupied for 20 minutes today. Mwahahahahahaha! (Ubuntu user)

    • CryTears
      June 24, 2016 at 12:39 am

      oh what fun it is to play with these scammers....i frustrate the hell outa them and they hang up on me! imagine that....but at least they're busy with me and not scamming someones grandma!

  31. Mona
    May 12, 2016 at 1:59 am

    I was on the internet about to log in to my bank account and I got a pop up saying that my computer is hacked and that I should call windows tech support as soon as possible. I do not usually call but for some reason I did. The guy that answered did a scan through my computer and showed me the many spywares that have been installed. One in particular that decodes my password, which he demonstrated how it works. He went on to say my network was compromised so even if I fix my computer and re connect to the network the same thing would happen. He went to quote prices to fix my computer it would be 499 if I went to the store to get it fixed but 219 to do it remotely. When he talked about getting my payment information I was skeptical and ended up hanging up the phone. He was so convincing. Smh

  32. dmdmdm
    May 11, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    Got the call yesterday and hung up. Got it again today and played along with the script as the heavily accented man tried to describe what keys to push on the lower left row of the keyboard and tell him what showed on the screen. Of course, the display never matched his expectations because I use a Mac and an Apple keyboard. Eventually his frustration showed and he passed me to his "supervisor" who walked me through the same drill. Eventually he concluded I had an Apple product and asked me to enter an address. I said I thought you were Microsoft support so how could you fix my Mac? He said the first caller made a mistake and misidentified the service; that we were really "an Apple-authorized 24-hour tech service." I laughed and hung up.

    • Christian Cawley
      May 23, 2016 at 6:25 am

      Interesting switcheroo pulled with the "Apple authorised" bit. Thanks for sharing this.

  33. john
    May 10, 2016 at 8:07 pm

    I continue to get the calls as well. I string them along for a few minutes telling them my computer is down and i begin to boot it up. i set the phone down for a few minutes. after a while of talking to them i'll try to be cooperative and then i'll merge them onto a call with the number 800-262-5739. Again i'll set the phone down and go about my work until they hang up. That number is the anal sex hotline, sometimes they'll listen to it for a while.

    • Christian Cawley
      May 10, 2016 at 9:49 pm

      Well, that's, um, different.

  34. David Glazier
    May 10, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    I have been approached innumerable times in the past but I have received three calls in the last two days each caller with what appears to be an Asian accent - either the Philippines or India! I do not possess a Microsoft based computer so I can fein interest and play along with these fools. I usually just thank them for their concern and tell them I am too busy at that very moment to do anything and will they call back later.
    However, today I asked the last caller - a male - how he had identified me as a Microsoft user and would he, please, tell me my name. With that he called me a "f-----g b-----d" and "to go to hell"! I then feigned deafness and requested he repeat his comment - which he did! I then hung up!
    Not a very pleasant time waster!

  35. Kathryn
    May 4, 2016 at 9:54 pm

    I got 2 calls today from a "Windows Technical Support," and like the other commenters it was a heavily accented caller in a noisy call center. I played along at first then finally told him that I didn't have a computer, at which time he became angry, calling me a Mother******and various other names before hanging up! Never heard such vile language from a telephone solicitor before!!!

    • Christian Cawley
      May 6, 2016 at 5:46 am

      Please take care riling up these criminals. It is safer to simply hangup.

  36. rachel
    May 4, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    "Someone" from windows has called me multiple times in the past wk. asked me if i had a Windows computer & i said No, then he immediately said "shh shh listen to me, listen to me please, Don't interrupt me." i just keep hanging up but it's getting so annoying now

    • Christian Cawley
      May 6, 2016 at 5:46 am

      A particularly rude caller. Remember, hanging up frustrates them more than anything.

  37. WolfSpotter
    May 4, 2016 at 6:19 pm

    S/E WI scam of a coworkers computer today.
    Clicked a link that brought up a screen that read something like "Windows Security: Immediately Call 844.717.7548" to which he did and then allowed them access via supportme dot com and rescue dot me.
    Question: Is the goal to install viruses and malware, extract files from your computer, or get your bank/credit card info?
    His computer blocked up after they were in and installed something. They then asked for Bank info to get payment set up for a 2 year monitoring system. Can files be removed from a computer through logmein?
    Thanks

    • Christian Cawley
      May 4, 2016 at 6:53 pm

      Files can be moved or altered/deleted using LogMeIn, yes. It depends on the level of access given to the attacker

      • WolfSpotter
        May 4, 2016 at 7:34 pm

        In the Run command he was told to enter HH H (HHspaceH). Then a help command came up and he was told to right click on the icon on the top left corner (html help). Then entered http://www.support(dot)me and that's when the fun started. No clue what happened from there.
        Since then I've logged back into the computer and the 'chat/conversation' panel was up and running and tried to reconnect but the network was not connected. I'll not try to find and remove it. 247techcenter and 24/7 Tech Center

        • Mona
          May 12, 2016 at 2:02 am

          The same thing happened to me awhile ago.

  38. kk
    May 3, 2016 at 5:24 pm

    Area code 262- Wisconsin now

  39. Joe Walsh
    April 28, 2016 at 11:07 pm

    Unfortunately, calling them names, including a correctly descriptive one is water off a duck's back. I have received calls from these clowns off and on for a couple of years. Always the same setup with the same results. Telling them I know they are scammers and there is no way they are getting at any of my machines just means they call again later, hoping to get someone more gullible. I received a call today from "David". It was a slow day so I decided to jerk him around a little bit:

    D: Hello, may I speak to (my name).
    Me: Who's calling?
    D: This is David with Windows support, calling you because we are receiving errors from your computer.
    Me: Which one? I have several.
    D: Your Windows 7 computer.
    Me: I run XP/Pro.
    D: No, your Windows computer.
    Me: XP is a Windows operating system. Did they not teach that in Indian Tech School?
    D: We are receiving the following errors. (He then rattles off some techno mumbo jumbo).
    Me: I have seen no errors and all machines are running fine. How do you see my errors?
    D: We have access to log reporting over the internet. We can review your logs with you and fix them (persistent little bastard. Most have given up by now)
    Tiring of the game, I finally tell him that I really don't have time right now to deal with this. Give me your real name and phone number and I will call you back when I do. Windows support hung up on me. Imagine that.

    • Christian Cawley
      April 29, 2016 at 7:02 am

      You're right about firing off insults, Joe. It's not worth the creativity.

  40. Wendy
    April 27, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Just had a call from these scammers this lunch time, typically Indian lady explaining to me that she wanted to help with a problem I was having on my Windows computer! Funny that as I have apple!! I told her that Windows don't ring people that haven't asked for help, with that she shouted down the phone for me to shut my mouth! Plus other gratuities, the line was really bad so thankfully didn't get everything she said? how Rude!

  41. Ian
    April 26, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    I hung up and hard shutoff my computer when they asked to refund. Unfortunately they have locked my computer, and are demanding 600$. I DESPERATLEY need my computer tommorow, if anyone can help, that would be great.

  42. Gypsy
    April 26, 2016 at 7:55 am

    I've lost track of how many times they've called, it's been going on for at least 4 months now, and it's 2-3 times per week all during 7-8pm (just this week alone they've called twice already and it's only Tuesday). (My parents were the ones who got the first initial call and fell for it, but wised up when the guy started asking for pass codes and numbers). I'd really like to know if there is any way to get them to stop calling. I've tried telling them we don't have any computers anymore (several times now and they're still calling). Mom has threatened them with police action (that was yesterday. Didn't stop them from calling this evening). (I've heard suggestions of using a whistle or an airhorn next to the phone. Anyone know if those actually stop the calls completely?)

    • Christian Cawley
      April 28, 2016 at 6:49 am

      Reporting to the appropriate federal department is the only way, it seems. Or letting Microsoft themselves know, but both optiokns require you to keep a note of the telephone numbers.

    • Joe Walsh
      April 28, 2016 at 11:18 pm

      Unfortunately, very little can be done to stop them. A police report is advisable to document the attempt, but they won't likely stop since they are likely beyond the reach of law enforcement. A caller id blocker is a good tool. I bought one on Amazon for forty dollars and it has stopped all of the scam calls I used to deal with except those that block their spoofed phone number. It comes in as "Private" or "Unknown" caller so the box doesn't know how to block it. Too bad I could not find one that could be set to automatically reject all blocked caller ids. I should have looked harder.

  43. Maureen Miller
    April 23, 2016 at 8:50 pm

    I've gotten at least 7 calls from these jokers, always between 10:15 p.m. and 11:15 p.m., always South Asian accents and English names, always call center noise in the background. They have used 562, 485, and 888 area codes. Even though I told them that we have no Windows systems in the house and that I know that they are a scam and to quit calling this number, they still call. I'll have to use some of the methods recommended here.

  44. A E
    April 21, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    I've been getting calls from these scammers every few days. I know they are scammers and I get a kick out of annoying them. They always say that there is a problem with my computer so I ask, "which one?". They say something like "your personal computer" and I say, "which one?" They ask if I have more than one personal computer and I say something like "If you know that I have a problem with my computer, than you will know the make, model number and MAC address of the computer with the problem." ... and then I just keep repeating myself and throwing in a few derogatory comments like "what are you stupid?", "Get me someone that speaks English" or "I know that you don't work for Microsoft because they would never hire someone so dumb." I vent my aggression towards them and feel well vented. LOL

  45. Jim
    April 20, 2016 at 12:19 pm

    Two calls this week. One yesterday afternoon and one at 6:45 AM today! Caller ID: Bill Owen 208-836-5598. I fear I was not as polite as you. I questioned their sanity calling before 7 a.m. and suggested that just having her arrested would not suffice....will leave it there.

    Unfortunately, I have an elderly friend (age 90) who spent an hour on the phone with these clowns. He did say that when they asked for his credit card he hung up. I fear that they have infiltrated his machine. I have asked him a couple of times if anything seems out of the ordinary and thus far he has not noticed any ill effects.

    These predators should be legally shut down!

  46. Laura
    April 18, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    I got this call and gave them remote access to my computer and they showed me a bunch of malware I had. But when it got to the point of making a payment it sounded very fraudulent and I googled it got to this page. I didn't pay and hung up on them after telling them this was a scam. Im scared that they now have sensitive information of mine. What do I do to ensure that nothing bad happens to my computer or takes my information.

  47. Ken
    April 18, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    I've had extended calls with "Peter" in the last week, and the first time I told him I was going to contact microsoft to verify, he got really mad and told me he was going to lock up my computer so I could never use it. The last one (Today) told me that Windows isn't Microsoft and they will have no knowledge of their tech support. He said both times he was calling from Sacramento. I keep putting the numbers on my call block list, but they are going to have more phone numbers than I am allowed to block.

  48. DANNY
    April 17, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    I was hit with this scam and was taken in. It was really professional and since most work is outsourced anyway , it is the American way. Then I started thinking about it when they called my wife back and I was gone. So , I returned home and the numbers were not 24 hour numbers. SOB, I was taken , so I canceled my card immediately ,, I had my security team BASK .COM , clean my computer, changed every password and yes stop payment on the fraud. They are good and when I was talking to them I was running questions on Ipad to check numbers and scams and found nothing. Problem is I did not ask the right goggle question. LOL OKAY LIVE AND LEARN, I was an idiot for the first time in years. Nice to know I am still a normal man and nice to know, LOVE EVERYONE, TRUST FEW AND ALWAYS PADDLE YOUR OWN CANOE.

    • Christian Cawley
      April 18, 2016 at 7:48 am

      Worthy advice, Danny!

  49. carl
    April 13, 2016 at 7:41 pm

    I have been getting their calls for many months. I usually say something quite rude and hang up. Yesterday, I received 5 separate calls, the last 3 from a US 614 area code, with a very American-sounding name showing on my caller ID. I wish there was some way to just get them to stop calling. It is endless harassment. This is less fun than the Nigerian prince who is trying to get his ex-bribery funds out of the country.

  50. Ron
    April 13, 2016 at 12:27 am

    Just off the phone from "Washington" 562-698-1991 - can not call this number back. Started as a call for Microsoft tech that they have notified us several times however we never answered. then onto the script, which at first did get me a little.. up to the point where they had me hitting the screen key and the r button which is when I was switched to a different person, who said he was the same person just a better connection now.. :)

    At the end, after he was telling me how smart I was, I said not today but thanks... that's when he started saying stuff that it was because of his accent etc. Can't imagine how many of these calls they make with all of the noise in the background. But I am sure they do get people and take them for a ride.

  51. Leo
    April 8, 2016 at 7:31 pm

    Got the same exact call from a number in NY. I was being really rude and asking a of of questions as I didn't trust what they were telling me to do. He just hung up on me.

    I googled "Windows tech support calls" and landed here. I laughed out loud when I read this. Bunch of jerk offs.

    I didn't do anything they asked me to but I hope all of my priviacy is safe.

  52. Steve
    April 6, 2016 at 5:43 pm

    I received a call from "Jack", obviously from India. He asked if I was on my computer (I was), but I replied no Jack, I am not on my computer. "Jack" asked me to sign onto my computer as they "Windows" had received information that my computer was in the process of being hacked into and sensitive information from my computer was at risk. I explained to "Jack" that I was presently providing care to my elderly mother and it was a bad time for me. I requested "Jack's" call back number, but he was so very nice. "Jack" offered to wait on the phone, while I tended to my ailing mother. I then told Jack that she required a lengthy breathing treatment and again requested his call back number.

    Being ever so thoughtful, Jack then offered to call back in 20 minutes. I then asked "Jack" how the weather was in India and hung up the phone. It has been one day now, and sadly, "Jack has not called back. I really would like to play some more, as I am retired and have a lot of time on my hands. I think if If am lucky enough to receive another call from Jack, I want to ask all kinds of questions, so to waste enough of "Jack's time" that it lessens the amount of people he can call and try and scam.

    I miss "Jack!"

    • Christian Cawley
      April 6, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      Have fun with "Jack" and perhaps "Jill" at some point later, but remember to keep these people at arms' length. Like a a cornered beast, they tend to turn on you when angered...

