Tag Archives: microsoft

This Week’s Top 3 Nuisance Callers

Dear friends of tellows,

at the end of the month we present you another 3 numbers which have stirred your suspicions. These nuisance callers won’t take a breake and you really can’t expect any sympathy from them.  This week we have some familiar techniques for you, which you will recognise for sure. All the Jennifers, Ashley, Nicoles and Jennys are back on facebook. Maybe they weren’ t gone in the first place. It doesn’t matter if you’re a girl or a boy, they still send you messages like you’re long lost friends and try to make you call or text them. We also have a rather dangerous number, which can swindle your money from you before you really understand what’s going on. The frauds use Skype calls to reach the people and they pretend to offer you help with your computer or something else. Be aware that as soon as you give them access to your computer or your data, you can be in deep trouble.

1. 3059210411 with 3 comments and  tellows Score: 9
22817128367   with 4 comments and  tellows Score: 8
36617480240 with 3 comments and  tellows Score: 8

The first two numbers,  3059210411 and 2817128367  , have the same history and the same tactic. Although one is from Canada an the other from Miami, it really doesn’t make any difference if you’re on facebook. We already reported on this topic of Social Network Scam and it seems that this method is getting more popular and the phone numbers increase. Even girls are used as targets as Jennifer confirms:

Funny, I heard of this before but I thought that was a guys-only problem. But just a few days ago I got a friends request on facebook from another “Jennifer”, saying that we shared a friend – which we didn’t, at least not on facebook but that kind of made it appear more trustworthy to me since I have quite a few friends who don’t use facebook anymore and I figured real life-friends beat facebook friends. After I added her, she contacted me again, we wrote back and forth for like a minute before she said she’d had to log off but I should text her to 281-712-8367. That’s when it finally dawned on me that we didn’t have any mutual friends – neither on fb nor in real life. Such a scam!

The third number 6617480240 belogs to frauds, which are after your money and they do this in a rather exceptional way. Sometimes they use your computer as an excuse to gain access to your data and in others they try to make you to tell them the information they need. Some of the calls are made through skype to make it more difficult to call them back. Some of their methods were dicussed in another article of our blog
One technique which is new was discovered by the user Leger:

Got a call from this number. The person on the other line said that he was Jack Turner and that he was calling from Best Mortgage COnsultants. He also said that the company was in Florida, but as I now see that was just another one of his lies. He tried to offer fee loan modification services and wouldn’t say where he got my number from.

If you’ve also been a target of scam calls, don’t hesitate to share it with our tellows community. By sharing your own expirience, you can help those who get terrorised by these calls. Take care and have a nice weekend!

Your tellows team

The Devil in Disguise of Microsoft: Tech Support Scammers Strike Again

For many, the computer has become an important device to manage matters of everyday life. With useful features such as email, social networking sites, online banking and shopping, there is barely any aspect of life that you can’t organize with the help of your computer in one way or the other. As discussed on our tellows blog – both US and UK – in the past, that turns the computer into an appealing target to scammers.

The number of telephone scams aimed at receiving access to computers has been increasing as a growing number of comments such as those of tellows user Sonya, who wrote about the number 7804094786, demonstrate:

This man with a heavy accent called here, saying that he was from “Microsoft”, that my computer had sent them a error message of some sort and that he was now calling to fix the problem. This was literally a day after I had bought a new computer that was still in the process of being set up, but I figured I played along for a little while longer, just to see where they were going with this. He then said to press start and type in CMD into the search and click enter. […] Long story short: It’s a scam – so beware!

How the Scammers Operate
In most instances, the scammer posed as a representative of Microsoft or Windows Microsoft, claiming that the computer of the person called has been infected with malware causing the operating browser or computer to sent a critical error message to the supposed tech support of the corporation. The goal, to gain access to the computer and subsequently other sensitive personal information about its owner or users, is achieved by instructing the target to change current computer settings or to download rogue security software to leave the computer vulnerable.

In some cases, they also attempt to charge a fee for supposedly fixing your computer: user Mr. Swanson reported about the number 8008008200:

Total scam! The caller said he was calling from “Microsoft” and that it had come to their attention that my computer had been infected with a dangerous virus. Of course, they had the solution for my “problem” and, yes, while it might cost nearly $300, it would be a good investment and apparently really the only way to save my computer. I figured I humored them long enough, said they should go to hell and hung up. So if you’re not in the mood for playing with some scammers, don’t pick up!

Reported Scam Numbers
Several users reported other numbers connected to the scam on tellows, including the following numbers:

Detecting the Scam
In some cases, if your computer has been infected by malware and you are a customer of Microsoft, you may receive a call from a legitimate representatives of Microsoft. However, actual employees of the corporation are able to verify you as a customer and will not charge you to fix your computer over the phone.

Moreover, you should keep the following things in mind when dealing with calls that seem suspect:

  • don’t provide any information regarding yourself, your computer or your credit or bank account on the telephone (unless you can be 100% sure that you are talking to a legitimate representative of the company in question and you are a customer)
  • don’t follow any instructions that change computer settings, especially if you don’t know how it will affect your computer
  • don’t provide a third party access your computer on the telephone
  • don’t download software that you have no knowledge of, especially if you are charged for it

An ongoing issue for the company, Microsoft is well aware of the problem and has provided an information page on phone scams related to the corporation.

