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
Don’t mention digital disruption to David Whiteing
Buzzwords don’t curry favour with CBA's new CIO - it’s all just innovation to him.
 
Content, cost & constant innovation: How Foxtel plans to take on Netflix
Nell Payne inhabits the “brave new world of blue strings and networking”. Just don't ask her to put a TV screen on your microwave.
 
Westpac fires starting pistol on core banking upgrade
St George readies itself for move to Celeriti.
 
 
Sign up to receive iTnews email bulletins
   FOLLOW US...
Latest articles on BIT Latest Articles from BIT
Microsoft launches Office for Android preview
May 22, 2015
Microsoft has launched a preview of Office for Android smartphones. Pre-release versions of ...
Microsoft is working on an iOS email chat feature called Flow
May 22, 2015
Microsoft is working on a new chat app, but at the moment we know more about what we DON'T know, ...
Windows 10 free upgrade: Microsoft details who gets what
May 22, 2015
Microsoft was meant to be streamlining its OS with Windows 10, so why is upgrading so confusing? ...
Windows 10 has an edition to suit everyone's needs
May 15, 2015
Microsoft unveils a mind-melting six editions of Windows 10 ahead of its Winter 2015 launch. ...
Firefox 38 FINAL released, debuts new tab-based preferences
May 13, 2015
Mozilla has unveiled the latest version of Firefox 38.0 FINAL for desktop, with Firefox for ...
Latest Comments
Polls
Should Optus make a bid for iiNet?

   |   View results
Yes
  43%
 
No
  57%
TOTAL VOTES: 590

Vote