  53. Stuart Y
    April 4, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    There is an instance currently targeting area code 801 (Provo Utah)

  54. herb
    April 2, 2016 at 10:30 pm

    I overheard my son talking to someone on the phone. I asked who he was talking to and he informed me it was windows tech support. He was on his own personal computer and the screen was going wild with activity. I told him to hang the phone up and do a hard shut down on his computer. The indian guy called him on his cell phone and had him to go to a website called hamachi or something, giving him access. My son (12) gave the gentleman his name, email address and cellphone, which was the one he called him on. What do I need to do to ensure that the program is off his computer and if our other devices are safe on the same router.

    • Christian Cawley
      April 4, 2016 at 11:08 am

      Your home network *should* be fine, but running antimalware tools on all devices will confirm that. For your son's computer, run the standard add/remove programs, look for the application that was installed (you can sort the list by "Installed on" date) and remove it that way. You might like to follow that with a malware scan.

  55. Marie
    April 1, 2016 at 12:32 am

    These jerks have made it a daily routine to call me asking for my husband. I jerked them around a few times, and answered the phone, "FBI, Officer Jones, May I help you". The idiot just kept on talking even after I told him he was a scam artist and the phone conversation will be recorded and monitored. That still didn't stop him. They are now calling from different area codes. I have told them we didn't own a PC, you name it. Still doesn't work and they become angry and speak over you. I've just had about all I can take and can't even call the number back because a recording comes on that the phone number cannot be dialed. Now what!!! Every single day for the past 8 days, I cannot take this anymore.

    • Christian Cawley
      April 4, 2016 at 11:06 am

      The best answer is to just hangup, Marie, and hope for the best. But do take the time to contact your telecoms regulator to make a complaint.

    • John Ridley
      April 6, 2016 at 6:27 pm

      Why would they care if the FBI was recording them? They're outside US jurisdiction. The "area codes" that they're calling from are all spoofed. They can appear to be calling from wherever they like.

      FWIW, I've found they hang up instantly if you tell them all your computers are running Linux.

      • Christian Cawley
        April 6, 2016 at 8:44 pm

        Microsoft has closed enough of them down which suggests a few of these scammers are operating out of the USA.

  56. Dan
    March 31, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Somewhere they got my name and my cell phone number. The first time they called me, it was a male Indian accented "tech" and as soon as he said he was a windows technical support specialist I became wary. A windows tech, not Microsoft? He wanted to let me know I had windows issues on my computer and, if I remember, he rattled off an IP address, of which I don't know if it was mine or not. I have three computers and three or four phones running off of a WiFi plus a Kindle Fire. Anyways, I said I wasn't having any issues and didn't have time. Call two came the next day with a female Indian tech. I told her I was not at home and hung up. I looked up windows tech support on the internet and that is how I came to this and other information pages. I got a third call, a female Indian "tech" and asked who it was because they asked for me by my first name again. When they told me I said I know you are a scammer and to quit calling me. She got very defensive and said they are required to call. I said then have Bill Gates give me a call and hung up. I did not like that they had my name and CELL PHONE #. Hopefully after throwing the scammer word at them I am off their list now.

    • Christian Cawley
      April 4, 2016 at 11:05 am

      Again, interesting that they had your name, Dan. We're looking at revisiting this topic soon, thanks for your feedback Dan!

  57. Hunter
    March 30, 2016 at 8:13 pm

    For the past couple of years I've been receiving these calls, so I decided to have some fun and see how long they would play. Well it was longer than I thought. Kept them on the phone for over 30 min.
    They kept wanting me to press the windows key, just kept telling them I didn't have a windows key. I got transferred to 3 different support reps, all trying to find my windows key (lol). Then they told me to just type 'www'; asked where, they said anywhere (lol). Told them I had a special keyboard for the blind and there was no windows key...
    This went on for 30 min. and they finally hung up.
    So, now the question will be when is the next time I get a phone call back. I had blocked the original 5 phone numbers, this one came in as 'blocked'
    But, hey I kept them from calling a number of other unsuspecting 'Marks', so I did my good deed for the day :-)
    Maybe my next game will be to Harbor Freight and get an air horn, to end my call.. Keep posted.

    • Christian Cawley
      March 30, 2016 at 8:33 pm

      Great work, Hunter, thanks!

  58. William Darrel
    March 30, 2016 at 12:48 am

    Just got this call from a NY scammer 516-953-5421

    So who do we turn these people over to? should be a local or national authority

  59. gtsport
    March 29, 2016 at 11:26 pm

    when the jokers called me a few weeks back, I acted like I was going along. first I told her I had to turn on the computer, I tried to small talk her and it didn't work. after a couple of minutes, I began to "follow her instructions." suddenly I hollered "Oh sh** what did you do to my computer?" I told her that suddenly the screen went black and the thing would not restart, it was dead. after a while I convinced her that I would have to take it back to the dealer and get it fixed. 3 days later she calls again and asks if I got it fixed. I told her that another person from her group had called me just behind her the other day, had told me that the original caller was going to call me back like she just had, and was going to give me an address to send my machine to and they would fix it. she argued back that I must be wrong, I made up a name for the second caller and kept asking for the address she was supposed to be giving me. kept her going for a half hour before I got bored, began laughing and she hung up. she was mad as heck at me before SHE hung up. they have called a few more times and I just tell them they are lying, I am running Linux and it surely does not send them messages. my Windows is just fine, though I hate it, I had to buy a new laptop several months ago and the a**hole at Best Buy convinced that 10 runs just like my old 7. I needed the machine so I kept it, but where the hell are my "mouse" buttons, I had to figure out how to right click, I use that feature constantly. when it boots with all the "windows" on the screen it almost looks like Windows 3.1 but sure doesn't run like that either. I'm so glad that somebody else knows what I want and need, they saved me from making my own decisions. now I can just be mindless and fall for phone calls....

    • Christian Cawley
      March 30, 2016 at 7:53 am

      Nice work, gtsport!

      • gtsport
        March 30, 2016 at 4:31 pm

        thank you Christian, I'm just a grouchy old viet nam vet who has for years thought it was my job to play with minds and piss people off before they get me. I usually tell them that I fought so they had the right to their stupid opinion, just don't be trying to sell it to me. every body seems to think that I need to vote like them, go to their church, buy their brand of toilet paper, use them to put siding on my house, buy an extended warranty from them for my ???, come to their dental or hearing aid office, you know who I am talking about. my sacred space surrounds me exactly the length of my arm plus a fist, unless I have a 45 in my hand. either way, they don't want to be in my space and I won't get into theirs. when I am driving, I hate the ones who want my space while I am still using it or will be in just a second, they are welcome to it when I am finished, but not before. have a great one

  60. Michael Parks
    March 29, 2016 at 3:05 pm

    I have had these folks call here at least 5 times in the last year. Today a woman called me and had to suppress laughter while she tried to say the lines. Told her to get a new lie.

  61. Andrew Mark Harding
    March 29, 2016 at 11:28 am

    Just to let you all know, "Microsoft" were on the phone again this morning; twice! First time to tell me I had won a 1000 euro prize and if I went on my PC and followed their instructions, the money would be mine. I declined. The second phone call came 20 minutes later, by this time I was mad and told him to p**s off and leave me alone. I will see what tomorrow brings.

    • Christian Cawley
      March 29, 2016 at 12:40 pm

      More interesting stuff. Thanks Mark. I wonder, was the Microsoft support you spoke to "legitimately" at an Asian call centre?

  62. Mark Khan
    March 28, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    I also have gotten these calls which I find amusing because I use a MAC and Ubuntu systems and have no window based PC's. However, since I am semi-retired I get a kick out of running these assholes around and around. I even got one so upset at me, because once he realized I was smarter than him and was jerking him around he yelled and screamed at me and broke his phone! The calls I get are from numbers like 533-481-7869. Which when I try and call back says the number is disconnected. It is kind of amazing that with all our technology you would think the phone companies could provide some measure of security and authenticity of calls we receive through their networks. I mean with all the money they are making off of us....oh wait a minute, I guess that they are also making money off of the spammers as well, so why would they cut off a revenue stream just because it is the responsible thing to do? Remember when the internet was a phone book and you could by simply asking the phone company when they came out to hook up your phone and give you your phone number that your name, address and phone number be listed as unlisted before it was published. Ahh the good old days.

  63. Andrew Mark Harding
    March 28, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Thanks for posting this, it has saved me time and money. A few weeks ago I contacted Microsoft about a problem with Windows 10. They contacted me a few days later and using remote software they sorted the problem out for me. This morning I received an unsolicited phone call from "Lisa", who said she was from Microsoft and that they had identified my PC as being infected with Trojan Horse viruses, could she remotely access my PC and remove them? Having just woken up from a late night out, I wasn't exactly firing on all cylinders, but I was suspicious, I asked her to ring me back, I then googled "scam calls from Microsoft" and found this website. She did ring back and I told her I knew it was a scam and hung up. She has not phoned back.

    IMPORTANT: To add to the information available, I am currently in Spain where we have a landline telephone. Family and close friends are the only people to have this number, until I gave Microsoft this number to sort out my problem, I think an MS employee has sold on the information or, more unlikely their database has been hacked. I have passed on my thoughts to Microsoft, but if anyone reading this has had an unsolicited contact from "Microsoft", especially if you have contacted them in the past, DO NOT LET THEM ACCESS YOUR PC.

    • Christian Cawley
      March 28, 2016 at 11:11 am

      Hi Andrew, thanks for sharing. Very useful information re: your phone number.

  64. Clio
    March 24, 2016 at 4:01 pm

    I was just called an idiot when I told the caller that I was tired of getting such scam calls and he should be ashamed of earning a living preying on people. He then challenged me to prove it was a scam. I said Microsoft didn't have that phone number and he then told me Windows was not Microsoft. When I continued to berate him, he just kept calling me an idiot.

    I hung up.

  65. bananarama
    March 23, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    my technique is to talk about karma: how when you trick and lie and steal from people then eventually the cosmos will have its revenge on them and/or their family. How they should be ashamed of what they are doing in stealing from vulnerable people. Usually gets a hangup immediately, and it is very satisfying!

  66. Punch
    March 23, 2016 at 12:05 am

    I get one of these calls every other week or so ... When I have time I like to string them along for a half-hour (if possible). I go thru the usual delays (my wireless phone battery is low and I have to switch receivers; my PC is taking longer than usual to boot and/or I need to re-boot several times, the headset for his supervisor is weak/unreadable (true) and he needs to call back on a different line, etc.) If he asks about my operating system I tell him I run 10.10.5 (which is OSX Yosemite on my Mac - but he is still clueless). While I had him on today I found your website and told him I had a video running ... then played him the recording of the "Windows Tech Support" call above. He hung up.

    • Christian Cawley
      March 23, 2016 at 12:04 pm

      Anyone who plays the video gets my thanks! I think the "clueless" aspect of these people is the only thing that typifies them. It's all cynical, scripted work.

  67. Frankie Russell
    March 19, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    Got a call this afternoon and told him I don't want to buy tech support and am too busy to take the call. He insisted he was not selling computers or tech support. I said to give me a call back # to prove he used a really l the call. He insisted he was not selling computers or tech support. I said to give me a call back # to prove he used a real #. He gave me 845 241 1234 (sounds suspicious) but I got too busy to call. I had said to call back in 2 hrs, and he did, but I'm handicapped and couldn't get my laptop till hubby came in. He's here now and I'm calling 'John Williams' (who has a distinctly oriental accent) and telling him what I found here concerning his SCAM.

    • Christian Cawley
      March 23, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      Hope it went well, Frankie. I'd be surprised if "John Williams" was reachable, though.

  68. Richard
    March 15, 2016 at 11:16 pm

    Got calls the last three days in a row. the first call I told him I run apple and he hung up. The next day got the call and told him I didn't have a computer. He said he had my "computer license" in front of him. I told him again that I didn't own a computer. Today they called I acted concerned and told him that my roommate Bob had the laptop at his office and the should let him know immediately. I gave them the number of the branch office of the FBI. It should be an interesting conversation.

    • Christian Cawley
      March 16, 2016 at 9:01 am

      Superb response, Richard, nice work!

  69. HandsomeMan
    March 15, 2016 at 3:01 am

    right away i offered my credit card info.

    he wrote this down: 1111 0000 1111 1111

    I told him to charge $10,000 on it because my computer is really important and that I really appreciated the good work he's doing.

  70. Margit
    March 11, 2016 at 10:06 pm

    I get these calls all the time and just love messing with them. I let them give me their spiel and then I ask one or two questions or make a statement:

    1. If you are from Windows and my computer is sending you messages, what is the IP address of the computer? They start sputtering.
    2. I usually have 3 or 4 computers running at the same time, please tell me the name of the computer sending messages. Same thing, they start sputtering.
    3. I don't run Windows, we only use MACs. They hang up
    4. My favorite, just stick the phone in front of my sound system and let them listen to the TV show I'm watching. They hang up

    It all depends on how bored I am as to what response they get. BTW, both my spouse and I have worked IT jobs for the last 20+ years. These callers are idiots.

  71. Rick
    March 11, 2016 at 6:37 am

    I get lots of these calls. For some callers, I waste their time until I get bored. Others I say I'm busy and hang up. The most recent caller wanted me to access supremofree.com. I verified that it was a remote access site, and told the caller I had no intention of giving him access to my machine, and then huung up.

  72. Howie
    March 10, 2016 at 5:09 pm

    I received a call this morning from the scammer, telling me in his thick Indian accent that his name was Alex Gordon. I told him you are calling from India and your name isn't Alex Gordon. He hung up. It was fun.

  73. Unitsamsung
    March 9, 2016 at 11:09 pm

    I just got such a call. First, the ID of the caller was hidden which on its own was suspicious. He gave the same narrative with an Indian accent. I asked him he should tell me the brand of computers I am using if they have such a system that detects some error on my system a world away. Of course he got no answer to that but was defensive with statements on why I am at risk.

  74. rebal
    March 9, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    I just got this call. I hadn't heard about this scam before, but I'm always leery of calls from #'s that are cloaked on my caller ID. I refused to do anything to my computer while on the phone with him. I asked for his number and said I'd call him back. Naturally the number was bogus when I called it, prompting me to google the scam. It's gratifying to find it was indeed a scam and that my paranoia was justified. Thank you for posting about this!

    • Christian Cawley
      March 10, 2016 at 12:12 am

      Thanks for sharing, always good to know when these characters are trying their luck...

