Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Persistent scam call from the World Wide Server support team

I get a lot of scam support phone calls, I usually just hang up and block the number using my call blocker.  But sometimes the call is so audacious that I record the call and bung the video up on YouTube.  This caller claimed to be calling me from the 'world wide server' with crucial information about what is wrong with my computer.  This was too good to be true, so I fired up my camera.

I'm never mean to scam callers.  There's a chance they might not even know what they're doing is a crime.  I'm being charitable here, but I've read articles claiming that the lower level callers like this are just one of hundreds of people working in a high pressure call centre environment.  I see no reason to swear at scam callers, but that's not to say they don't often swear at me.

In the scam call from the World Wide Server support team I played along for a bit.  But when the scam caller wanted me to load an executable file on my computer I decided not to risk it.  From this point I stopped playing dumb and started letting the caller know that I did not wish to proceed.  I even listed the technical reasons why his call couldn't possibly be genuine.   This is when it got weird.

When I start spouting technical details regarding using a VPN for security, or running a NetStat command to record the IPs of scammers who attempt access to my network, that's usually when scam callers hang up.  This caller wasn't put off by little things like that.  In fact he wasn't put off by me asking him outright if he was a scammer and had employers for whom he was breaking the law.

In the end I offered to put the phone in front of my radio so he could listen to some music.  My logic being that he could pretend to still be speaking to me, but could listen to some music and have a break for a few moments.  He still persisted.  This was one determined caller!

Watch the video and you'll hear how badly the caller was trying to fill the holes I was picking in his shaky scammers' argument.

Scam support calls - remember this

  • Nobody will ever call you offering you free support for a problem you have not reported
  • NEVER allow anyone access to your computer, no matter where they say they are calling from
  • Don't be freaked out that they appear to have some of your personal details, they would need nothing more than a telephone directory to find this information

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Glenn the Pine Marten, age 51, from Stockport

This is Glenn.  He is a Pine Marten.

Glenn the Pine Marten has worked very hard to get where he is today.  Glenn has strong opinions about how much time teenagers spend staring at screens.  Glenn is a systems analyst and spends ten hours a day analysing systems on a big computer monitor.

Glenn is proud that he is so valued by his employer that he has only been given the statutory minimum amount of annual leave.  Glenn knows that if he did not put in the hours the company would fall to pieces.

When he was a young man Glenn bought a Kit-Kat that was entirely devoid of any wafer.  He knows how much his friends like hearing the story about his solid chocolate Kit-Kat.  He has told the story many times and is well practiced at not letting his friends interrupt him.

A month ago Glenn found out that his financial advisor was criminally incompetent.  Glenn will have to work for more years than some of his friends at the squash club, because his pension scheme has collapsed.

Three days ago Glenn was pleasantly surprised to receive a phone call from the support department of a very well known software company.  Now Glenn has 24 hours to find out what a Bitcoin is otherwise his friends at the squash club will find out about the websites he looks at while his wife is out playing bingo.

Goffy the Seagull, age 57, from Coventry

This is Goffy the Seagull, he is from Coventry.

Goffy was just ten years old when his cousin Patrick snuck him into The Heath Hotel, in Coventry, to watch The Specials.  The Specials had not played in public before and Goffy wanted to see them because at age ten he wanted to be a policeman.  By the time Goffy was age 15 he decided he preferred The Beat.

Goffy doesn't like it when people tell him that seagulls do not exist.  Some people tell Goffy that there are no seagulls, only gulls that live near the sea.  He does not like pedants.  Goffy is comfortable with his identity.

Goffy did not become a policeman.

Six months ago Goffy found out that the endowment mortgage policy that he has been paying into for thirty years won't cover the final payment due on the two bedroom terrace house he shares with his elderly mother.

Goffy is very worried about a doctor's appointment he has on Thursday morning.

Three years ago Patrick had a stroke while playing snooker.  Patrick died.  Goffy misses his cousin very much.