Talking tech since 2003

Alright techies, here is your entertainment for today.  A security researcher at Malwarebytes decided to play along with one of those Microsoft tech support scammers and recorded the entire event, which has been uploaded to YouTube (video below).  For those of you who aren’t aware of the scam, it started in 2008, where someone would call you claiming to be a tech support representative from Microsoft and try and get you to purchase expensive software to “clean” your computer of malware.

So when Jerome Segura, a senior security researcher at anti-malware company Malwarebytes, received a call from one of these scammers, he decided to play along.  Mr. Segura remained calm throughout the entire ordeal, even towards the end when one of the “support technicians”  decided to delete some of his files.  Luckily for him, he was using a virtual machine, meaning his actual data was protected from any potential harm.

At first, the scammer directed Mr. Segura to look at the Event Viewer, an application on Windows which logs all Microsoft error reports.  The scammer asked how many errors and warnings he saw, only to then inform him that, “These errors and warnings are very much harmful for your computer. These are major problems and it doesn’t matter if you have one or two errors or more than that. Each one has already started corrupting your whole computer system.”  A far cry from the truth.

After going through a few more steps to identify how many problems Mr. Segura’s computer actually had, he was then handed off to the “technician.”  When the technician takes over the call, he tells Segura to register for a warranty renewal that will cost “only” $299.  Then, the technician asks Mr. Segura to download TeamViewer, a remote access program, and use PayPal to make the purchase, Segura does, but uses fake bank information knowing the payment will be rejected.

At that point, I guess the technician realized what was going on and threw in the towel, but not before he decided to call Mr. Segura an asshole, delete files form his computer, and tell him that the “technician is always correct. If he is saying that you are something then you must be. He cannot be wrong,” before hanging up.

The video is worth the watch, definitely check it out.


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