So, today, minutes after waking up, I’m listening to WLW, and Dan Carroll is filling in for Scott Sloan. He’s talking about Google’s involvement in a recent child porn arrest. But he’s got it all wrong. He’s mangling the facts, and disseminating misinformation. So, despite the fact I’ve yet to have my first cup of coffee, I’ve got to call in and right his wrongs. A long time on hold gives me an opportunity to load up on coffee, but my wake up is a slow one. You can tell by my annoyed exhale at the start of the call when he recaps the misinformation he’s already dished out. For not being awake, I was quite surprised when he asked me to stay on through the break, as he had more questions for me. That never happens. All in all, I did my good deed for the day. You can listen here:
So Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013, I received a call regarding my computer. The caller called on my land line, which has never been associated with any Microsoft registration of any kind. He proceeded to tell me he was calling from “Online Computer Experts”, and had received my number from “Windows Technical Division” because I was receiving a large amount of errors, which indicated that I was being hacked. He was calling to fix my system.
Here’s the call:
When I decided I would give this scammer a run for his money, I grabbed my Zoom H2n and started recording. I had him repeat his pitch. He had my number, but not my nae. No info on Windows Serial No., had no other info about me. I asked his company name and number, which he gave me. While my computer was supposedly booting up (I had three computers running when he called, as I always do), I used my cell phone to call the number he gave me. 15 rings, no answer, operator message. I verified the number with him, then suggested we call together while waiting for the boot up. I suspect because I tipped him off, I got an answer. At first, I thought he put one phone down, and picked up the call on another. They both sounded exactly alike! We had a short 3 way conversation, then got back to business.
After following his instructions, I was a bit shocked that the CLSID he read to me matched what was on my screen. I knew, however, that it was not my Windows ID, serial number, or anything like that. I told him it DID NOT match my number, and had him read it again. While he did that, I went to a second machine, repeated the procedure, and found exactly the same “unique” CLSID. I then asked him if that number would only show up on my computer, and no one else’s, then informed him that it was coming up on 3 different computers, all running Windows installed from separate install discs. The cheeky bugger told me “I don’t know, this is not my problem!”. I LOLed and told him it was my problem, and we must address it. He finally hung up on me.
I did a Google search on “Online Computer Experts”, and all the results came up with the word “scam” in them. I read several blog posts detailing the very same call I received, though they seem to use many different company names. I also found their website, which was created with the worst broken English I’ve seen in some time. I clicked on several location links, but was only ever shown their address in India. I then called my friend, who had gotten the same call some months back. Much to my delight, while speaking to my friend, the land line rang, and it was indeed “Online Computer Experts” calling back to explain why the ID was the same on multiple machines.
Here’s the second call:
His explanation was indeed backward and incorrect. As in the first call, I took great delight in informing him that I was recording the call, which I would post to the internet for LOLs and to inform people of their scam. He had no objections.
I hope you enjoyed these calls, not just from a humor standpoint, but also so when they call you, you’ll know it’s a scam, and not to do what they ask you to do.
Hey now! WordPress is up and running. This should provide me the necessary outlet for my thoughts and ideas so I never have to actually speak to anyone ever again. Sounds glamorous? You bet it does…