  75. Edwin M. Hopkins
    March 2, 2016 at 11:59 pm

    Well that's a record: four phone calls from the "Windows Technical Department" scam so far today. Normally they come in about two or three months apart. Since I do not run Windows on my computer I have to laugh as soon as the caller states, "This is ... from the Windows Technical Department and we have detected ... on your computer," I immediately know the caller knows absolutely nothing about my computer but is trying to scam me.

  76. Ric
    February 29, 2016 at 6:08 pm

    I can't seem to get rid of the infestation. Vipre Anti virus doesn't show anything wrong but every website I go to ends up going to a page that says I need to call this 888 number. It's the same for Edge, Explorer 11 and Chrome. Does anyone know how to get rid of the warnings?

    • Christian Cawley
      February 29, 2016 at 7:57 pm

      I'd recommend a more reputable option, such as Avira or Avast, and using malwarebytes Anti-malware too.

  77. Brian
    February 27, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Got one this morning. Asked him what version of Windows I use, since all are registered copies under my real name, which he had already. He said he couldn't see it. I asked him how that's possible, since if he worked at Microsoft they'd want to have as much info available to their call reps when cold calling a customer for security challenges (I work in a call center for a health insurance company that does both inbound and outbound calls, we see pretty much everything). He then asks *me* how many computers I have and what versions of Windows they run. I started laughing and hung up on him. I get a couple of these a month; next time I'm going to mess with them.

  78. Mary
    February 24, 2016 at 6:10 pm

    Somebody called me this morning claiming to be from Windows Support. I sensed a scam, but I decided to string him along. He said there were multiple people around the world trying to get into my computer, including two people in Nigeria. I finally shut him down by asking him for his Microsoft ID # (not even sure if such a thing exists) at which point he told me that microsoft has nothing to do with Windows, they just build the computers. I started to disagree with him and he just hung up.

    • Christian Cawley
      February 24, 2016 at 7:15 pm

      Thanks for sharing that Mary. Good to see your sense tingled, but sad that the scammers' tall stories continue to baffle.

  79. Guy Tassé
    February 20, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    There was a very credible pop up stating that I had some sort of problem with my internet provider and that I needed to call 888-727-1139 for immediate support. There was another message saying that the support was provided by Microsoft. I could not skip the message nor delete it so I called the number. I am french and so is the company that sorves me internet. The guy named Shawn Miller did not speak french and I was annoyed. Anyways, I followed is instructions up to the point that he got acces to my computer but when he started asking questions of confirmations I got suspicious and told him so. He started making very fast transactions on the sreen and I turned off manually my computer. He then hung up the phone. I guess I've been hacked. Same "window key" and letter "r" at the same time and same "support" adress taht I had to type in.
    Next time I get a problem with my PC, I'm switching to Mac. YOU HAD YOUR CHANCES MICROSOFT.

    • Christian Cawley
      February 21, 2016 at 9:03 am

      If you turned your PC off, there;s a good chance you stopped things before it got bad. But you need to install anti-virus and antimalware software and sort it out.

      Blaming Microsoft is really not the answer. The scammers who called you are to blame, not thousands of people in Redmond.

      As for switching to Mac - you already own the hardware, if you want to switch, why not switch to Linux? http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/hey-windows-user-switch-linux-mac/

  80. Kel
    February 18, 2016 at 2:08 pm

    This just happened to me yesterday with a fake virus warning that popped up on my laptop and it locked up and wouldn't do anything. The warning said my Internet provider was blocking malicious malware and to call 855-260-6176 immediately. Unfortunately I did call and let them take over the computer briefly, but then got suspicious and called my Internet provider on the other phone and they confirmed it was a scam so I shut down the computer and hung up on the scammer. Now I'm just not sure how to make sure my computer and WiFi are safe. Will be resetting and re-installing OS. Is there anything else I need to do before using the laptop again?

    • Christian Cawley
      February 18, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      your first step should be to avoid sites with fake virus warning popups. You should also make sure you have a good antivirus solution. Bitdefender 2016 is a good starting point in your research.

  81. Evelyn
    February 15, 2016 at 4:46 pm

    The best reply I've found for me after stringing them along to waste as much of their time as I can with the 'I'm sorry, would you repeat that', to 'no, my computer isn't on', and 'waiting' while I boot it, 'sorry, my computer's slow', and then not being able to understand which key I'm supposed to push, "It's the one in the lower left with the Windows symbol on it," 'Sorry, I just don't see it' to finally being asked what the key says, 'It's got an fn on it.' I finally laugh and tell them I just don't see how I could be having Windows trouble on my Mac Pro! They hang up really quick.

  82. Lynn
    February 15, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    Just had a call 10 minutes ago. I'm in the UK. The man called me by my previous name and talked about zip codes so obviously my spidey senses went up! I challenged him, asked him for his name and the address from where he was calling and he got rather aggressive. I then asked him to tell me how he intended to 'fix' my computer and how much it was going to cost. He said obviously nothing was for free so I gave him my free advice to OFOD.
    Rather annoying but I can see how someone not computer 'savvy' might be taken in. I'm suspicious of any unsolicited call so he picked the wrong person.

  83. David Campbell
    February 12, 2016 at 4:01 am

    I just got one of these. Most disturbingly, in order to present themselves as on the up-and-up, they recited to me my Windows security key - a very long alphanumeric string with dashes to break it up. How did they know this? and does this mean I'm at risk even though I terminated the call before giving them remote access?

    • Christian Cawley
      February 12, 2016 at 8:13 am

      You're not at risk.

      As for how they gained your security .... 1st, did you confirm this was your security key, and not some other string? Did you compare it against the key on the back of your computer, or on the disc box for your version of Windows, etc?

      2nd, could they have received the information from the store you purchased the unit from?

      • David Campbell
        February 12, 2016 at 12:46 pm

        They had me enter a command - I forget which one - that resulted in a bunch of stuff scrolling down on my screen, culminating in the said string. It's not on any of the stickers on my computer.

        I don't know if I have a disc box for my version of Windows, as it just came loaded onto my laptop when I bought it. And I bought it many years ago - 2011 or so, IIRC - so I don't know how they would have got it from the store.

        Thanks for the reassurance.

  84. BRIAN
    February 11, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    Well, when I see a phone call from one of these numbers, I answer my phone with the following.."Toronto Police Department, Detective Bureau, Detective Archer speaking."

    They hang up immediately.

    • Christian Cawley
      February 12, 2016 at 8:13 am

      Great suggestion, Brian!

  85. Katie
    February 8, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    Got this call this morning and of course knew immediately it was a scam but wanted to waste the caller's time for as long as I could to keep him busy and away from people who might be fooled. I got the call at 8:10 am and pretended to play along for a while, then said, "What time is it where you are?" Caller was very mumbly and didn't understand me (and vice versa) but I finally got him to say it was 8:10. I said, you're calling me from Microsoft and it's 8:10? Are you in Washington? He said, yes ma'am, Washington. Microsoft in Washington. I said, Washington DC or Washington state? He kept saying Washington, and even said, "Washington DC. No, Redmond Washington." I said, and what time is it in Redmond Washington? He said, "It's 8:10." We kept this up for a while until he finally hung up.

  86. Gary
    February 5, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    I live in the Pittsburgh area. I receive phone calls from India claiming to be from VAPeSecure wanting to refund a payment I made to them 10 months ago. Allowing them access to my computer, they tried to get banking information. When I refused they insisted the refund could be done through Pay Pal. Logging into my Pay Pal account, my monitor went dark for at least 5 minutes. Now realizing I'm being scammed, I ask the voice on the phone what it is he is doing that I can't see. He insists he is depositing the $99 refund into my account. When the account page reappears, the account ($0) balance now says $999. He asks me to read off the amount, then panics claiming he hit the "9" key too many times by accident. He demands I return the $900 over payment. I'm screaming at him that I know it's a scam, I demand he break off control of my computer. He refuses claiming I'm tricking him, & I owe him money. I try to shut my PC down, He installs a program that locks my system preventing startup. He laughs & says my PC will be locked until I pay him. I call him some choice names hung up. & used a start up repair program to remove the software. Close call! It's been a week, No one has hacked my bank or Pay Pal account. Beware!

  87. Vesna
    February 3, 2016 at 2:37 pm

    I’ve been getting calls that show up “Unknown Number” on my phone .

    Twice I answered and got the same Will Smith with very strong Chinese accent telling me that he’s from “Windows Technical Support”.

    I hung up immediately.

  88. Wendy
    January 31, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    I have contacted my financial institutions. I allowed remote access to my computer then balked at giving my checking account info. I will see a computer specialist tomorrow. Here is my question: I was on my laptop. It popped up ON MY LAPTOP "download Windows 10" and I allowed the download. The next day I got a screeching warning box and message to call an 800 number. How did they do that??? Not a phone call, all happened on my computer. Then I called the number and allowed them access before I balked. What happened?

  89. Notthatdumb
    January 30, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    I've been getting calls that show up "Private Number" on my phpne for the past week. Normally I don't answer my phone unless it's someone I know personally (I also use Nomorobo.com for recorded calls) but since I've had a family member here with me on home rehab after surgery I have to answer the phone for calls from visiting nurses, physical therapists, etc. Today I answered and got some idiot from Mumbai telling me that he's from "Windows Support". I yelled "bullshit to you" and hung up immediately. The worst thing about these people is they'll make ten calls, and hope that at least one of those ten will be some person who is not savvy enough to realize it's a scam (senior citizens are the most vulnerable)

  90. Goldie
    January 27, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    Had the scammers call me twice today with the same script. Always suspicious, I shut them down immediately. Words the the wise: don't respond to any telemarketers, whether salesmen or fundraisers. Don't open any e-mail that is not from a familiar source. Finally, the IRS only communicates with you through the mail, not by telephone calls.

  91. FloJ
    January 24, 2016 at 1:10 am

    I've received several of these calls. Last time after wasting their time I overheard one of the callers colleagues say "just send him the chocolates". That must be a code phrase to discontinue the call because they immediately hung up. So the next time they called we wasted a little more of their time then stated "just send me the chocolates". The guy immdeiately responded F*** Off. I asked what did you say? He aagain stated F*** Off you son of a B****!" then hung up. It was great. They hate for you to waste their time but we are still curious what that code phrase might mean.

  92. Kathy Davis
    January 23, 2016 at 12:58 am

    I have been receiving these calls from India for months now. I received one yesterday Like Joann reported above, and even knowing better, I got taken in. This person conned me into letting him connect to my PC, paying $399 which included a senior citizen discount of $100 to my credit card, calling my credit card company and telling them to please approve the international charge since I was the main cardholder. Then he told me that his upper level tech would now complete the work and let me know when it was finished. An hour and a half later, my computer shut down. I started it up again and things 'seemed okay'. During the night, I woke up and something was on my mind, if this guy is from Microsoft as he says, why would I have to go to another website to pay for the work? I went online and looked up 'rayanddan'. Tons of people reported these scammers. I called my credit card company to report it. I had caught it early enough. We agreed that they would not pay the scammers the $399, closed my account and I would get a new one in about a week. I called LifeLock and alerted them. They flagged my account and it will be following the case. They suggested that I file a report at FTC.gov and a local police report, just for the record.
    Good luck everyone.

  93. Concerned
    January 22, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    Hi there. Thank you for this forum, it's very helpful!

    I got one of these calls last night and I just can't believe I fell for a it for about 10 minutes. I'm trying to understand if they were able to get into my computer and if I need to put fraud alerts on my credit cards or banking info. They got as far as me opening the Run program and seeing the errors and warnings and then from the run program opening up a website: http://www.securepc.me. On the website was options to download programs: 'Show my PC', Web Conference Call', and 'Options'. I didn't download anything and at this point knew this was a scam. How it took me that long, i don't know, I feel pretty foolish.

    That's as far as we went, my question is, was that far enough for them to get access to files or login/passwords, or install any viruses or tracking programs, etc on my computer. Or is the scam only complete if you download anything or pay for anything. Thanks so much for any advice!!

  94. Jason
    January 21, 2016 at 6:34 pm

    I just got a call like this today for the 2nd time this week. I have have been in the telemarketing industry for many years and I can tell you this is 100% a scam.

    What to do? Tell the rep you dont feel comfortable giving him your PC remote access since he called you and that he should give you his call back number and you will call him right back. Once you have a call back number, call back to verify that its indeed the number of the person who called you. Now call the FTC at 877-382-4357 hit option 1, then option 8 to report the scam.

    This is a scam going on here in the USA for years we need to stop this scam from fellow citizens who arent savvy enough not to give these scammers your PC access. It is our (the ones who know its a scam to get a call back number to properly report it. to the FTC at 8773824357 option 1 for English, then option 8.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 21, 2016 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks Jason!

  95. Monica
    January 19, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    I finally had a phone number come up on my caller id - should I report the phone number to the attorney general?

    • Christian Cawley
      January 19, 2016 at 7:56 pm

      It couldn't hurt, but be aware that the telephone number is probably one of many in use by that particular group.

  96. Mr. Walker
    January 19, 2016 at 3:56 pm

    19 Jan 2016 @ 0900hrs: I just dealt with a nasty individual. Identified himself with a western name. I uttered an oath, told him to stop scamming people and hung up on him. This jerk phoned me back and started calling me all sorts of foul names. I simply hung up a second time. He phoned up a third time and continued his verbal abuse...

    I identified myself as Law Enforcement (WPS) gave him my badge number and instructed him to remain on the line; that the call was now being traced and that should he hang up he would be charged with obstruction of justice (that line plagiarized from "how to prank a telemarketer.com"). It had the desired effect; he stopped calling me names and terminated the call.

    What a bunch of brazen criminals these people are! Incredible that these individuals continue to get away with this. I thought there was a no-call list in Canada. Maybe it is only for legitimate charities based on Canadian soil. Clearly, it isn't working very well.

    Alternatively, I have also wasted their time by cooperating with them up to a point but stopped short of allowing them to take over control of my computer. I provided them with an indication that I was uncomfortable allowing anyone except Dell to take over control of my PC and simply did not take that step and refused (politely) to allow them access. One individual countered by telling me that yahoo was upset with me and that I ran the risk of being fined some outrageous sum of money (it was hundreds of dollars BTW) unless I complied with their request to turn over control of my computer to them.

    What followed was an argument over the phone. I called his bluff and said that if he had the power to execute such threats then I might be prepared to comply but I would have to see that sort of power exercised first. I believe the call was ended again once I identified myself as a Police Officer and asked him to remain on the line.

