'Microsoft Partners' scam phone call.

Discussion in 'other security issues & news' started by Daveski17, Sep 17, 2011.

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  1. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    I just answered my phone to an Indian sounding gentleman who was convinced that I needed to check my C-Drive as there was a fault that needed to be rectified in it.

    I asked him if he was from my ISP (British Telecom), realising full well that he almost certainly wasn't, but he kept repeating he was from 'Microsoft Partners' or something & it was imperative that I look at my computer as there was a fault with the C-Drive.

    I then suggested that I should check with my ISP first & could I have his name, but, unsurprisingly he suggested that I just needed to 'sit in front of my computer', which incidentally, was in sleep mode at the time & I was in a different room (in fact I have two computers & the desktop one was switched off).

    I take it this was some form of 'social engineering' & he wanted some access to my computer for nefarious purposes. :eek:

    Has anyone else received a phone call like this?
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2011
  2. Dark Star 72

    Dark Star 72 Registered Member

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    I get about three calls a week like that. What I do now is to say "hold on a minute while I turn the computer on" and then leave the phone on the kitchen worktop while I carry on with what I was doing before the phone rang, and then put it back on the cradle 10-15 mins later :D
     
  3. crofttk

    crofttk Registered Member

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  4. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    LOL! Good tactic.
     
  5. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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  6. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Never received one, and never want to. Last thing I need is malicious person(s) with my phone number.
     
  7. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    Since no one has asked, I'll do so: how do you know it was Indian and not Pakistani or Bangladeshi, or even Sri Lankan?

    Further, just limiting the topic to India, we have several quite distinct accents which are fodder for local stand-up comedians ;)

    As the good professor said,
     
  8. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Sorry vasa1, the accent sounded 'Indian' to my English ears. I am aware that I am generalising, rather as an American would define an accent as 'British' to distinguish it from an American accent. Even though there are actually a great many British English accents & dialects in the UK itself. Interestingly also fodder for comedians in the UK.

    However, there is some evidence that this scam originated in Kolkata ~ The Guardian


    *Yorkshire & other Northern accents contain a lot of Norse (Danish) & the Cornish also have their own Gaelic language (Kernewek).
     
  9. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Apparently they just pick people out of the phone book. My mobile number is ex-directory at least.
     
  10. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    I liked the first comment dated 19th Jul 2010:
     
  11. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Yeah, I would have loved to have heard the scam bloke's answer to that one!

    This reply did make me laugh out loud though:

    "Must confess that I tried your idea. However when I then had a problem with my Mac and had to deal with Apple's support, I threw that out and went back to the Indian scammers. At least they treated me like a human!"
     
  12. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    That's why our National Human Rights Commission is overworked ;)
     
  13. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Unlike the Fraud Squad ... ;)
     
  14. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    aka GoI and I'm not going to expand that :(
     
  15. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Well, if it makes you feel any better, the police forces here have recently come under a bit of scrutiny.

    On a lighter note, from the sound of it, a computer-savvy Scotsman has put one over on the scammers:

    YouTube
     
  16. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

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    Dhanyavaad Vasa :D
     
  17. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    Don't encourage him, he'll start quoting from 'My Fair Lady' again! ;)

    The one common denominator in these calls is the 'Indian' accent however. The fact that many ISPs & other companies now outsource to Indian call centres is an added complication as many people would be more likely to believe it to be a genuine call. Although it transpires that in many cases the accent was very heavy & virtually unintelligible.
     
  18. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    Blake Edwards and Peter Sellers are to blame for this stereotyping. Since you are allergic to MFL, I will quote from Pygmalion in future (should the need arise).
     
  19. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    LOL I'm not sure what Blake Edwards & Peter Sellers have to do with Indian accent stereotyping & its relationship to scam cold callers from the Indian subcontinent, but quoting GBS :)o) is even more scary (don't mention his support for eugenics). I wonder if George ever lost his Dublin accent?

    The plan fact of the matter is that a great many call centres are now based in India & it is not unusual to talk to someone with an (often heavy) Indian accent on the telephone. This is not anything to do with accent stereotyping but a direct consequence of outsourcing. My guess is that these scammers are fully aware of this fact & an Indian accent does give some sort of legitimacy to the cold caller being a genuine engineer. In fact, a fair few people have been fooled exactly because the cold caller had an identifiable Indian accent.

    Incidentally many regional accents in the UK are stereotyped, I'm proud of my Frisian descended Germanic Mercian/Midlands accent, it's the oldest Anglo-Saxon accent (& dialect) in the British Isles. It certainly helps with reading the works of those famous Midlanders: Billy Shakespeare & William Langland, although much of the Midlands dialect is unintelligible to many outside of the region. ;)
     
  20. vasa1

    vasa1 Registered Member

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    You didn't see "The Party"?
     
  21. LowWaterMark

    LowWaterMark Administrator

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    Guys, it is enough. Forget about exactly what accent is being used. Real people are getting scammed with these calls, and that's all that is important. Not what exact ethnic group the phone calls are coming from. Whoever they are, they are bad guys.
     
  22. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

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    I was reading the sophos naked security blog the otherday and this article caught my eye.
    On another note some of my customers have got similar phone calls luckily they didnt do what was asked but they didnt know it was a scam eiether.
     
  23. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    My guess is that they were the 'Microsoft Partners' the bloke in my phone call claimed to be. To be honest I was having difficulty understanding him, he was probably reading from a script anyway, he just didn't sound convincing enough for my cynical demeanour.
     
  24. Dark Shadow

    Dark Shadow Registered Member

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    Can't say I have but I get every other idiots calling and I have a unlisted phone service.

    What I do is tell them hold on a minute and put the phone near a radio and play rap music for about 15 minutes or so but some times I forget the phone is off after they hang up.:D
     
  25. Daveski17

    Daveski17 Registered Member

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    A fitting, if not cruel & unusual punishment, for such a heinous crime. :eek: ;)
     
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