Reacting to the Scam
If you have already given away information and think you might be a victim of scammers, change the password on your computer as well as for other user accounts they may try to access such as email account, bank or credit card account. Run a trustworthy and reliable scan program on your computer – Microsoft recommends the Microsoft Safety Scanner.

Furthermore, don’t forget to report the scam: if you are aware of a number that is used for this type of scam, you can alert the Federal Trade Commission in the US. In order to warn others, you are encouraged to share the information you have on our tellows community as well.

The Tech Support Scammers and their dubious Cold-Calls

The topic for this weeks blog entry arose when we came across the comment of rosee and other users on number 9712179508 stating things like this:

he said he was calling from windows and that my computer was beeing hacked and wanted me to follow the steps on my computer he was asking, of course I said no way and hung up

What we found there is much more than just some scattered instances of unsolicited phone calls, it leads us to a huge scamming business that bothers people not only in the US but in all English-speaking countries. We already reported on this scam method last year in our UK Blog. The calls we are talking about are mostly having the same goal. Callers, pretending to be working for e.g. Microsoft or Windows technical support, are giving aggressive warnings that your computer is infected with numerous malware, viruses and other infected files and malicious traffic. The only help is apparently the caller itself who can rightaway fix all problems on your PC and delete the infections, which he will show you, is very urgent and necessary.

What sounds like a nice support offer for inexperienced users is in fact highly developed deceptive business practice. Because the result will not be the removal of anyway non-existent dangerous malicious activity but much more the removal of the consumers money. While the consumers think that the support team will fix the allegedly detected problems they allow them to remotely access their computer and what is equally worse, charge tremendous sums of money for this “support” and additional software.

The obviously profitable random cold calls are being made by numerous companies, such as Pecon Software, Finmaestros LLC, Zeal IT Solutions or Virtual PC Solutions, mostly located in India. While this scamming has been going on for years now, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) last year finally reported a huge crackdown on these telemarketing boiler room enterprises that where scamming consumers in large amounts. Nevertheless, as noticable in the worldwide Tellows community, the calls are still being made and as a matter of fact, the FTC is not as successful in hindering the scammers as they wished for, since US laws don’t apply to Indian companies adequately.

One of the solutions for however not becoming a victim of tech support scamming is obviously being leery of incoming calls. Microsoft itself offers some necessary hints. In addition, platforms like www.tellows.com provide their users with fruitful information about suspicious phone numbers. The huge database of untrustworthy callers on tellows makes it easier to decide which calls to take and which ones to ignore completely. The tellows community has been warning and informing consumers about fraudulent phone numbers in about 20 countries and has encouraged users worlwide to share information about criminal phone spam methods. We found some examples of numbers that most probably belong to the group of tech support scammers, such as:

As the list is not anywhere near complete, you are more than welcome to extend it by evaluating phone numbers and commenting on scammers on tellows!

Source: http://ftc.gov/opa/2012/10/pecon.shtm

Have a good week!

your tellows team

Slam Spam and Scam! The US Top 3 Of The Week

Here are the top 3 of the most annoying phone numbers of this week:
1. 0012538203089 from Washington with a tellows score of 7
2. +17675034697 from Dominica with a tellows score of 5
3. 7572146785 from Virginia with a tellows score of 9

Last week’s top spam number 0012538203089 stayed on first place and has about 3646 search requests by now.
Bad news for everybody who fell for it: this is another PC doctor scam number.

User Bear from Switzerland reported:

Got 2 calls (Switzerland)

Just someone telling you your computer is infected by viruses, and asking you to give him direct connexion to your computer to repare it!!

Do not answer any request from this number/person

He is absolutely right, for this is a widespread scam.
We have reported about this scam method before:

These wannabe Microsoft employees will spin tales about the most malevolent of software and the ways your PC system was infected by it. According to the American computer forum bleepingcomputer.com the fraudsters will try to lure you on onto their website to download a software called Teamviewer. This program enables the scammers to access your PC directly and, therewith, provides them with the opportunity to download and install malware, manipulate your system settings and spy for personal data. However, Microsoft will not call to warn you of a potential viral infection and offer support for free. Microsoft is not ignorant of the scam and was quick to publish an article on their investigation into the matter on their windows blog.

For further information see our blog article on PC doctor scam

We count on you in the struggle against phone spam and scam! We need you to share vital information about fraudulent phone numbers.

Take care,
Your Tellows Team

Weekly Update – The Top 3 of the most annoying phone numbers

Here are the top 3 of the most annoying phone numbers this week:
1. 0012538203089 from Washington with a tellows score of 8
2. +17675034697 from Dominica with a tellows score of 5
3. 5595548838 Sacramento with a tellows score of 4

This week’s most annoying phone number 0012538203089 has been searched more than 3225 times now.
Unfortunately you’re not sure about who the caller might be.

“kaut”, who reported this number as Harassment call, writes:

Got the call two times (Suisse). First no reply then got the connection. Persons says they are calling from windows computer department and something is wrong with my computer. Try to figure out from which company he is calling. He didn’t answer and I stopped conversation.

It seems to be someone who tries to pretend to be from Windows (Microsoft).
If you search the internet for “scam call microsoft” you will see that this is a widespread scam.
Often the caller has some kind of indian accent, too.

So beware of any phone calls applying to this information.

Thank you for your support and keep on commenting!

Your Tellows Team