    Again, mostly these people are chicken-shit scammers who prey on peoples' ignorance and lack of technical expertise. They best way to counter these fraudsters is to network, talk to family, friends and work colleagues. Forums like this are awesome! Spread the word.

    Const Lowe

  97. Griffin
    January 18, 2016 at 10:46 pm

    I called them back and told them I was actually from windows support. lol He then told me he was also from windows so I asked him to prove his credibility but providing the FDIC number of his 3rd party affiliate company. Now if you're not aware already FDIC is insurance for banks and has nothing to do with windows support. But the guy fumbled and said "sir I cannot provide you with that number" - you can't provide me a made up number?? lol Then just for laughs, I told him this phone call is being recorded for investigators on your 3rd party company. He immediately hung up the phone while I laughed hysterically.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 19, 2016 at 8:30 am

      Some of the suggestions here are increasingly inventive. Very impressive!

  98. Joann
    January 17, 2016 at 7:33 pm

    I just got a call from one of these guy yesterday. Called telling me he was from window and someone had hacked into my network and could access everything else that was connected to my network like my phones and iPads and other smart devices. of course he got me there I thought my stuff was in danger so I let him access my computer to show me what was wrong. Then he told me he could help me fix it but I had to by this web security after he fixed it. He wanted $300 for 5 years protection or $500 for 10 years and I got a free all in one printer. Or $1150 for a life time warranty and I got a free laptop with that one. I told him I didn't have the money. He then asked if I could borrow the money from someone then asked well if we just tried your card. That's when I got mad and hung up. Then I quickly turn off my wifi and shut down my computer. Then looked this up to see if it was a scam and it was. This is the number they called me from 860-591-7532 saying it was coming from Hartford,ct

  99. Michael R
    January 15, 2016 at 6:25 pm

    I received one of these calls and spent 40 minutes asking how I stop my "children" from catching the infection. The call happened to come during some construction work where I had plastic sheeting covering a bunch of furniture. I made sure to rustle the plastic extensively and explain that I have now wrapped my computer in plastic to ensure that my family does not catch the infection.

    As a software architect myself, I found that going to a wild extreme of answering their "support" questions in ways that are at an extreme end of not understanding technology and the associated jargon had two effects: 1) it hooked the scammers to believe that I am an easy target, 2) broke their script so they had to work to try and get back to it.

    My goal was largely to entertain myself and burn their time.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 15, 2016 at 8:24 pm

      I hope you were entertained, but do remember to keep these jokers at arms' length in future, Michael. Don't give them your time.

  100. Peter Eng
    January 14, 2016 at 6:51 pm

    I have several responses for these jokers.

    My personal favorite is to say, "Windows Tech Support? Excellent. My phone number should be in your files as a platinum-level customer. I'll need to verify your identity; please respond with the code from Red Baker Seven."

    They will protest. At this point, I observe that there are people pretending to be Windows Technical Support, and while the verification system is new, and a bit inconvenient, the level of security provided is worth the trouble. I then repeat my request for verification.

    This can go for as long as I'm willing to be stubborn. Eventually, I accuse them of being scammers, rather than the real WTS, and hang up.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 15, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      Excellent technique, Peter!

  101. Arlene
    January 14, 2016 at 5:37 pm

    I go the call one evening, laughed incredulously in his ear, and hung up.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 15, 2016 at 8:23 pm

      I have also done this. Quite satisfying, isn't it?!

  102. Jacqueline Costello
    January 13, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    I actually got a call from a "Windows Technician" telling me that my computer wasn't able to update Windows. Funny, cuz I was installing updates at that very moment. I told him and he continued his script that I wasn't able to install updates. I caught him, but he wasn't fazed at all and just kept reading the stupid script. I hung up. Now, when I get a call, I just tell them to go to Hell and hang up.

  103. India
    January 8, 2016 at 6:42 am

    I received a call today from one, he said he was calling from "Windows Tech Support" because they are receiving pings from my computer for the last three months and my computer was being hacked. He went on to say that my internet provider had contacted them, which he named my provider, and they were there to help fix the problem. He said "I'm not here to sell you anything, we are here to help windows user, it does not matter what windows you are using. He continued to say "when you go on the Internet, there many sights that you go to and there are hackers who download viruses and hack your computer, so I'm here to assist you to fix it". I am aware of these scammers because this time their pitch was a little different, so I played along. I asked him, how do I know you are an actual windows tech. He said, I can tell you the ID of your computer and if you compare it with what you see on your and it does not match, you can hang up on me. So, he gave me this long ID#. I wrote the number and went to my computer, he said to tap the Windows flag key on my keyboard, he asked, what do I see? I said a window that said run. There he told me to type "cmd", again, what do you see, do you see your user name? Yes, then to type "assoc" that's when I drew the line. I asked what does that mean and what does that do? He began to get annoyed with because I said, I will not go any further until he tells me what it is. He refused for the third time and kept consistently saying he was here to help me. Since he did not give me an answer, I hung up. He kept calling, but my phone has a feature that if the phone # that is calling has a number that is unavailable, anonymous, and unknown, it will block it after the second ring and requests the call to identify themselves. If they don't, the block kicks in and hangs up.

  104. DebyD
    January 4, 2016 at 9:04 pm

    These calls can be very convincing. "Jason" with a very heavy indian accent, called me twice. I was driving both times, so I asked him out right if he was going to try to access my computer and why. of course he said yes to show me where the errors where. I then asked him directly if he was going to try to sell me software to prevent these errors. He insisted that he was from windows tech support and only there to help find errors. (don't believe it). I then asked him if he could provide the ip address the errors where coming from. He gave me one! but of course it didn't match either of my computer networks. He did give me a number to call back when I got back to my desk top. 1800 256 3295 if anyone knows where to report this activity I would like to know.

  105. Jim
    December 30, 2015 at 4:41 am

    Crazy thing, but we're getting about three to five of these calls per week - and that's just the ones we know about from when we're home. When we're not home, they get our fax. When I got the very first one, I broke out laughing and was promptly hung up on. Obviously, we'll never get taken by this scam. But I sure wish there was something our government and industry could do to make these guys hurt so they wouldn't find it profitable anymore.

  106. jason
    December 26, 2015 at 8:29 pm

    So..I get these calls all of the time. Pretty annoying. Just got one and after I called him on his bluff, he proceeded to tell me all the sexual things he would like to do to my wife and mother. Now, I can take a joke and I'm not easily offended, but this one was over the top. to whom should I report this?

  107. Stop Microsoft scammers
    December 12, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    0148 3604782-Got unsolicited call f- Indian accents- claiming to be from Window s technical department ,Microsoft Corp-told me i had problem with my computer (er no?) which they could fix -keen for me to press CTRL + R - I played along, pretended i did it and nothing happened-this went on a while.10 minutes .. then passed to the "senor supervisor" called Harry who got quite annoyed when didn't manage to perform required CTRL + R - "Harry"refused to give me company contact details or tel number so i could verify them but said if I press CTRL + R- (very keen for me to do this) he would give me these contact details after all(?)- he blabbed on and on about how my computer would be put out of action, (threats? )unless I complied with them-- definitely a scammer- and full of BS and high pressure style- The call ended after I excused myself to get our dinner out the oven - when i returned to phone what a disappointment Harry had cleared! I was hoping he would be there so my parther (an IT engineer) could have a word with him. anyway When I did 1471 - 0148 3604782-tel. number popped up.

  108. Jono Mitchell
    December 11, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    I had one of these calls from "Windows Technical Support" on Thursday this week... didnt get the number. I asked him if he would help me 'clean up my windows' - he said 'yes sir... that is what I am going to do'... I asked him which windex he preferred. *click*

  109. Teresa
    December 11, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    I just got a call from Windows Tech Support; Caller ID 215-369-3325. After many minutes of trying to convince "Martin" (with a thick Indian accent) that I would call him back, he reluctantly gave me the phone number 800-290-2986. He did as me to run http://www.supremocontrol.com and download the program. I am a bit thick and went as far as going to the web page suggested. When he asked me to download this free program, my spidey senses started tingling. I googled "call from Windows" and immediately saw it was a scam. Hopefully, I have not opened myself up to getting robbed or computer sabotage. Please let others know about this. I know my parents and several older family members would easily have fallen victim to this scam.

  110. bp
    December 10, 2015 at 1:29 pm

    I just got a phone call from "Windows IT". I politely yelled in the phone "GET A REAL F**KING JOB!!!". And slammed the phone down.

  111. alex
    December 8, 2015 at 10:55 pm

    I let this technician take control of my computer before i realized it was fake. should i be worried that this person could still be on my computer. we used the log me in rescue website

    • Christian Cawley
      December 9, 2015 at 8:26 am

      As long as you've restarted, you *should* be safe. However, it is worth checking Add/Remove programs for anything you don't recognise, and running a reputable anti-malware tool.

  112. Martie Kernodle
    December 5, 2015 at 11:09 pm

    I have been called for several months at least twice a week. India accent, the person professes they are with Windows. He wants me to turn on my computer as there has been illegal activity. Half the time I hang up on him. This time I listened. I told him I didn't know whether he was from Windows, Timbuktu, or India. I told him that my tech guy would call him next week. After much wrangling and yelling, he told me after I had asked about 10 times that his name was Frank and his no was 304-896-7522. I them asked to speak to his boss and very quickly Stephen Martin (really I ask if I could call him Steve). So I said Steve Martin you have a very familiar name. Have you done any acting lately. He didn't like that so quickly I was back with Frank. Didn't get Frank's last name. It is probably Sinatra. LOL,!

    What can I do? To whom do you report this??

    • Christian Cawley
      December 9, 2015 at 8:28 am

      That's really the problem. While the authorities are aware of this and apparently are using legal means to shut them down (Microsoft are also involved) there doesn't seem to be an actual avenue of complaint.

  113. Carmen
    December 5, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    I received one of these phone calls this morning. I told him to add our phone number to the "do not call" list and hung up. He immediately called back and asked why I had hung up on him. I explained that if this was a legitimate phone call from Windows, I would assume that they wouldn't have to block my ability to see who the caller was. He got angrier and angrier and started calling me f*****ing a**hole and told me that he was going to post my phone number all over face book and Whatsapp so that I could see what harassment was. I hung up again and he called back again! My husband answered the phone this time and tried to pretend that we were taping his call. He proceeded to tell my husband what he planned to do to me - and it wasn't nice. It is only now that it is setting in how frightening the whole experience was. I know that he is just blowing hot air, but I am pretty unsettled.

  114. kelly
    December 4, 2015 at 5:24 pm

    I just had a call from these guys-phone number 404-622-7070 if you'd like to block it now. He told me that someone was using my computer for "illegal activity" and he could take care of it for me. I was instructed to hold the Win and R at the same time. I made him repeat it 4 times. (my office is full of children and rather noisy at any given time). Finally I told him I did as he requested but my screen just went blank. He got rather nasty with me and hung up on me. What I did not tell him was my computer crashed and hasn't been used for almost 2 months. He wouldn't tell me what the "illegal activity" was but did finally say it had all occurred in the last 3-4 days. He even gave me a fake IP address for my computer "that I know you used last night". Wrong all the way around. I then put the phone on my desk so he could listen to the choir practice their Christmas program.

  115. Jennifer Forster
    December 2, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    I have just had a call , claimed to be from a deptartment of Windows. She said my license was faulty and she could help me avoid problems. I said I would not allow her access to my computer. She then said I could go to their office in Manchester Industrial Estate for help!!!
    She went on that this license prevents people from accessing my computer and downloading viruses , trojans etc. I then said " Thats exactly what you are trying to do"! She then got really stroppy and said that because I would not listen and let her help that they would just cancel my license and hung up.

  116. City woman
    December 2, 2015 at 12:16 am

    Beware of First Choice Tech Support using the toll free number 1 855 875 1572. Made a url typo, reached and clicked on one of their infected websites which froze my computer while it consistently beeped. A pop up claiming to be from Microsoft gave this number to call for
    fixing it.

    They would only charge me $300 to repair the computer; $400 for a special package deal installing webroot. I almost fell for it. They are a SCAM; Microsoft does NOT offer this service.

    More here.
    https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=%22855-875-1572%22

  117. Tony
    December 1, 2015 at 5:15 pm

    I tell them "I am William DeVane" and I tell them to buy silver.

  118. Stewart
    December 1, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    I'm a white guy and sound like one. When they introduce themselves as "Rachel" or "Greg", I tell them my name is "Prakash" or "Vishwanathan".

  119. david
    December 1, 2015 at 12:29 pm

    I usually make out that I am old - I am actually 72 but I mean really old - and hard of hearing, if they mention windows I say we have just had new windows fitted to our house and don't need more, that causes lots of exasperation. Or I say the computer is off right now and takes a long time to warm up, then I put the phone down and carry on with whatever I was doing.

  120. C2H5OH
    December 1, 2015 at 7:19 am

    I just whisper in a quit creepy voice that we know who they are, and then slowly hang up.

  121. Vesparado
    December 1, 2015 at 1:06 am

    I tell them they have reached a security office in the NSA and that while I may disagree with the policy it is agency policy to call in a drone strike against scammers. I tell them I realize this is extreme, but national security is at state. I tell them their IP has been identified, their location has been pinpointed by satellite and an armed drone is enroute to their location. I advise them to leave the structure they are in and to warn their fellow employees to do likewise and not to stop running until they are at least one thousand feet away. As I hang up I tell them I will pray for them and sincerely hope that Almighty God will protect them.

  122. Jim
    December 1, 2015 at 12:31 am

    Jim

    I tell them I have a Mac and they hang up. Or I tell them that I have not used my PC Laptop
    (I actually have one) in several months. Or I tell them that my PC is not connected to the Internet (true). Either way, they always hang up.

  123. Val
    November 30, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    I kinda love these "Tech Support" calls, although I wish they'd stop calling me at 6 AM waking me up, nice alternative to an alarm clock I suppose however.

    Lately I've just resorted to randomly choosing between stringing them along ("Sir we are noticing a lot of infections being reported from your windows computer" "Yes that would be due to all the pr0n I keep downloading, would you like free samples? I don't mind sharing..do you have any preferences?") to just telling them I have a mac/ipad ("Sir your windows computer has a lot of infections" "I have a iPad" "What? Why are you lying to me sir?" "I'm not..I only have an iPad" "Then how do you check your mail?" "Um...gmail on my ipad?......)

