The other day I received a phone call from 01234 765093. If you get a call from them, unless you have experience with computers and you fancy wasting their time, then you should ignore them and under no circumstances do what they suggest. Failure to heed this advice is likely to lead to your computer being held ransom pending payment of a large amount of money. Others have reported this as being close to £200 GBP.
First you will get a phone call, claiming to be from somebody like Microsoft, or another big company. Lets get one thing straight, they will never call you, they aren’t allowed to! As soon as they said this, I knew it was a scam, and to save some poor user, and for my general amusement I decided to waste their time and keep them on the line. First, with no knowledge of my system, they wanted me to get my log files on screen, I considered using my Linux netbook for this, but I didn’t want to scare them off by being slightly knowledgeable! When I had got what they wanted on my screen, it looked something like the image below. They told me that red crosses were viruses that I had got while browsing the internet and were stealing my details (OH NO! I must do something about it.)
Lets look at the log entries for a second, if you’re not technical they won’t mean much, but WMI and the User Profile Service are a core part of windows, McLogEvent is part of my McAffee Antivirus and ASP.NET is a web programming framework. None of this suggests evidence of a virus, but since most people don’t understand it, they will believe whatever they’re told.
This is the convincer, and if you fall for it you’re hooked, I mean you don’t want a virus on your computer do you. Also, remember they don’t tell you there’s a fee for this service but think, why would they do it for free when you have to pay for all those antivirus programmes. So what they will now try and get you to do is to go to a remote management website such as logmein123.com or ammyy.com, you download and run a programme which then gives the scammer access to your system, where they can do all sorts of nasty things to your system and extort money out of you for the privilege.
This is where my knowledge of the scam ends, I didn’t install any software on the machine, instead I made out that my machine was really slow and I didn’t know why. I kept them on the line for 40 minutes before it just went dead. Had I made it to the hour mark, I would have called them a bunch of <insert a string of expletives here>, and told them that I have a degree in Computer Science and work in IT Security. I suggest that you do too! It’s ok, even if you don’t you can just lie. Or if you know what you’re doing you can give them access to a virtual machine, use some made up credit card numbers and at the same time attempt to hack them back*?
*Do not try to hack them back, it’s stupid and illegal and I will not take any responsibility for some scumbag con artists getting what they deserve hahahaha!