There’s a new phone scam making the rounds lately that could cost you a bundle and your identity if you aren’t careful. I trust most of you don’t actually listen to unknown callers, but these guys can act surprisingly convincing. The supposed scam is that they call you pretending to be your Internet Service Provider and they’re calling to provide technical support. Here’s an excerpt from the article at the Consumerist.
The call came in as “Unknown caller” on my Caller-ID. The caller announced that this was a “technical support” call from my Internet Service Provider (never specifying an ISP name), and emphasized that it was not a sales call. Following his script, he’d asked me if my computer had been running slow lately, if I’d seen “404 or 403 errors” when surfing the web, etc. I went along and said, yeah, my computer had been running slow.
To ensure that I was really talking to a scammer — and to waste their time — I started to rant about my (fictitious) ISP. And the caller agreed that my (fictitious) ISP had told him to call me.
Then, he went straight for the close: “Can you turn on your computer, and bring up a web browser? It’s already up? Good. Now go to www.f1compstepuk.com … let me spell that for you. You’re there? Good. Now click on the ‘Remote Assistance’ icon.” Since the “Remote Assistance” icon was a link to a file called “TeamViewer_Setup.exe”, I thought it might be a really good idea not to run it, so I quit playing along at that point.
Now if you consider yourself to be technically savvy, there’s little chance you’re going to fall for this scam. However, I can easily see someone like my mom or grandmom giving away their credit card information to a supposed authority on the phone. Always exercise a bit of caution when dealing with strangers and be sure to warn others of this scam.