    My response usually depends on how cranky I am when I wake up.

  124. lplimac
    November 30, 2015 at 11:16 pm

    I was called last Friday. After being transferred to tier 2 I asked where they were calling from and told Orlando, Fl. When I told him he didn't have a FL accent he said that's because he was in Orlando... Ok then. When then told I have errors on my computer that need to be repaired I asked how the virus got past my router firewall, software firewall, two virus programs (one which auto scanned the night before) and malware scanner. At that point they hung up.

  125. Jan
    November 30, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    I was working on a Mac when I got the call. I played stupid. Couldn't find the start menu, etc. It was entertaining for a while. I wanted to waste some of his time, but it finally struck me that I was my time, too. I hate those people.

  126. Phloda
    November 30, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    I usually say, "Tell you what, give me your real name and maybe we can talk." They always insist that "Rachel" is their real name and when I don't buy it, they either disconnect or try to get verbally abusive, at which point I disconnect. I love those American names on people who can barely speak English.

  127. Jimbo
    November 30, 2015 at 10:07 pm

    I tell them "if you want to pull this scam off, you should try sounding more Indian and less Paki" they ALWAYS break cover to cuss at me.....

  128. Professor Pat
    November 30, 2015 at 10:02 pm

    I very politely ask them " can you hold a moment while I go over to my computer?"....then put the receiver down on the desk, and go back to reading my book or watching TV. Up to 10 minutes will sometimes pass before they finally get it and hang up. In the meantime, I figure I've kept them from scamming at least one other person that day.

  129. Anonymous
    November 30, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    I also received this call. The guy asks me to read the icons off my screen which I thought was strange, so I ask him this: What version of Windows do I have? I have XP by the way, but he goes you have 7. I was like nope. Then he tells me to f***k myself. I was like that doesn't sound like something a Windows tech support person would say. This mad him more angry and he said f***k you over and over again until he hung up on me.

  130. Thad McConchie
    November 30, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    I just tell them I do not have administrator access, and that they need to contact corporate tech support.

  131. dan
    November 30, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    We were getting these calls on a regular basis, and they knew the name of our 12 year old too.
    They were calling incessantly but soon stopped after I started to answer the phone in Spanish:
    "como estas"

    About the only Spanish phrase I know.

  132. calais
    November 27, 2015 at 10:18 pm

    I get these calls all the time. I always inform them that I don't own a Windows computer. The best response I ever got to this: "Quit lying, B***h!"

  133. Fred
    November 27, 2015 at 7:38 am

    Over the past few weeks I received 2 separate calls from the "Windows Tech Support Team" telling me that they have been tracking my computer and noticed I am being attacked a little at a time each day and I need to get my computer safe before I lose all my valuable information. Most of the time I play the part of someone who has difficulty understanding them when they talk, repeating phases they say to me changing the words to make it seem like I can't understand them, or that maybe I'm hard of hearing. Today I decided to see just what they were going to say to me to scam me.

    The first thing this scammer made me do was turn on the computer...Of course my computer was up and running, but he didn't know that... I asked him "how did you know my PC was off? as I chatted with him wasting his time telling him my PC was booting up. He of course bit for my lead hook, line and sinker, telling me my windows system is always monitored by their support team to assure my system safety. I thanked him and played along.

    His next step was to get me to open the run box and type in "eventvwr." I made him repeat each letter several times.. as i listened for the frustration in his voice, wasting nearly 15 minutes of his time before I declared I finally got it!!! Then of course when I told him I saw all the warnings and red "error" codes I acted like I was totally unaware of the danger my PC was in and needed his help. The sound of his voice changed from frustration to excitement. He though he finally got me.

    He told me the next step was to go back to the run box and enter "www.150.co.il." Of course I had no intention of going to his website so I played along, once again taking forever to get the site info and when I finally told him I got it, he told me to click on the link, which I responded "I did and nothing has happened!! He told me I must have done something wrong . I proceeded to act in a panic state begging him to help me because he must have been too late and the thieves must have taken over PC. I asked him for the name of the site, so I could search for it, and of course he did not give it to me. I think he finally realized I was playing him when he said... "I'm not going to listen to you anymore." When I have the time I love wasting scammers time, and I know when I've come up on top when they hang up on me!!!

    Fred

    • Christian Cawley
      November 27, 2015 at 10:23 am

      Great story, thanks Fred!

  134. rob
    November 26, 2015 at 1:12 am

    Head scammer: Jack Nalson (he spelled it) 1-800-686-3718. Windows Tech Pro

  135. aaron
    November 20, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    I received this scam and decided to play with the guy a bit too. I made him jump through a few hoops with the error log, etc. Finally I just asked him why he didn't stop scamming and get a reputable job. He told me the money was too good! The company he works for brings in about 3 million USD per month. He also said that they are trying to get some operators set up in the US that don't have accents, and tried to recruit me! It's too bad that some of these guys are so rude. He was actually quite a charmer. You'd figure that if they were so cavalier about recruiting people that it wouldn't be too big of an issue to get some law enforcement involved and shut them down. Perhaps our tax dollars are somewhere else hard at work....

    Aaron

  136. Galen
    November 19, 2015 at 3:04 am

    About three years ago, I Googled "McAfee Tech Support" to quickly find a phone number. The man who answered, "Edward," spoke with a thick Indian accent, which actually made him sound legit. The purpose of my call was to get help with a problematic download. Edward told me I actually had purchased the wrong McAfee product and he said he would be happy to download the correct antivirus software onto all three of my laptops. I did think that was odd, as McAfee tech support had never been that helpful in the past. Once he had control of my computers, he deleted the McAfee applications I had just purchased and downloaded the "correct" applications. He noted that my computers were running very slowly and offered to sell me a service plan which would cover speeding up all of my computers. I said I had never heard of McAfee offering that service. He told me his company was an authorized service provider for McAfee.

    I know I was dumb to fall for this scam, but I wasn't thinking clearly, as my husband had just died after a lengthy illness. Edward completed an online "puchase agreement." I gave him my credit card information. As we were hanging up, I asked the expiration date of the McAfee antivirus programs he had installed. Fortunately, he sarcastically said, "911." That's when I knew I had been had. I immediately canceled my credit card before he could process the charge. I then called McAfee, and they were of little help. I researched what to do on reputable websites and downloaded and ran several well-known antivirus and anti-malware programs, as well as a registry cleaner. Edward had downloaded Trojans and worms on my main computer. It took me three days and nights to clean everything up. I changed all of my passwords and nervously monitored my bank and credit card accounts daily. I dumped McAfee and switched to Kapersky. I replaced my old gateway.

    In the next couple of days, Edward left me a couple of voice mail messages explaining that he made a mistake with my credit card information, and he asked that I please call him. (Yeah, sure.) In a few months, the scammer calls began with a vengeance. For several months, I received several calls a day from two spoofed local numbers. At the time, I could block only 12 numbers through my phone service provider. In the evenings, those same two local numbers would be pared with an out-of-state area code. It was obvious I wasn't merely a random target. I was very frightened. Eventually, I was getting so many calls (at times 50 a month) that I installed call blocking applications and devices. I couldn't change my phone number, one I'd had for decades, because I was in the midst of settling my husband's estate. It was all a nightmare.

    I still have the number, though I've ported it to a cellphone and will soon port it to Google Voice. The calls continue to arrive (not as many now), but the phone is so heavily blocked that it rarely rings. I learned a valuable lesson the hard way. I hope my experience can save someone else from being victimized.

    • Christian Cawley
      November 19, 2015 at 7:35 am

      Hi Galen, thanks so much for sharing this quite harrowing tale. I hope everyone reads it and takes note.

      • Dianne
        November 19, 2015 at 11:24 pm

        I have had two calls from these scammers now and they get mad when you don't want to get on your computer so "they can fix those critical errors." I may have been born at night....but not last night??

  137. Guy Z
    November 18, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    Just got one of those calls from Windows PC Services at (718) 588-6595. I was in the mood to play! I spoke to three different people who tried to help me.

    They wanted me to go to "fff.re". WHOIS resolves that domain to the registrar internetbs.net in the Bahamas and lists an address in Russia! Sure, we can trust them!

    When that "didn't work" they tried to get me to download and install remote access software (TeamView and others).

    I strung them along for 45 minutes! They "concluded" I don't have admin access! Hah!

    The best part, they plan to call back again to help me more!

  138. Bobo Fett
    November 12, 2015 at 9:28 pm

    I have recieved this call twice. I let them read their script and then respond with "Oh No!...this is HORRIBLE! What can I do?!" They tell me not to worry and that I'm very lucky they were able to get ahold of me to help!

    They then proceed to ask me to look at the "Extreme bottom left of my keyboard" and tell them what I see.

    I tell them I see the "Extreme bottom left of my keyboard". I let them get frustrated - thinking I do not understand what they are asking me - making them repeat themselves over & over until finally I tell them that now I understand. "I see the control key".

    I did this on both calls I have recieved. Then, they told me to look for the windows key and I need to press that key along with the "R" key and tell them what I see.

    On the first call, I responded with " I can't press the keys".

    Sounding quite agitated, he responded with "Why can you not do what I have requested?"

    I responded with " I was born with no arms and my big toes are too fat to hit the keys.

    He hung up cussing.

    Second call was a woman - asked what I saw in the window after pressing keys.

    I told her I saw a "goat penis in her mouth" and "What'd I win?"

    She hung up. It was fun.

  139. Rex
    November 12, 2015 at 10:19 am

    I've been getting these calls for years now, and they have definitely been targeting our area code. When I tell them I have a Mac they get very rude.

    Maybe someone can help solve this mystery:
    My 80 year old parents-in-law have never had a computer or been online. They had never received any cold calls to their landline. Recently we set them up with a PC and internet via a mobile router (not connected to their landline). We connected to them via TeamViewer. Within days they started receiving tech support calls, to their landline.

    Once, about 5 minutes after we had a chat via TeamViewer, they received a call on the landline. I want to understand how they could have found out that these old folks became active online, have a Windows OS, and how this info was connected to their landline. It could be random cold-calling, but the odds seem very slim.

    Could it be a security issue with TeamViewer? They have never given out a TeamViewer password except to me.

    • Harold
      January 30, 2016 at 6:42 pm

      That is disconcerting. It makes you wonder how much these people actually know.

  140. Vanessa Medlin Lubarsky
    November 10, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Just received a call 10mins ago.He had found an error, he was from windows tech support.I told him I didn't have a computer and was told.Woman you are a F-ing B**** I laughed and said Thank you yes I am. He reiterated this 3 times. Very think accent which I informed him he needed to learn english in order to scam correctly.Background I heard were other thick accents as well.

    • Christian Cawley
      November 10, 2015 at 9:45 pm

      Good work, Vanessa!

      It's telling that these scammers are so rude.

  141. Lorraine Luczak
    October 23, 2015 at 11:09 am

    A couple of weeks ago I got a cold call from "Matthew" who was with Tech Support America (he had an Indian accent, the 974 area code indicated it was from Qatar). He went through the whole tech scam schpiel exactly as what has been decribed by all the sites warning you about these scam calls. I ultimately did not purchase his his "powerful" software that would fix my files---he was asking $299 for this "onetime" security service. This person would say anything to try and scare me into buying his"fix". I hung up on him and he called back two more times. Now he calls once or twice a week. I have Charter phone service so I am going to set up blocking their calls. I think they are under the impression that if they annoy me enough I will wear down and finally buy their crap. These people are parasites. I really feel sorry for the people they scare into buying their "service" because they can be very aggressive on the phone and if you're not aware of their tactics they will scare you into buying whatever they are "selling". You reap what you sow---they eventually will get what's coming to them.

  142. Karen Bennett
    October 5, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Christian, I so enjoyed you stinging this guy along. I have received 3 calls from this boiler room. The first one was a few months ago, then two came in the past two weeks at roughly 5:OO AM Pacific time. I knew right away that this was a scam. On the first call I told him I didn't have a computer and hung up. (which is a lie but we rarely use our PC at home so...)
    The second call came last week at around 5 AM PT and woke me up. Again, I told the guy I don't have a PC and hung up. This morning, at 5:20 AM I answered "Hello, (heard boiler room noise) and said, "Do you know what time it is where I live? You woke me up and I don't appreciate it!" Unapologetic he continued his dialog about my computer. I told him I don't have a computer, I know this is a scam... Him: You don't have a laptop? I am from Windows tech..."
    Me: I said I know this is a scam, you woke me out of a sound sleep, take my name off your damn call list and never call me again. And give me your home phone number so I can call and wake your sorry ass up! He hung up...

  143. Margie Hunter
    October 4, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    I got my most recent call yesterday. I asked the guy, who I'm pretty sure is the same one who called before by the nature of his responses, if he was working for Microsoft, and he insisted that he was working for Microsoft. I told him that I know this is a scam and that I would be contacting the state Attorney General on Monday. The phone number had an Indiana area code, but I suppose that is meaningless. A long time ago when a woman called I told her I don't own a computer. She was completely stumped!

  144. Oscar Östebo
    September 10, 2015 at 11:50 am

    So I was called by this "John" from Windows Tech Support. I didn't get the name of the company at first, so I asked if he was calling from Microsoft. "No, I'm from Wondows Tech Support, an authorized blablabla...". He talked with a foreign accent (most likely Indian) and sounded like he was reading from a script. "John" then told me that my computer has downloaded something that was damaging my computer. He would tell me how to do to get rid of this "problem". I'm not very good with computers and I actually have a smaller problem with Windows on my laptop, but I thought it was very strange that the person calling me was not from Sweden (where I've lived my entire life) and that he knew that I had downloaded something that I wasn't supposed to. Not to mention the phone number started with "001" and had ~7 numbers.

    Anyway, I asked him where this "Windows Tech Support" is located. The answer was simple: "The UK". Alright, his name was correct, but his accent was not. There are, however, lots of Indians living there, so it could be possible. I asked for the name of the city. He mumbled something I had to ask 3 times (dingding, warning bell) to understand. Liverpool was apparently what he was trying to say. Give me the address, I responded. He then said I was going to get it later but I needed to follow his instructions...

    Bye then!

