You are sitting down reading the paper one afternoon and the telephone rings, answering it you see it is an ‘International’ call. When you say “hello” a voice at the other end says “Good Afternoon, may I speak with Mr McGuffey please?”. As this is you, you confirm it to the voice and they continue, “I am from Windows Internet Support and we have detected a problem with your internet connection, could you please turn your PC on and we will try and repair it for you”. The voice then tells you he is James and is helping you sort out your computer’s software problem and that it should not take longer than ten to fifteen minutes. He then asks you to turn on your PC, when you confirm it is he says to log on to your account and tell him when you are at your desktop (the screen where all your buttons are).
This is where he takes over, he asks you to click on the windows icon at the bottom left of the screen then type in eventvwr into the search box. You do this and a box comes up with all sorts of data in it. James asks you to check in the Summary of Administrative Events section and to tell him the total Critical errors there are. You check and tell him how many there are (no computer will have zero). He will sound pensive, “Hmm, that is a lot” and ask you to click on the + sign and tell him what is there. You tell him that there are three Kernel-Power System criticals. He will respond with something like “that is a very serious problem and I will need to get that sorted for you otherwise your PC will end up badly corrupted and you will need to buy a new one”.
He asks you to open your internet browser (Google/Yahoo, or something similar) and to type in http://www.logmein123.com to the address line and press enter. It brings up a screen asking for your 6-digit code which James will give you. You enter this and he has full access to your PC and can see everything on there. He can control your cursor and will be looking in various directories for information. He will also run some programmes which he tells you it is quite normal as he is trying to identify the problems. Finally he tells you that he has found the problem is will have to install some software to clean it and prevent it happening again which will cost you £40. When you tell him your credit/debit card details over the phone he ‘processes’ your payment and you will see him installing the software on your PC before telling you that it is all now cured and should you have any problems to call him back. He will then thank you for your time and end the call. So what was his telephone number?
This is a scam, as you have probably guessed, and what he has done is take your bank card details to ‘pay for the work he did’ which was basically a nosey round your personal files and then install some tracking software on your PC to pick up any account details you have. He will use this information in one of two ways, either to use your accounts to defraud you or sell your details and those of your accounts to other scammers who will then use your accounts for nefarious means.
If you get a call like this, tell them you are not interested and will go to the police about it and make sure they put down the phone. Do not identify who you are and please, do not follow their instructions.
If you have any queries about any of this or think you may have been scammed please feel free to contact me at KPG Professional Services on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 07413 943228 for help and guidance.