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Home > something phishy? or legit? PC 'help' call???

something phishy? or legit? PC 'help' call???

April 9th, 2010 at 06:14 am

I just recieved a call from a guy with a very thick Indian accent on our land phone (I should note here that we've given our number out to three family members and the local pizza place - simply because we use our mobiles and we're hardly ever home during the day).

First off he asked if he was speaking to me (and said my full name). Then he said that my computer has been sending out error signals. He listed all the Windows OS (vista, xp, 98 etc) and asked me to confirm that I had one of those. I said 'uhhhh... yeaaah?' because I still had no idea what he was going on about.

He rambled on some other stuff about PC companies that I couldn't understand because of his accent.

He then told me that I needed to go to my computer and he would tell me over the phone how to find these hidden errors in my operating system and then he would tell me what to delete and change so that my computer would be fixed and would not send out error signals. He then asked me if I still lived at (street number, street name, suburb, postcode, state). O_o This is where I got a little wary, because when I bought my computer 3 years ago, it was shipped to my work address. The only reason I initially thought it was Dell was because I've recieved calls from them in the past and they do outsource their telecommunications sector to India.

I said that my landline is not anywhere near my computer, and that I could not be on the landline and the computer at the same time because there are no power plugs near our phone, and no telephone plugs near my computer (old house, old wiring layout - simply impossible. also, I wanted time to check this out and think about it, not just change stuff on my computer because some guy on the phone told me to)

He asked if I had another number he could call on, and I said yes, a mobile, and he said no, he could not call me on a mobile. Then I said well, can you send me an email telling me how to fix it, as I do stuff all the time on computers (note: not on my own, I haven't had to yet!) to do with programming & the registries so I don't think I'd find it that hard.

He said no, it's difficult, and he had to tell me how to do it as I was doing it.

And this went back and forth for ages because I don't think he believed me about not being able to be on a landline and my computer at the same time. So I started to get annoyed, because first of all, I don't really understand how he got our home phone number in the first place, and my home address, and secondly, buddy, if I tell you it's not possible, it's because it's not possible!

So I finally said 'look, I'm really sorry, I need you to understand that I'm not really comfortable with someone calling me and telling me to go to my computer and delete and play around with programming and registry information, because you haven't told me your name, you won't call me on my mobile phone, and you won't send me an email or even give me a website.'
(The reason I found the 'not calling on mobiles' fishy was because I don't know any companies that won't call you on your mobile - it's the only number I give out.)

So then he said 'ok, I will send you an e-mail.'

He did not ask for my email address (so I assume he has that? as well as copies of my childhood photo albums and my mothers birth certificate???), instead he said 'ok. goodbye.'

Is this totally weird? Or am I over-reacting?

7 Responses to “something phishy? or legit? PC 'help' call???”

  1. whitestripe Says:

    UPDATE: so I did some searching on the internet and found out it was a scam, like I initially thought. Good God, they don't run out of ideas, do they?!

    Was going to delete the entry but figured I'd leave it to let people know who might not have heard of it. Smile

  2. joanie Says:

    phishy, phishy, phishy! Don't fall for it.

  3. ceejay74 Says:

    Wow, creepy! What's the scam?

  4. gamecock43 Says:

    yeah- i have never heardof this!? But will keep it in mind for in case i get a call.

  5. baselle Says:

    Ooh phone scam using elements of social engineering.

    "sending out error signals"? Even if a computer does this, since when has any computer/software company cared about any individual computer issue where the customer has not initiated contact? (Cripes, they barely care when you do initiate contact.)

    And the throwing out of Windows operating systems? Phish, phish, phish. 90% of all computers operate Windows so its a 9 in 10 chance.

    And tinkering around with the registry? Probably would have gotten you to disable your anti-virus/firewall program off the registry. Good for you that you hung up.

    Nice touch with the Indian customer service twist, though. Keepin' it current.

  6. whitestripe Says:

    This is the first link I found:


    There is a video on it where a guy recorded the call. Sounds almost identical to the one I recieved. Smile
    I just googled something along the lines of 'Indian guy called to get me to change computer settings' and it came up with a few hits. Gosh, I love google Big Grin Apparently it has been on the news in Australia as we are being 'targetted' but I hardly watch TV so I obviously never saw it.

  7. MonkeyMama Says:

    Well, thanks for the heads up. That one's new to me, too.

    Like Baselle, I thought, "who doesn't have a computer?" You know, got to be better odds than a specific bank they tend to call about, etc.

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