  145. Tamsyn Ooi
    September 4, 2015 at 11:33 am

    Well Well Well - I'm from the UK, and I don't even know how they managed to get my landline. Nearly fell for it - Note: the page on How To Geek on such an encounter more or less describes how I fell into the scammers pace.

    I was led by the hand to see all these error messages, let them remote access my PC, but when they redirected me to the page to pay for their "license", I got EXTREMELY suspicious since these supposed windows tech support people couldn't even direct me to a website that looked Windows certified, coming up with all the bull that "yea see the icons on the side of the page we are licensed and we are certified". So I told them to call me in half an hour after I speak to my dad regarding the payment and they got immediately frantic, saying don't close the remote access since I wanted to do it. What's even more suspicious was that they went into my history and deleted the last few pages.
    Quickly shut down the remote access, but I'm just worried that they may have installed dodgy things onto my PC without knowing. Is it possible for them to do such a thing without it showing on my screen?

    Also, just the day before I had another call concerning a PC from a pakistani sounding man and since it was so early in the morning, I pretended whoever it was for wasn't in, and the man began to CHAT WITH ME (I pretended to be 16yrs old, I'm way older really). He was such a creep, asking what I do, where I work, how my voice was sexy. I told him I wanted to put the call down and he went "Why? Why do you want to put the phone down?" I just replied that I wanted to and promptly did so. Creep.

  146. Evan Humphrey
    August 30, 2015 at 5:07 am

    I got nice man by the name of samy, he likes to call at 1am and tell me there is an issue with my windows computer and the same as any other. Clearly they don't care I own a mac

  147. John Schmidt
    August 25, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    There still at it. I hung after he said windows support. Indian accent. In the future I will tell them I am an Apple user. Guess they don't care I'm on the do-not-call list. Of course, caller id- says private caller and no number. Really sick of scammer, and people like Rachel of card services.

  148. Peggy Fieber
    August 18, 2015 at 3:53 am

    In the past 12 months, I have received at least 10 calls (Phoenix, AZ area) from "Windows Support", and every Asian Indian accent gets thicker with each call.

    Microsoft does NOT call you. You have to reach them. Just about all contact with the giant would be in writing through their website, Microsoft.com.

    Remember this and pass it on to your friends and family members: If you did NOT initiate the phone call, you DO NOT GIVE out any personal information over the phone! Period. It's a simple rule. All scammers, political solicitors, home improvement cold-callers get the same message. My non-techie husband has been trained and says, "I did not initiate this call. I do not give out any personal information. Take my name and number off your list. Good-bye." People...Keep your Power! Don't give it away. If you do, you might as well give them your first born, keys to your house, your car, and a clean copy of your credit report.

  149. Janine McNamara
    August 9, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    I just fell for this scam yesterday. It all started with a download of Windows 10. Then the pop-ups starting coming. One asked what I thought of my experience. I explained that my computer had been problematic ever since the download. Cue the phone call. Someone else in my home answered, and said Microsoft Tech Support wanted to help me with Windows 10. Not knowing any better, I answered the phone and was told my computer was infected with nearly 1100 viruses, and this man with a thick Indian accent was going to help me. I proceeded to follow his instructions, and I installed TeamViewer. He then demanded $99.99 be transferred via WesternUnion. When I refused, my computer went black. Day 2, I am still trying to repair the damages, and I wondering how much of my information this scammer managed to obtain. Area code 928 is now on watch "George."

  150. Aaron James Peavler
    August 2, 2015 at 8:18 am

    these scammers called me twice and infected my moms laptop and my computer I reported them to the Better Business Bureau they won't scam me ever again because Area Code 208 is being watched.

  151. Rob Jenkins
    July 25, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    My 87 year old father fell for this scam not once, but twice. He is highly intelligent, has a PhD and ran a large organization for many years. Others shouldn't feel too embarrassed or falling for this. It doesn't make you an idiot, perhaps just too trusting of strangers.

    It was an incredible hassle to close all of my parent's charge accounts, change bank information, etc. The stress it caused my mother made her ill. The people running these schemes are major assholes.

    When I get these calls, I try to play to their conscience. I ask how they can sleep at night knowing they are stealing from people and warn them about the damage they are doing to their own soul. Most remain quiet. One told me it doesn't bother him at all. I hope I am getting to them and they may seek an honest living. I understand that people living in abject poverty can rationalize their actions, especially since they are calling people in wealthy countries, but in truth they are harming themselves.

  152. Christian Cawley
    July 22, 2015 at 10:50 am

    Well, well, well, just had my first call since I published this post.

    I suggested they Google my name + "windows support scam", then hung up. So if the guy I spoke to got around to Googling: Hi! Try to find a more honest job.

  153. tubastuff
    July 20, 2015 at 2:19 am

    I think there is more than one outfit running this scam. The other day, I got no fewer than three calls--all spoofed with different numbers between 7AM and 9PM. All sounded Indian/Pakistani. Some were abusive. I'm not worried--I run Linux, but I find the frequent calls annoying.

    The FCC claims that these are all VOIP calls with spoofed CIDs and that they can't determine the point of origin. Does anyone else think that that should get fixed?

    • Christian Cawley
      July 20, 2015 at 9:59 am

      I'm sure the technology exists for them to trace the calls, or more simply block them at the data center level.

  154. Julie Sharpe
    July 18, 2015 at 5:54 pm

    I got a call today from 'Windows Technical Support' and played along for a while, kept asking him which Company he was calling from and when he said 'Windows Technical Support' I said 'so you're calling from Microsoft then?' ... it went on and on like this and when he said he was calling from a Californian registered Company I told him that no, he was calling from India and that I don't have Windows ... at that point he called me a bitch ...nice!

  155. a_willdo
    July 14, 2015 at 6:26 pm

    If I have time I just play along with them. I learned what to do from trying to help my brother with his computer over the phone. For example when they ask what I see at the bottom of my computer I say nothing. They ask what color is the bar. I tell them that it is gray. What I am describing is the bottom of my CPU. Other time when they say Windows, I ask them if they are single hung windows. My challenge is to see if I can get them frustrated.

    • Christian Cawley
      July 15, 2015 at 8:42 am

      Play safe, these people have been known to get very aggressive.

      • Peter S
        July 20, 2015 at 8:45 pm

        I'm curious about your warning. When you say that they can get very aggressive, what do you mean by that? Other than being verbally abusive, what could they realistically do? Honestly curious, because I'd love to try some of the things that a_wildo mentioned -- but not if there are repercussions that I had not considered. Thanks.

        • Christian Cawley
          July 24, 2015 at 5:30 pm

          There are stories of people being targeted by the scammers personally. Nothing solid, but if your phone number is online, it may not take long for them to track you down.

          I feel some discretion is advisable.

  156. Cassandra Bromfield
    July 4, 2015 at 4:14 am

    I get these calls intermittently. Some are Windows Experts, Publisher Clearing House Winner, ADT alarm system, Time Share Free Steak Dinner, it goes on and on.

    One claiming that he was a Windows tech expert and then he said he was going to steal all my money and I will go begging in the street. I asked so which is it you are a tech expert or you're going to steal my money, which is it.....silence, crickets, nothing, dial tone.

    Another call the Windows Expert calls and I just begin screaming. I heard him say "Whoooa Whoooa, WHAT'S GOING ON" I then heard someone in the background saying "We can't do anything" and then all I heard was my screams echoing back to me.

    The most recent Windows Expert calls and I'm laying down I figured I would just play along, I claimed to press f1 R enter etc etc....I then become board and tell him "My son the computer expert will help me from here on in". Silence, nothing, crickets, dial tone.

    These calls are hilarious one guy on You Tube used the Taken Quote "I have a particular set of skills...." I think it is more surprising that they work, but more info, the better

  157. Adam Novicki
    June 29, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    Holy Moly! This just happened in 323 area code. I have never fallen for phishing, but this guy tricked me for a few minutes. No info given out, but when I got suspicious he was going to transfer me to his "tech supervisor" just like the script says! Thanks for the article!

  158. David Grip
    June 26, 2015 at 11:42 pm

    I just hung up on them for the third time this month, I wonder how many people here (lots of us 70-80 years people here) fell for this.

    Dave

  159. Michelle Line
    June 5, 2015 at 6:33 am

    I have provided my spare laptop to my friends dog-grooming shop so they have something better to use than the old relic they had in there. I have it loaded with Kaspersky and have always told them to NEVER open up strange links, spam, scan, pop-ups, etc. and should they accidentally do so, then to close it.

    So what does someone do??? Calls a scammer and actually gave him access to the laptop as he was in control of the mouse.

    Now, my question.... what exactly happened? And does this guy have future control of the laptop? Should I just wipe it and reinstall Windows? (there's not a lot of programs and they're all open-source, really).

    Here are the steps she remembered when she called me AFTER she finally realized it was a scam.

    1. On Facebook (imagine that), clicked on a link to view some list that sounded interesting.
    2. Window popped up notifying the user that "a virus was detected on your computer" or something similar. And to call 888-751-5163, which she did.

    3. Asked who he was - sounded Russian. Kinda said he was with Microsoft, but not really. Of course we all know he wasn't -- I'm just telling all the facts that I gathered.

    4. So Mr Russian Scammer asks my friend to do a WINDOWS KEY + R to pull up the Run screen.

    5. Then he asks her to enter the numbers: 240177. Apparently those numbers didn't work.

    6. Then they try the numbers: 266733, and at that point, he had control of the mouse. (??? HOW???)

    7. Naturally, he was asking for money via PayPal to fix the problem.

    8. They finally got wise, hung up, and closed the laptop cutting the connection.

    I have not gone to pick it up yet so I haven't been able to determine if there is anything still running in the task manager, or was installed, etc.

    Will he have future access? And how did entering numbers into the Run window allow him access? Was something installed when she originally clicked on the link in Facebook?

    I swear... tell people a million times that NO ONE LEGIMATE WILL CONTACT YOU AND TELL YOU THAT YOU HAVE A VIRUS OR SOME DETECTED PROBLEM AND ASK FOR MONEY - and they just don't listen.

    • Christian Cawley
      June 5, 2015 at 1:15 pm

      That is extremely concerning, Michelle. I would suggest a full refresh if on W8, otherwise reinstall, unless you can identify the tool and remove it. I get the feeling it wouldn't show as malware, only as a small remote access app.

  160. Sonja Green
    June 2, 2015 at 9:46 pm

    John at 845-842-7115 just called from windows tech support I strung him on as far as to the entering 6 digit code at log me in rescue ... then put him on phone with my son <my geek squad> while i googled for scams cause i figured it was as soon as i heard the accent, my 19 yr old, after trying to make him explain what he was having me do, and why told him off for scamming and hung up on him :)p at least we wasted a little of his time.

  161. Roberta Hagstrom
    May 26, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    Forbes, look on the bottom of your computer. You may have an express service code. Put that in and hit ok. I just did that - that worked. I was scammed this am also!

  162. Forbes Smith
    May 26, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    I have just, a few minutes ago, been 'stung' by this scam. I thought the call didn't sound right, but Jonathan (the Indian) did a good job of convincing me that they were legit and that it was my operating system that had alerted them to my PC having a 'problem'. Unfortunately I allowed them remote access, and it was only when they told me that I needed to pay £99 for them to 'fix' the error that I smelled a rat. While we were arguing over the fact that I didn't call them for support I wasn't actually watching what was happening on the screen. I noticed a window open and it looked like a password was being set but before I could do or say anything they had 'shut down' my PC and disconnected the phone call. Now I have rebooted and am being asked for a Windows Startup Password. Does anyone know if I can get my PC back?

  163. Kadi
    May 22, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    They contacted my 79 year old mother just as she sat down to use her new Win8 computer for the first time... Scared the bejeezus out of her! Fortunately, she smelled a rat and asked me to check it out.

  164. Michelle
    May 21, 2015 at 6:08 am

    We get these calls frequently on my home phone but I seriously just got on of them at 10:48pm at night. I ripped into this woman when she had the audacity to keep reading her script after I pointed out the time.
    They have to be stopped.
    the number was 989-641-6051

  165. PornStart
    May 15, 2015 at 9:02 pm

    First, I was tempted to do the whole VM thing and waster their time, but I thought of something simpler.

    Remember back in the 90s those 900 numbers that were porn/phone sex lines? Yeah, I act like that when they call (i.e., stick it in, your credit card that is). I even put them on hold with random porn music I find on YouTube.

    The hilarious part is that they have been calling a lot more. Maybe I can score some money from the scammers!

    I'm having a good time with it - highly recommended if you can not try and laugh. It's very hard (no pun intended!).

    • Christian Cawley
      May 16, 2015 at 11:01 am

      Wow, what can I say? Umm play safe!

  166. BamBam's Sister
    May 14, 2015 at 12:15 am

    I would just ask for a random guy like George or Bob or Fred Flinstone and make it sound like he just called me and I was to ask for him and only him and to even throw a tantrum on the phone if they don't listen. lol

    There's always Next Time....muahahahaha

  167. ironlady
    May 13, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    I received a call yesterday and I told the guy that I know this is a scam....when I could get a word in edgewise....and he started yelling "how do you know this is a scam?" I told him because I'm smart and hung up. I'm sure this won't stop the calls.

  168. DR Garne
    May 11, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Depending on how much time I have to spare, I use one of two methods to give these scammers a bit of their own medicine. First, I might be tempted to let the call drag on by claiming to be completely stupid and fumbling with fears about my computer, etc. Note, I am never online when I do this, and will usually claim for my computer to be out of reach. But I ask -- please -- for very detailed info so I can follow-up. I figure keeping these jackasses on the phone for 10-15 minutes getting nowhere saves others. My other "method" -- the shorter version -- is to immediately claim that the "problem" was taken care of the day before. This creates all sorts of confusion as they want to know who I spoke with, etc. I'll say that "David" helped me, so how could it possibly be that my "operating system" is again having problems? Obviously, there are more than one of these thieves out there so to imply that one of their competitors got to me first and took my money is very satisfying. Yes, like others, I've had calls end up with profanity-laced retorts. By then you know you've successfully screwed-up their intentions and caused a huge waste of time!

    • Christian Cawley
      May 16, 2015 at 11:01 am

      This is brilliant, DR Garne. Excellent idea, thanks for sharing!

