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Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Computer “Infections”... the latest scam!

Earlier today I got a call from 24seven PC Care, advising me that as a windows user my computer may have been subject to some “infection”. Oh-no I thought! “Is that like a virus?” I asked. “Oh, no,” I was told “these can not be picked up be any anti-virus software... this is not a virus... it's an infection.” “What like a malware infection?” I enquired. “Erm... yeah... things like that.”

Now being the natural sceptic that I am... and knowing my way round a PC I knew he was talking bull as much as he did... but just for sport... “So, how do I know if I have one of theses infections?” I asked.

Over the next 10 minutes the “customer advisor” aka salesman. Talked me through, in very simple step by step actions, accessing the applications history in the computers Run menu. He then proceeded to tell me that every 'warning' that appeared on there was one of these new “infections” trying to attack my computer. Now to me, because I kind of know what I'm doing, a warning file is just that a general 'warning' and not anything to be overly concerned about. But, had I not been a little tech savvy, I imagine this would have caused a lot of people to panic. But, that’s ok, because they will then talk you through going to their website and allowing one of their technicians to remotely scan your computer.

Now I was a little annoyed already because I could imagine how this call would have, entirely needlessly, struck fear into many of my friends and family members. So I informed them that I could not allow remote access to my computer as I worked from home and held information on there I could not risk anyone else accessing. “Oh but they can not access those files.” I was told “They simply scan the computer.” At which point I pointed out that if I granted them remote access to my PC, they could indeed do that. I was then told that because they have the Windows logo on their site, that meant they were partners of Microsoft, and I shouldn't worry about a thing. Oh well... as long as there's a picture on your website, that must mean everything's ok.

“So if I give you access to my PC, and you find any of these files, what happens then?” I asked, already knowing full well what the answer would be. “Then we can offer you full support and maintenance for just £76.”

Now, because I take online security fairly seriously, there's no way I was giving these people remote access to my PC. But, I'd bet my life on the fact they would have found one of these dangerous infections that required me to purchase there services.

Do not fall for these scams. Talk to less well experienced PC users you know, and make sure they do not fall for these scams. Stick with the tried and tested, reputable, online security products that don't rely on ill informed salesmen calling you and attempting to terrify you.


  1. That would be strange for some one calling and saying something like that. I remember hearing or reading about a jury summons scam. Someone out there was making phone calls to people telling them that there is a warrant for their arrest because they missed a jury summons. They were also saying that if they payed the fine over the phone using a credit card or checking account, the warrant would be dropped. Well, first of all, the courts do not make phone calls to serve a warrant for an arrest, they usually send a letter or a constable to your house to serve the warrant, they do not call you. Sounds almost the same thing here, with the computer infection scam.

  2. I have just had a friend get caught by telephone scam reporting to be Microsoft linked, gave permission to access computer, Paid large amount of money via quoted credit card then found out it was a scam. Authorities are aware of this.
    Any person new at computers can be quite gulable if on their own. A lesson well learnt by my friend.

  3. I just got an identical call offering the same story. but the man spoke with such a thick Asian accent that I could not understand half of what he said. I was hoping to get more information out of him, but gave up in frustration.
    What surprised me was that he knew my name and telephone number.

  4. I too had a similar call this morning from a heavily accented Asian female, She first asked me if I owned a p.c. and if I had internet connection, then later on when I questioned her as to how she obtained my phone number as it is not listed, she said it was from the internet. She was supposed to be based in California and I was warned about new infections that the anti virus protector couldn't cope with, I went through the drill with her but refused to give access to their so called technicians and told her I would contact my server, as if there was indeed a serious infection, they would be aware of it. She still tried to convince me further as to how my p.c. was about to crash from all these 'dangerous' alerts.
    Time wasters!

  5. one day i was searching a technician to update my antivirus software, i found a tech support company’s toll free number on google. I called them they wanted money to update my antivirus software…i said no to pay. They started misleading me, the guy on phone call was saying my computer’s data will be lost if I wont renew my antivirus. I disconnected the call and renew my antivirus by my local technician.