How the Microsoft/LogMeIn support scam works

Powered by SC Magazine
 
Page 1 of 2 | Single page

Comment: Don't fall for dodgy 'support' calls.

On Friday I experienced first-hand the methods by which scammers are attempting to dupe Australians into paying for software to remotely “fix” computers that just ain’t broke.

The call came through to my home office via VoIP, and while I was in no way fooled by the scam, I could well imagine the less computer literate making a horrible mistake – hence my duty to report the experience.

The caller claimed to be from the “computer maintenance department” of a company called “Online PC Manager” (the web site for which can be found here).

According to the caller, I was registered in “Windows Operating Services” (excuse me?) and was being called because of bad data “installed on all Windows computers”.

Remember to sign up to our Security bulletin for the definitive summary and analysis of Infosec threats.

In a weird twist of logic he asked me if I had a computer, and whether it ran Windows. These people aren’t trained particularly well. But the script does get a little more clever once you buy (or pretend to buy) their story.

The offer of remote support starts with asking the victim to press the Windows button and ‘R’ – which brings up the ‘run’ dialogue.

The victim is then asked to type in ‘inf’, which takes you to a Windows Explorer window listing files used to install the Windows Operating System.

These, the scammer said, are the files slowing down my system, downloaded from “watching videos on the internet”.

He was offering to connect me to a “technician” to fix the problem before I stopped his sales pitch.

Other users have reported being asked to type “prefetch” into the run dialogue and being given a pin number to use in a LogMeIn session to give the ‘technician’ access to the computer.

I didn’t quite let him get that far, as I thought it best to come clean with him, tell him I knew what was going on, and see if I could induce him to tell me who he was working for - it sounded like a crowded call centre in the sub-continent to me. (And mate, if you happen to be reading this, my offer still stands!)

I have included some of the transcript from our conversation on the following page.

But more importantly, what you need to be telling your less tech-savvy friends and relatives is that companies like Microsoft and LogMeIn don’t randomly call home users offering remote support.

Unsolicited "support" calls are most likely a scam,aimed at convincing you to buy security software you don’t need, and maybe even stealing information from your PC.

iTnews journalist Liz Tay gave her mother some great advice on how to deal with these guys. String them along, and just when they think they have a sale, ask if the Windows button is supposed to look like an apple.

What are your tips for dealing with remote support scammers? Comment below.

Copyright © iTnews.com.au . All rights reserved.


How the Microsoft/LogMeIn support scam works
 
 
 
Top Stories
ATO shaves $4m off IT contractor panel
Reform cuts admin burden, introduces KPIs.
 
Turnbull introduces data retention legislation
Still no definition of metadata to be stored.
 
Crime Commission prepares core systems overhaul
Will replace 30 year-old national criminal database.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Do you direct debit customers? Read this
Oct 10, 2014
Authorities have been targeting direct debit practices with iiNet and Dodo receiving formal ...
Optus expands 4G coverage
Oct 10, 2014
If you rely on an Optus phone for work you might be interested to know that there are now 200 ...
Microsoft Office is now free for some charities
Oct 10, 2014
Microsoft has announced that eligible Australian non-profit organisations and charities can now ...
Vodafone lights up 4G in Adelaide
Oct 9, 2014
Live and work in Adelaide? Vodafone has switched on its 4G network in the city and suburbs.
Next year tradies will be able to take payments using ingogo
Oct 3, 2014
Ingogo is going to provide a card payment service for Xero users.
Latest Comments
Polls
In which area is your IT shop hiring the most staff?




   |   View results
IT security and risk
  27%
 
Sourcing and strategy
  13%
 
IT infrastructure (servers, storage, networking)
  21%
 
End user computing (desktops, mobiles, apps)
  14%
 
Software development
  25%
TOTAL VOTES: 437

Vote
Would your InfoSec team be prepared to share threat data with the Australian Government?

   |   View results
Yes
  54%
 
No
  46%
TOTAL VOTES: 210

Vote