  169. Jack Rosenthal
    May 10, 2015 at 5:07 pm

    When a scammer calls me to tell me that my computer has been downloading malware I tell them I am seeing error messages on my screen right now. Then I say "oh, this message is for you" and then I give him the worst insult I can think of. Since hundreds of millions of Indians still defecate in the street, I suggest that it is time for him to do that now.

  170. Ray
    May 8, 2015 at 1:13 pm

    I find requesting their company registration number has the desired effect !

  171. Anonymous
    May 6, 2015 at 6:32 pm

    5-6-15 just hot call from 202/223-3212 today, caller ID america soc of mec??
    Said he was from windows technical dept. my computer is downloading infections, I need to turn on right away to remove, or my computer will be blocked!!! I said I had an emergency and asked for a call back number, which he gave 786/224-0406 which they answer as windows technical dept. I called from a diff phone and hung up, they called back twice immediately. The first number on caller Id rings no answer. I want to know how to report these numbers?!

  172. Debbie
    May 6, 2015 at 3:06 pm

    I kept getting calls whilst I was trying to feed or look after my 5month old daughter. I work from home on a full time basis and need my computer to work. John Morris told me it would cost me £99.99 to cover my computer for 2 yrs and I told him how on earth can I afford that with a young baby?! He said my computer will crash in 24hrs due to 6 or 7 known hackers trying to get into my computer. I asked him for a number to call him on as I told him he was holding me ransom. he gave me 01844700022. I haven't tried to call this number as I really can't be bothered.
    I have done a full scan of my computer with the software I use and they have reported no threats. I have emailed the company I use for them to give me some peace of mind that this was all just a scam.
    After reading some comments on here I can now feel a little safer knowing it was a scam. I even asked them where they got my landline number because I have never given this out to anyone to which they responded saying because of the threats on windows they found my number!

  173. Tired Really Tired
    May 6, 2015 at 3:06 am

    The first time I got this spam call I explained that I only have Macs (wife is in charge of purchases and it makes no difference for my use) and tried to ask the caller to repeat where he was calling from, to which he responded something along the lines of "F you, stop wasting my time" (as if I had called him...).

    Since then I've been getting these calls pretty frequently, 2-3 times in a day before I get around to blocking the number from my phone. 44 times since 1/1/15, per review of my cellphone call logs. A few of the numbers have been "real" phone numbers (or at least look like a real phone number) but the last several have been 5 digits or fewer (as few as 2 digits), with the last caller to have an "unavailable" number (so I'm not sure what will happen if I try to block it).

    I've tried asking politely to stop calling and take my number off whatever list it is on, or similar. I've also reported the "real" numbers to the FTC as I'm supposed to be on the do not call registry, but that seems like a waste of my time. I'm waiting for the day when I actually get one of these calls when I'm in the car by myself so I can just let rip with an expletive scream directly into their earpiece. I hope I hit a volume and pitch that makes their ears bleed. Till that opportunity comes, I'm just ignoring all calls from numbers I don't recognize.

  174. S Hootkins
    May 1, 2015 at 5:37 pm

    Got a "from Windows" call today with a guy with a very thick Indian/Pakistani accent who had my last name. Got him to confirm he was calling from India or Pakistan. He had no phone number for me to call back to confirm the problem, and my caller ID had no number showing. He wanted me to go online and then he would call me back to fix my Windows problem. I yelled "absolutely not, you will not have access to my computer, and you must be one of those offshore hackers!" Then I hung up on him. Hope he never calls again but I am really ready now after reading the constructive comments above. I will try the "Jesus approach" next time and string him along or put the phone up to my squawking cockatoo and let him blast his eardrums.

  175. Mary Kay Higgins
    April 29, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    By the way, I started to get harassing cell phone calls the day after the scam. They were probably really annoyed to lose the $175.00. He said "Hello, is this Miss Mary ... " in an Indian accent and started saying something about what happened yesterday. I told him that I looked things up and know they are a bunch of frauds and that I never wanted them to call me again. As I was hanging up I could hear him yelling. Fortunately, my AT&T cell phone allows me to make a list of calls to refuse. So far, they have tried to contact me on two numbers. I reported everything about the scam to the Federal Trade Commission where I was told that I might also want to report it to my state Attorney General which I will. I hope they can knock some of these jackwagons out of business.

  176. Muthu.
    April 28, 2015 at 6:14 pm

    Last Thursday [23-Aor02015] I have been hit by this scam. They took over the control for my system for few minutes and I force shut down the laptop before they try to do something. Now I kept my laptop without internet by disabling WiFi and Network / LAN Adpaters.

    Even though my laptop is not corrupted and I have not lost any money, I want to know if they would have copied any data from my system. Is it possible to get some logs to get this information? I am ready to format my system but I want to know if they would have copied any data from my laptop before I am formatting it.

    • Christian Cawley
      April 30, 2015 at 2:48 pm

      Muthu, it's *unlikely* that they were able to copy anything unless they were browsing your file system. The remote system these types usually use doesn't allow them to browse anything without you seeing anything.

      This isn't a definitive answer, please understand, as there can be no certainty without having the full facts, and only the scammers have those.

  177. Mary Kay Higgins
    April 28, 2015 at 5:23 pm

    Oh, and the tech support guy doing the scan's name was shown as "Jack Louis". The phone number (via *69) was 305-238-7773.

  178. Mary Kay Higgins
    April 28, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    Next to all of you prudent geniuses I feel like a big dope. I got the "call" after I came home from culinary school (5 hours on my feet... and I have had 4 spin surgeries) and I was tired and spent. He knew too much, and I had my new computer fail a couple of months ago because of some weird thing with the motherboard which the technician had not been able to explain--so when this "technician" described how my computer had acted right before and as it crashed, I started to think he was legit. I cannot believe that I fell for it and let him take control of the computer. I even fell for his line that because my registration has expired I wouldn't be able to log on if they didn't do their work on the computer. I paid $175 (and Bank of America declined it, but being too worried about not having computer access, I told them it was OK). Anyway, I got more and more annoyed (especially with "James Anderson" with the Indian or Pakistani accent). I started laying into them with, "why should I believe you when you cold called me" and "now you're telling me you expect me to pay money", and "I think you guys are a bunch of frauds", etc. and finally they told me to stop yelling and that I was "rude". Oh man. Well, after 45 minutes of us haranguing each other, they started the scan and told me not to touch my computer for 30 to 45 mins. I called my bank right away and cancelled my debit card and asked them to stop the transfer of money (evidence at the bank shows that the $175 never went to the villians). And I called MicroCenter right after that, and the technician told me to cut power on the computer and bring it in which I did. He said they had been getting other calls. Bottom line--I hope to get a fully healthy computer back and I may get some protection software that is a little more Offense than Defense. Suggestions are welcome.

  179. David Hornsby
    April 26, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    I normally spin these guys out for about 10 mins or so and then claim to have an 'error message', which I'm struggling to read but it looks like T-H-I-S-I-S-A-S-C-A-M. When the penny doesn't drop I pretend to read it out with difficulty and then ask what they think it might mean. One guy said he didn't know. "Go on!" I said "Have a guess! Why do you think my computer is saying 'This is a scam'?" Another told me off for wasting his time. "Of course I'm going to waste your time!" I replied "You're a criminal: what do you expect me to do?!". He didn't seem to see the funny side.

    • Christian Cawley
      April 27, 2015 at 6:51 pm

      That's brilliant, David, thanks for sharing!

  180. amie
    April 21, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    Having been apparently the only person in the world who had never had this call before yesterday, [even my elderly mother who doesn't own a computer has had the call] South Asia calls again today. This time, no mention of Windows, just a man from "Your computer technical department." As he goes through his shpiel, he suddenly grows suspicious of my amiably encouraging mmhms. "Are you playing with me?" he asks sharply. Can't hear you, it's very noisy, I say. He reconsiders. "You are very sweet ma'am.When browsing the internet your computer downloaded an unwanted file. Are you aware of that?" Yes, I say pleasantly. "But if you don't fix it, this unwanted file may cause you to lose all your files." "No, I say beatifically, I am happy with that file, no file is unwanted, all are welcome," Nice talking to you ma'am..click". Same Detroit number as yesterday.

    • Christian Cawley
      April 26, 2015 at 10:44 am

      Interesting approach you have there, Amie!

  181. Me
    April 20, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    I got a call to my cellphone this morning. As soon as I heard what it was about I knew it was this scam, but I was bored so I played along lol
    When Nigel first mentioned the infection I went into "a panic attack" I told him I was scared for my health and asked if I should book a doctor appointment to see if I catched something from my computer Lmao! He told me to go ahead and book the doctor lol, we continued the call and he told me to look for my Ctrl key, I told him I didn't have one I just had my house, car and mailbox keys. He got frustrated and he said to look on my computer so I went and "turned on" my computer (I was actually feeding my baby) and again "panicked" because my screen said virus he said he would fix it I had to "restart" my computer so I asked him his name and age and told him about "myself" when it was "back on" I went for the Lysol wipes because it said virus again and I didn't want to get sick haha haha after this he finally hung up on me. I kept him on the line for about 15 minutes just wa sting his time. I hope they call again :)

  182. amie
    April 20, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    I just had a call here in the UK that went as follows: (Asian subcontinent accent)
    Hullo ma'am, this is Windows technical calling..." I cut him short: "I have never used Windows, ever." He insistent: "No, listen to me, ma'am I am telling you I am calling from Windows technical and your computer has sent us an error message." Me: "How can my computer send you anything? I have never ever used Windows." Puzzled silence. "You don't use Windows?" Me: "No, not at all". He: "What you use, then?" Me: That is my business, not yours. He: *click*.
    [like you, I use Linux Mint)
    To my surprise there was a number recorded, when I checked 1471:
    001 248 375 1780, which on checking, I find is Detroit.

  183. ben
    April 18, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    After they tell me who they are I usually ask them when its obvious an America name, with and accent, which branch do they reprsent.. al queda, isis, taliban, hamas, etc.

    Im so glad you called. Let me ask you, which is the best way to kill an infidel? Do you prefer beheading or blowing them to bits? By this time they start to get upset and mad. Then I tell them to connect me to their supervisor...that would be osama bin laden, right? Either they start swearing and I hang up, or they hang up. Works for me either way.

    But my real fun is when an American telemarketer calls. Trying to sell you something....they get an earful of the most graphic sexual come ons on the planet, and if its a male, its even more fun...then they hang up. How rude..call me just to hang up on me.

  184. Frankie
    April 15, 2015 at 8:11 am

    I've had these scammers call me twice last year and again yesterday morning. I act ignorant to them and have fun playing with them. They must of been so fed up with me yesterday that they
    actually put the phone down on me. I took note of the number they called from. It was...... 005164 536 886.

  185. Nikki
    April 11, 2015 at 12:37 pm

    Unfortunately, I was scammed - and this is why. I purchased a computer two weeks ago, and somehow the scammer knew that, and my name. They had me check several files on my computer which seemed to indicate that my Windows hadn't been activated. They just had me type in a few things and they were telling me that it wasn't a big deal - that computer companies sometimes don't activate Windows before sending them and they could help me. The next thing I knew I could see my mouse moving, and I said "I did not give you permission to access my computer". She said she was just making it easier for me. The mouse movement stopped and she said that she needed to know if I wanted to purchase a 5 or 10 year license. Only then did I realize I was being scammed. I quickly shut down my computer, my other two computers, and I went downstairs and unplugged the router. I left the router unplugged all night so access could not be gained again, and I got up this morning and did a full system restore on the computer in which the person gained access.

    I do not get scammed easily. This person knew my legal name - which of course I use when making purchases - and she also knew that I had just recently purchased a computer with Windows 7. My legal name is not listed anywhere - even our local phone directory only uses the first initial of my nickname. I feel as if the scammers somehow got my information from the company where I recently purchased the computer.

    She never asked me for credit card information - I hung up before she got that far - but she did access my computer which is scary enough.

    I feel like a fool. I know better than this, but it all sounded so completely legit until I saw my mouse moving.

    • Christian Cawley
      April 12, 2015 at 5:25 pm

      Nikki, did you take this up with the retailer?

  186. indierock
    April 3, 2015 at 6:09 pm

    I've gotten many many hundreds of intrusive and by now, exceptionally annoying phone calls like this and from "pharmacy companies" that are obviously ethic less scammers from India. I've made dozens of reports to The FTC, the Do Not Call Registry and even contacted my United States Senator. I've also tried calling The Indian Embassy in Washington DC at 202-939-7000 to see if they could help.

    • betty
      April 10, 2015 at 2:01 am

      I got a call today from window support warning me that I had a virus on my computer, that it was going to crash but he was going to help me fix it. I said that's ok if it crashes I'll just by a new computer. He said you got lot of money? I said sure lol.

    • Christian Cawley
      April 12, 2015 at 5:26 pm

      Indierock, have you had any response from anywhere?

  187. Barbara
    April 2, 2015 at 6:59 pm

    I was just called by a man with an British accent. I found your web site while I was talking to him. He asked me to close all my open windows. When I grew bored with playing dumb, I read him the starting material at the top of this page. He was not happy and broke the connection.
    One of my friends tumbled for this a few weeks ago and was crestfallen when I told him it was a scam and he was going to have to change all his passwords, just in case.
    I watch the video - it is wonderful. I laughed and laughed.
    I am so happy you are doing this public service for all of us. I warn my friends, but they still may be vulnerable.
    Thanks loads and loads!

    • Christian Cawley
      April 3, 2015 at 1:24 pm

      Happy to help, Barbara, pleased the video and post were of use :)

  188. Anonymous
    March 28, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Just got a call this morning from "Steve Smith" from "PC World" who definitely has an accent and was annoyingly persistent. He asked me to click the Windows key and R Key to solve some issues that I wasn't seeing on my computer.

    I told him I'd call him back...the number is "631.355.4488" just in case anybody gets the shady call!

  189. Deanna
    March 28, 2015 at 5:25 am

    Happened to me tonight. 10pm, and by my book, a 10 pm phone call is an emergency. I knew when I got to my phone a call from 3001 showing "Greece", was suspect. I don't know anyone in Greece. I listened, she bossed as I told her, on speaker phone, she was being recorded.

    Glad I followed my gut, and hung up after pissing her off not playing into it.

    Word to the wise, hang up.

