Unless you live in a cave you have probably been targeted by at least one phone call trying to scam you in one way or another. Whether it is someone ringing you about your accident (erm what accident?) or someone trying to find out your banking details or passwords, in this digital age, we all need to be a bit savvy and even more wary.
I have recently been getting a lot of messages left on my home phone answer phone, claiming to be BT Technical Department and wanting me to ring them urgently or press option 1 or whatever because my internet security has been compromised. Well for starters I don’t even have my internet with BT so the scammers obviously weren’t the brightest students at scam school.
The phone call I got from them yesterday went a bit like this:
Scammer: Hello ma’am (get me, being called ma’am – perhaps this instilled a level of self importance and confidence in me, so one nil to me so far!)
Scammer: We are afraid that there has been suspicious use on your internet but don’t worry we will help you fix it.
Me: Oh ok.
Scammer: so are you on your device at the moment?
Me: Yes I am.
S: So look at the bottom left hand corner of your keyboard, there should be a button that says A L T
Me: oh yes so there is…
A: so is what does the button next to it say?
Me: it says F N
S: Great so what is the other side of the ALT button?
Me: I’m not sure, just a little picture.
S: So that little picture like a windows sign, I want you to press that button and keep your finger on it and then press the R.
Me: So what will that do?
He obviously didn’t like me questioning this because he passed the phone over to someone else who had another try…
Anyway I turned it round and started asking him questions about where he was ringing from and he said London. I asked for the phone number and he said 00441793596921. Now even if you are not based anywhere near London I’m sure that you will work out that isn’t even a genuine phone number, let alone a London number, he said his name was Kevin Lewis which I don’t believe either… in the end I asked if he would like to speak to my sergeant as he is quite interested in what he has to say and he said he thought I was the main internet user. He argued with me at this point and I think I possibly may have been a little (ok a lot) rude to him and put the phone down.
Now my reason for posting this is because had a been a vulnerable person, for whatever reason, I might have followed his instructions or believed what he was saying.
If I had pressed the windows button and R together this would have created a run command in my computer that could have listed errors and information, to be honest this would have been a bit beyond me now and I may have been concerned at errors on my computer. “Kevin” would have probably tried to convince me that my computer has been hacked by half the world but would have played my knight in shining armour and said he could sort it for me. This ‘fixing’ would probably have involved him telling me to type in several commands to infiltrate my computer and then getting me to install all sorts of suspicious malware, spyware etc.
I did report this to BT and it is a major problem that people are encountering at the moment. I know they have tried to phone me loads of times so chances are they have phoned you too.
So please don’t think I’m being patronising, I really don’t want to sound it, but just a little bit of advice, if anyone phones you to say your internet has been hacked into or compromised – it probably hasn’t been. Don’t even entertain these idiots they aren’t worth your valuable time. Do alert BT though if you can, or whichever company they claim they be from. I wouldn’t want anyone to be duped by these horrible people who are just out to con or scam people.