Monday, 11 September 2017

Microsoft phone scams

I've written some about phone scams. They are common. You can be phoned, it can be a pop-up screen on your computer, or emails. This is what you can do.

My eldest son read my post about the scammer who called, the one I made hang up (Microsoft called!). Jess sent me info about this show, which has two parts. It was fascinating, as they tracked down the company,, and found them in Delhi. Young and impoverished people are taken advantage of, working for these common scammers. It's a huge problem, except for those who are getting millions of dollars from duped victims. Those making money lack the values most of us hold to, feeling that to rip off 'rich' citizens in North America is fair game. 

The show's podcast (podcast URL) is an interesting listen, if you have time. It's podcast #102, and called Long Distance. The journalist, Alex Goldman, receives a phone call from a scammer. He engages the scammer, to try to figure out what he is up to. Eventually, he is led to a webpage, which he researches, then they give him a  phone number to call. He calls, engages the caller, who is claiming his name is Alex Martin. He allows him access to his Mac computer, which one should NEVER, NEVER do! Alex Martin figures out they cannot sucker journalist Alex Goldman. But Goldman keeps calling them to try to find out more. It is the craziest story. 

There is a part two, as well: #103 Long Distance, Part II, in which they end up traveling to India to try and find this scamming business. 
"Impact of Tech Scams is much higher in India, the US, and China than in other markets. Brazil, South Africa, and Singapore are in the next tier of impact. Experience with tech scams is much lower in Australia, Canada, and Europe. The results indicate a strong focus on US, India, and China."

They also point to an IPSOS Microsoft survey (PDF), which compares reactions in different countries to this scamming. It is an interesting survey.

"Impact of Tech Support Scams is much higher with people under age 34 than with older respondents."
I've had several clients phoned, while I sat there. I take the call, and basically tell them to take off. Sometimes I say, "Does your mother know what you do for a living?"
Sadly, these East Indian-based small time scammers take advantage of people desperate for a job, and taking advantage of the 25% of us who respond. 
Microsoft survey (PDF)


Anvilcloud said...

I don't engage, but it must drive them crazy when people do -- in a reverse baiting sort of way, I mean.

Debbie said...

we don't even answer our landline phone any more. i'm not sure why we even have it!! most of the calls we had been getting were recordings, made to sound like a live person. very annoying!!

William Kendall said...

I never pick up the phone if I don't know who's calling.