  190. cookie18
    March 25, 2015 at 2:48 pm

    I had one of these calls a while ago, just after windows 8 came in, from an Engligh named person with foreign Accent. When I asked him which computer (as we had several in the house at the time) he was able to give me the computer id number and windows 8 reg no of my computer - I'd only just updated my new laptop to windows 8. He went through certain aspects of the computer telling me I had 'hidden' problems then passed me to a more serious 'operator' and tried to get me to alter things (but I didn't), in the end I explained we were having tea so I was in a hurry. He then informed me that my computer security should be more important and if anything goes wrong with my windows 8 package it wouldn't be covered unless I went along with him! He was pretty unpleasant at that stage and I hung up on him. Just to be on the safe side I whipped my computer off charge and took it (still running) to pc world - where I bought it - and got them to check it. They confirmed the page he'd asked me to get up showing the problems was the conflicts page. They were happy enough to check it but confirmed it was a scam the minute I told him 'my story'.

  191. Art Vandelay
    March 25, 2015 at 2:24 pm

    I had a similar call last week. First time he called, I told him I needed to turn on my computer. Put him on hold and went about my business. He called back 5 min later and I asked why he hung up on me! Then it took another 5 min. for my computer to boot up. He kept asking if it was ready yet, and I told him I still had an hourglass. He was quite impatient, muttering "oh my god" the whole time. Finally, I decided to move forward, so I said my PC was ready to go. Then he asked if I could locate the Windows key on my keyboard. Well, wouldn't you know, my keyboard doesn't have a Windows key. "What's the key to the right of CTRL?" "It says ALT." "OK, what key is to the right of that?" "The Space Bar". "Oh my god..." I told him I must have a really old computer and he should send me a new one, but I don't think it will be coming. Finally, he gave up, we exchanged F-bombs, and both hung up. Haven't heard from him since.

  192. donna
    March 16, 2015 at 5:39 pm

    I've had at least a half dozen of these calls. Today's was from 716 288-4864, but i don't know who to report it to. The caller is warning me about my Windows system however I'm on a mac.

  193. Veronica
    March 14, 2015 at 2:07 am

    Recvd a call at 9:30 at night, asked for supervisor, no surprise they hung up. Another time I lied and told the guy I had multiple computers and he said the problem was with the phone line and I only needed to be at a computer, any computer, and he needed permission to take over my computer. I blew up said no way only when I call someone and hung up on him and immediately unplugged everything. That way neighbors can't use my router either. Trying to think of new lie for next time.

    • Christian Cawley
      March 17, 2015 at 6:43 pm

      Why lie? You don't have to explain yourself, THEY do. Just hangup, Veronica, and go about your business. As long as you haven't given them any access, they're not worth a second thought.

  194. Nina
    February 18, 2015 at 11:40 am

    Please be warned this is still going on, I am just very pleased it was me taking the call not my mum as I am sure she would have fallen for it as she isn't very confident with the computer. I basically just told the guy 'this is bullshit' and he put the phone down.

    Stay alert folks!

    • Christian Cawley
      February 20, 2015 at 4:24 pm

      Do you live with your mum, Nina, or was that just chance? I worry about what might happen should these scammers speak to my parents. It's frustrating that we can't block these types of call, really.

  195. Randy
    February 17, 2015 at 1:15 pm

    I get 4-6 calls starting at 8:00 am everyday. I played along last time and the caller said I was bullshitting and said he would kick my ass!! Lol

  196. sideshowbob
    February 16, 2015 at 9:21 pm

    Happened to me this morning AGAIN! Second time in 3 days. I'm inspired by those that have messed with them so I did it too. Played along for 15 minutes (off for Presidents Day so hey I'm game) before telling Mike I knew what was up and am a computer forensics examiner. He got PISSED and started telling me how he had sex with my wife and daughter. I asked him what it was like to have sex with a goat and then told him I not only never turned on a computer but I own Mac products! He cussed me more before I insulted Islam and Vishnu (just for good measure) and he hung up. Great fun. Going to do it again

  197. Al
    February 7, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    I have had these scammers call me on 4 separate occasions. It's fun. For the first time in your life you can talk one-on-one with a criminal who is trying to steal your money. Any language goes. I insult their mother, their country, call them losers and parasites and include as many expletives as possible. I had one of them listen to me for over a minute. I got one of them to go off-script and threaten to shut down my computer. Its great entertainment.

  198. Marie
    January 31, 2015 at 3:38 am

    I blocked their calls which basically means the caller receives a busy signal. Then the calls come in every hour. I finally answered the phone and told them I didn't have a computer. The calls stopped.

    • Christian Cawley
      February 10, 2015 at 4:03 pm

      This is a good tactic for anyone who doesn't want to get confontational. They lie to us - we can lie to them.

  199. Evan
    January 30, 2015 at 11:14 am

    The funniest thing about that recording is that the keyboard command to open the downloads window in Firefox is one of the few that is different on Linux Mint than on Windows.

    • Christian Cawley
      February 2, 2015 at 8:48 am

      I was going to mention that but decided it was too geek.

  200. Zaphod
    January 29, 2015 at 12:06 am

    I got a spate of these calls and finally decided one day to find out what the scam was. I was running Windows in a VM and had nothing to lose. I played dumb and got passed around 3 operators. In total I managed to keep them on the line for 45 minutes, eventually they realised that I was winding them up and I got a "You f*ck off! F*ck off!" and they slammed the phone down on me. It was most satisfying.

    • LAC
      February 6, 2015 at 9:02 pm

      Bravo to all who took these scammers for a ride.
      Last year I got one of these calls. It took me a while to figure out it was a scam because I had recently asked for some tech support. At first the call seemed legit because the "Windows technician" seemed to know some personal information about me and my laptop. I woke up when the guy asked for credit card information because there was a fee for his "specialized tech support services." When I disconnected his remote access and began asking some questions about internet fraud, they guy hung up and never called back.
      I don't spend a lot of time browsing on the web. Personal privacy concerns make me leery of using social media, online banking and online shopping. I don't use online access to my health care information.
      After this experience I felt victimized and wondered if I had been targeted because of my age. When a cursory check on the internet revealed this scam has been around for years, I also felt rather stupid.
      After I freaked out, I got a grip, ran my security software and reset my passwords. I was glad that was all it took to close the book.

  201. Shafiq Khan
    January 28, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    It's a shame that Ammyy is getting a bad rap because I use it on a regular basis and it's dead simple to use.

  202. Beth
    January 27, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    Got one of those today at 7AM my time. Rachael's English was a bit sketchy. She asked me if my computer was a laptop or a computer. I kept asked her where I should send my broken computer so she could fix it and could she tell me how to turn my computer on. I kept it going for a 10 minutes until I got bored.

  203. Roberta Boe
    January 27, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    We even got one of those calls today. It has been happening for months. Today my husband just told the guy we are ok with windows but our doors are crap! Happy Blizzard of 2015!

    I always warn all my senior friends as I find them the ones more likely to believe those scams

  204. robh
    January 27, 2015 at 12:35 pm

    All those who "play these scammers along" are victims too.
    Just do the maths. They are calling from low-cost economies where the daily rate of pay is a few dollars (e.g. India - per capita GDP around $1500 a year). How does that compare with your pay rate? Wasting their time costs them pennies and costs you dollars: who's the mug?

    Responding in any way is just the same as writing back to the guys who send you spam email. 15-20 years ago some people did just that but soon found it was counter productive, the result was often that you would be targeted even more.

    A successful scam will charge maybe 2 or 3 hundred dollars to "fix your problem" and install "security software" on your PC. You just handed a crook your credit card details, do you think they'll use it responsibly? And of course that security software they provided is a trojan allowing them to install key loggers, sell access to our PC as part of a botnet, explore your files, spam your email contacts etc...

    Overall one "success" can earn them as much money as they would otherwise earn in ten years. Do you think that if you waste 10 minutes of their time that will make them stop?

    My response is that if I hear an Indian accent on the phone I put it straight back down. As for those "legitimate" organisations that off-shore their call centres: well you made a choice to save yourselves money, you have also chosen to accept the side effect that I'll be ignoring your calls.
    I'm sorry if you are Indian but that's the deal. If you don't like it get your governments to regulate and prosecute the crooks.

    • Christian Cawley
      November 19, 2015 at 4:30 pm

      No one in their right mind would string the scammers along by giving their personal details out and installing the software.

  205. johnbuk
    January 27, 2015 at 7:41 am

    I'm in the UK and have had 4 or 5 of these calls myself and known friends who have been similarly àpproached even down to the anglicised name for someone with an Indian accent.
    Like the author I run a Linux system and also a Chromebook.
    I usually manage to keep these people on the line for 15 minutes or so with my ham-fisted attempts to follow their instructions including the daftest questions I can think of at the time.
    I figure the longer they are dealing with me the less they are dealing with possible victims.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 27, 2015 at 1:27 pm

      "I figure the longer they are dealing with me the less they are dealing with possible victims."

      That is admirable, johnbuk! Superb philosophy, one we should all use :)

  206. Nathan Carr
    January 27, 2015 at 6:37 am

    I work at a local computer repair shop and we get people who come in that have been hit by this. Ironically, we have actually had some of our employees get calls from these people as well.

    It really is unfortunate that these criminals cannot be easily tracked down. Truly is upsetting, watching someone having someone else tack advantage of them.

    Knowledge is power, and with power comes abuse, cohesion, and manipulation.

    • Mr.Pink
      January 27, 2015 at 8:51 am

      Knowledge isn't power. Knowledge is freedom.

    • dragonmouth
      January 27, 2015 at 10:52 pm

      "Knowledge isn’t power."
      Tell that to all the intelligence services, extortionists and data mongers in the world.

    • Anonymous
      May 14, 2015 at 2:52 am

      Are you able to box the damage done to the computer?

  207. Steve
    January 27, 2015 at 3:57 am

    I got a call , he told me that my computer was infected and that it was sending information over the internet without me knowing it, he told me to go my computer and open my browser, so I said yes, I told him to wait for my computer to boot, he was very polite, we talk for about five minutes, that is when I turned my computer on and he heard the Windows sound, after another five minutes, I told him that it was ready, he said " go to Internet Explorer and blah blah......" I told him that I only see something that said, Netzero, after a while he said, "just get to the internet" and that is when I told him, "I'm sorry, I never had internet access, but if you wait I can go to the Library and I can connect from there" , and he hang up. :-(

  208. Doc
    January 26, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    "Rachel, one of the most English names you will find." Sorry, that's a Biblical name, not even remotely English, although many English-speaking people have been named Rachel or Rachael.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 27, 2015 at 1:26 pm

      Beg to differ.

      Unless you think the Old Testament was written in English, in which case you're probably a flat earther or think that the lyrics to Jerusalem are based on actual events.

      Suggest you check the Wiki page for the etymology of "Rachel", the Anglicised version of the classic Hebrew name. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel

      Also, you'll find that most English names are Anglicised versions of those from other languages. This is what makes them English. :)

    • Doc
      January 29, 2015 at 8:48 pm

      Point taken on the Anglicization part, but the name's *roots* are still not in any European language.

  209. Ray
    January 26, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Youtube search for 'Troy Hunt', he's an Aussie computer security expert, has several videos on YT where he takes the scammers for a fun ride.

    • Christian Cawley
      February 2, 2015 at 8:44 am

      Good suggestion, Ray. i notice these videos are quite long, so anyone planning to check them out, get popcorn ready first ;)

  210. dragonmouth
    January 26, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    How and where do these miscreants obtain the phone numbers they call? How do they know that the owner of the number called even has a computer? It seems I'm missing all the fun of baiting these turkeys. They never call me. :-( But then, for the past year or so I have been using NoMoRobo service to block any robocalls. Also I always check the Caller ID and never answer the phone if I do not recognize the number.

    • desertrat
      January 26, 2015 at 8:25 pm

      They don't, its just a series of cold calls from purchased lists (thanks DMV & state entities, CC apps and other businesses that 'need' a local phone number).

      When I get a call like that, I ask them for a ISP or URL ID where the 'issue' has shown up. The answer is usually a city 300+ miles away. Their next question is generally "Why do you want to know?" [que up fiendish, ominous music] The fun begins... They are asked for what at face value would be legitimate info about time, date, frequency of issues etc. as I'm taking notes to turn into the [local] county Sheriffs Office and the State A.G. Cyber Crimes units, as this is part of an ongoing computer theft investigation. They occasionally try to return to their script, but I press on with he line of questions. Generally, when they hear 'theft' 'investigation' 'cyber crimes' 'State A.G.' they're gone.

    • Christian Cawley
      January 27, 2015 at 1:21 pm

      I've heard of them calling people who don't have computers, Dragonmouth, so it seems likely that they just go through the phone book. They're nearly all landline calls too, which rules out - for many - numbers being "harvested" as I believe most people submit their mobile numbers for online forms.

    • Christian Cawley
      February 2, 2015 at 8:42 am

      Superb tactic, DesertRat. It's turning into sport!

  211. Kenneth DeVries
    January 26, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    We get them every once in a while. My wife has an iMac and I am running Xubuntu on my old tower, so it's just a joke to us.

  212. Ramases
    January 26, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    I spin out their calls as long as possible - pretending to be a duffer until I get bored then I tell them I'm a MCSE working for Interpol investigating internet fraud on detachment from the UK Security Services. You've never heard a phone line go dead so fast! A colleague always offers to go along with them but only if he can talk to the operator first "About Jesus". It has the same effect.

    • Christian Cawley
      February 2, 2015 at 8:41 am

      Talking to them "about Jesus" sounds like a great option!

    • Mike Naish
      February 11, 2015 at 8:14 pm

      What I do. I can put on a very good UK regionalised English accent. Somerset... and they just cannot understand what I am saying. I had my listening friends in fits of laughter. The scammers just gave up on me. Mr. Mike

    • Christian Cawley
      February 15, 2015 at 12:31 pm

      That is brilliant, Mike, good advice!

    • Anonymous
      May 16, 2015 at 11:39 pm

      I was attempting to have phone sex with the women on the other line and then told her I hope her kids die. She still insisted she's legit.

  213. Ben S
    January 26, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    I can't believe I haven't been called by these goons yet. I always love reading stories of people messing with them, though. Any time that you waste of theirs is probably saving someone else from being victimized.

  214. Tim Goral
    January 26, 2015 at 5:19 pm

    I got a number of calls from these people in the last few months, sometimes twice a day. We run Macs exclusively here so when they told me they detected a problem in my Windows operating system, it was pretty clear what was going on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *