Microsoft Phone Support Scam?


I think I’ve just been the target of a scam. I didn’t fall for it, but for what it’s worth, here’s what happened.

Got a call on my home phone line from a woman with a strong Indian accent claiming to be with Windows Live support, telling me they’ve been receiving error reports from my computer. The connection was really bad, worse than the cheapest VoIP service. She asked me to switch on my computer and follow some instructions to fix the problem.

I was immediately suspicious, since I only have Macs here, though I do occasionally run Windows on them  (XP under VMWare on my MacBook Pro, and Windows 7 on my iMac in BootCamp). Besides, why would they have my home phone number? If I register software at all and have to give a phone number, I always use my mobile number, not my home phone.

So I asked to speak to her manager. A fellow with a thick Indian accent comes online, I ask where he’s from, he says (implausibly) Australia. I ask him when these error reports came in, he says “over past three months”. I ask for the date and time of the most recent one. He says “is continuous, today, yesterday”. I tell him I haven’t run Windows today or yesterday, and that I don’t trust his organization, and hang up.

In retrospect, I should have just followed along (or pretended to follow along) to find out what they wanted me to do. I wouldn’t be surprised if it involved downloading some special software to “fix the error” – software that would actually just copy files, track keystrokes, etc.

Anyone out there had a similar experience?

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About Gerry Beauregard

I'm a Singapore-based Canadian software engineer, inventor, musician, and occasional triathlete. My current work and projects mainly involve audio technology for the web and iOS. I'm the author of AudioStretch, an audio time-stretching/pitch-shifting app for musicians. Past jobs have included writing speech recognition software for Apple, creating automatic video editing software for muvee, and designing ASICs for Nortel. I hold a Bachelor of Applied Science (Electrical Engineering) from Queen's University and a Master of Arts in Electroacoustic Music from Dartmouth College.
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78 Responses to Microsoft Phone Support Scam?

  1. Martin says:

    Dear Gerry,

    My father in law had a simmular phonecall.
    They told him that they were working for microsoft and were calling from Australia.
    They told him to turn on his pc and view his logs using eventvwr.
    Because all kinds of crap happens in windows all the time, it shows there and so it made the story sound a bit credible.
    They told him to go to showmypc.com and after that to go to ammyy.com.
    I guess this was to get him to install the one thing to get remote access to his pc.
    B.t.w. they already had his e-mail adress, name and phonenumber.
    His English is about as bad as mine, so he asked them if it was ok to call them back.
    Then things got complicated and they hooked off.
    They tried to call him again, a few days later, but he didn’t pick up up the phone because he saw it was them from the number.
    It was a number from Amsterdam he told me???
    Well, luckely he didn’t install anything.
    I saw a simulair story on the English Microsoft-forum with direct links to the FBI for complaining and stuff, but I wish we had something like that in the Netherlands(because of the language).

    Grtz. from the Netherlands,

    Martin.

  2. The same thing has happened to me here in the UK., four times. On one occasion I had two calls at the same time, on the house and business lines. I rotated one handset and let them talk to each other.

    Since I don’t have a static address on my router there is no way for them to associate my router with me, so it had to be a false claim. They had no way to link internet traffic to my telephone number.

    According to the Guardian newspaper, they persuade you that you have a virus and then sell you software to remove it. This software is actually free from other sources.

    I did get a company name and number once and phoned it back. I got the company named but I believe they may not have known anything about it.

    Thanks for raising the issue.

    John

  3. Anonypuss says:

    This is a scam.
    After giving remote access to your computer, they could do things like to run a program to encrypt some files, and then charge for the decryption, after blaming it on a ‘virus’.
    I knew it was a scam from the start, as firstly I run Linux, and secondly Microsoft is not so helpful as to give free technical support!

    I have have had two half hour conversations with them.:)
    The first, I played dumb, and it took ages to install their remote access ‘AMMYY_Admin.exe’ software. I was setting up a new user account with a chrooted jail simultaneously. I finally got their software working in Wine, and started Wireshark monitoring the ethernet.

    The software attempts to connect via a number of proxy servers in many countries:

    #62.75.224.229:443,80,8080
    87.239.184.124:443,80,8080
    88.198.6.54:443,80,8080
    88.198.6.55:443,80,8080
    69.64.58.38:443,80,8080
    70.38.40.189:443,80,8080
    70.38.40.190:443,80,8080

    But unfortunately, for some reason, it could not grant remote access to my computer. :)
    So, the guy on the phone tells me they will call back tomorrow.
    The next day, they tried to get me to do the same thing again, and I played dumb again. (“Is the start button on the left or right?”) It’s a shame, as these guys had far more patience than any technical support guys I have used in the past. They could be making a good living!
    In the end, they asked me to go to another website and download ShowMyPC3055.exe. I think they realised something was wrong then, and stopped the call.
    It was interesting to see how they worked, and their persistence was amusing. I hope I wasted some money for them for an hours worth of talking!

  4. Eugene says:

    Glad I just found this thread. I just got a call from the “Microsoft technical support team” in regards to serious holes in my firewall that would cause my computer to corrupt itself entirely in the next few days. The fellow with the Indian accent said they were part of the technical services department. When asked why MS didn’t roll out a critical patch for such a serious flaw he gave a long speech about vulnerabilities and system hierarchy. He directed me to a website and tried to get me to install remote access software. I said I was not comfortable with that and he could give me an itemized written list of things I needed to do. He then tried to verbally walk me through steps to alter the system settings. I inquired into his name and he replied “Nicole Jones”. Sure buddy. So I said I could always just reinstall the operating system with a clean boot and use my backed up data files. He tried again to get me to repair the “firewall flaw”. And finally he gave up. The call back number he gave me was a NY area code. I asked why they didn’t have an 800 number seeing as how it was a part of Microsoft. No concrete response there.
    This was a pretty elaborate scam. Disturbing, as the scam artist clearly new how to deflect many of the questions and clearly had pretty good knowledge of navigating the operating system files.

  5. Stanoi says:

    I received a Call this afternoon .
    Well I said I had no problems and the n told thm I run linux … but just to keep the ” Microsoft Technical guy ” interested .. told him I had other Computers that ran windowsn.
    But for reason of proof asked him my IP … and that stumbled him
    Detected a Rat early enough and told them off … all too soo .. should have played and wasted their time ..
    Do do pass on this story to friends … and do see the You tube video how some folks really wasted their time

  6. kyis says:

    They called me today THANKSGIVING of all days. I played along for a while as they wanted me to go my show my pc. Then just bailed. I feel sorry for the people that fall for this crap!

  7. Anthony Pace says:

    This is totally social engineering at work.

    I had a call just like this; yet, even though I have windows systems, and even though for a second I thought that maybe this was due to some of my, what can best be described as, unsolicited security related research activities, I knew my own security was too tight for something like this to happen. So I asked him where he was from, and he said he was calling from the US. When I heard him say ‘U.S.’ my instant reply was ‘c’mon you and I both know that that would be highly unlikely. India right? it’s okay don’t worry, you guys need to make a buck too.’,

    ‘okay. Yes.’

    ‘Good’ I said. ‘Now that we are being honest with each other can you tell me some specific details about the errors?’

    When all he could give me were vague details. I knew he wasn’t legit, but I wanted to toy with him.

    I asked him to at least tell me what OS and version was being reported, and after a pause where he seemed a little taken aback he guessed XP.

    Even though he was completely wrong, I still played along. I said “oh my, how did you know that?”, especially since he couldn’t give me any info on the error when I initially asked, and he said proudly as if he had proved something ‘see I told you are having errors. Just do as I say and we can fix the issue’.

    Then I asked him ‘what is my IP?’…

    so again after a pause he said, ‘ah I can tell that to you if you go to a website’ and he proceed to direct me to Ipchicken.

    ‘so You are telling me you don’t know my ip, but you have errors coming from my computer?’.

    He didn’t know what to say.

    At this point I went all crazy on him.

  8. Steve Roberts says:

    Yes, the same company PC Support Services working on behalf of Windows. They told me to do exactly the same, I played along saying I had no error messages. The woman transferred me to “her technical department” some bloke with a very strong Indian accent came on and I asked him how he knew that my PC has a problem, he said through the Windows Server. He tried to direct me to a website http://www.showmypc.com at that point i decided not to play along any further and ended the call.
    I knew it was a scam from the start as they have been phoning at least twice a week but the company names are always different like 24/7 Support, and one claiming to be BT Broadband, that was the last one on Fri. The funny thing is, we have 2 phone lines and they always call the one that has no computer associated with it. When I register software I always use either my mobile number or the phone line associated with the PC / Broadband. Just be very careful as the person who rang me claiming to be from BT tried to direct me to a website that gives remote access to your entire PC, I can’t remember the name of the site now, but she wanted me to enter her username and password in the login area. If I had of done that they could of had full remote access to my PC and Network!

  9. alex says:

    I have had the same problem but i accidently installed ShowmyPC the program but never clicked give control button. Does this mean my information is still in harm? if it is than will reformatting my computer help?

  10. wayne says:

    I’m looking for someone who actually followed through and downloaded Show My PC3105.exe onto their computer and let them do things remotely like my wife did this afternoon. How do I get rid of things they may have put on and make sure I got everything. I had her turn off the computer as soon as she let me know they were controlling the computer remotely but she was on the phone with them for 15 minutes or so while they did whatever. I have disconnected the connection to the internet and am running the computer offline. Any suggestions.

  11. antalg says:

    I got a call just today. They prompted me on installing showmypc, which I did after looking the software up. Just to know they couldn’t do anything without me noticing.

    So, I grant them access and they show some blatant windows errors, followed by a scan from w3c validator (how on earth is html5 validating relevant?). Anyway, I was convinced it was a scam, but I let them proceed, watching their every step.

    They opened up cmd and ran the tree command on the C: drive, while typing stuff during the running time. Causing it to appear when the scan ended. It said something like “software protection error 404″. What a cheap trick! Who in their right mind would believe this?

    Anyway, when they prompted to sell some $120 software, I knew it was about time to leave the scene.

    During the process, I asked them for verification again and again. And the only thing they did was redirecting me to this site:

    http://www.hpserve.webs.com/

    And that site TOTALLY looks legit!
    (sarcasm, if you didn’t notice)

    Anyway, that concludes my first encounter with a scam company.

  12. Gill says:

    They are still at it, We have had at least 4 calls in the last week from them, and both me and my husband have spoken to them (Not so politely at that!) They sure are persistant! total scam, unable to answer some very direct questioning…then when he asked me to turn on my computer, i asked him if he is able to track all this activity on my end, shouldn’t he be able to tell my computer was already on!? I wish they would just give up already…it;s getting really annoying!

  13. Jim says:

    I just got a call today. THe caller said he was from Microsoft support and my machine was sending error reports. I run multiple Macs with Windows under parallels on one machine. I thought it was bogus and played with them. When I asked why he was from Microsoft and was sending me to showmypc.com instead of microsoft.com/showmypc or something else he hung up. Same variables as above. Indian or Pakistani accent.

  14. chitchensfan says:

    I just hung up with the same scammers/m.o. Same thing as earlier posters noted. Indian accent, said he worked for microsoft customer support and that I was the administrator and I had signed up at some point in the past to try out a beta site or something and that’s why they had my number. He gave me his full name and even spelled it out! Said I could go to “www(lol).hpserve.com”. Then he gave me an 800 number: 1 800 323-706. I knew it was a scam pretty much immediately, but decided to play along. I kept telling him that in America we have 7 digits behind an 800 number not 6, but he was too dumb to pick up on the hint. Anyway, I moved on with him and he asked me to hit the microsoft flag symbol and “R” to open up the dialogue box, yada,yada, blah, blah. Of course at that point I just told him I was having a hard time hearing him and hung up! I noticed there wasn’t a caller ID number. No trace of their phone number. I’ll report back if they call again. Must be pretty desperate to try this one!

  15. I’m calling and writing to the desktop-sharing sites used by the scammers (http://www.ammyy.com and showmypc.com) to put some sort of warning on their front page about calls specifically from people claiming to be Windows Support.

    Good idea!

  16. Rturcotte says:

    They call me today for this same scam. I let them in with SHOWMYPC and he tried to convinced me of having problems but it was bullshit all the way. Funny thing, they are very patient and never stop arguing. After seing I was not believing, he hang up. Next time, I going to say that I am a Microsoft software engineer to see if he continue with his scam.

  17. floris says:

    hahaha,
    just had an 30 min call from far away claiming that my computers were corrupted.
    I made them talk as long as possible just for fun.
    Microsoft will never call you this way!!!

  18. Kadashee says:

    I just had the call. The problem I was having was with my XBOX and not my PC. I went through the steps then smacked myself on the forehead because I have two different type of firewalls installed. I never hit the share information because the guy put me on hold and I hung up. Then I deleted everything I did. They called me back four times in a row before I answered. I told them I thought it was a scam I didn’t feel comfortable giving some foreign guy my information and not call back. I do my banking on my phone but still worried I gave some scam artist access to my account.

  19. I received a call today, I too was suspicious. As he was telling me the steps, I opened up another window and Googled http://www.sharemypc.com and saw everyone’s emails. THANK YOU!!!! as he continued talking I read how it was all a scam. At that point I told him I was going to call the Police and he hung up.

  20. Kelly Burns says:

    I got my 4th call today from them. The first 3 I got months ago, shortly after my PC actually died (hard drive failure). When I finally convinced them that I could NOT turn on my PC because it was dead, they only called back 2 more times that week lol.

    Today’s call was from a man with a very thick Indian accent, I kept telling him I couldn’t understand a word he was saying and that if he wanted to “help” me, he would have to get someone with less of an accent on the phone. I got hung up on at that point, and figured I was done. Within a minute, the phone rang again, same man, but this time he seemed to be a bit clearer. He directed me to showmypc.com using chrome to download it. I did a lookup of the site before even going to it, then decided the site itself wasn’t harmful. He had me download the software, which I did, However, as I was scanning it, with both my AVG and Malwarebytes software, I was reading the site. I told him I wasn’t comfortable with installing something that was going to allow someone else access to my computer. He then stuck his “manager” on the phone, figuring he was losing a sale I guess, and she starts saying, oh no, you aren’t giving anyone control, this will just allow you to see the errors that your computer is sending to us daily. I asked her then how long my computer had been sending these errors, she says…”over a month” I told her that was interesting since I had only had this computer for 13 days lol. She tried to say it was probably in the router too, so even when the computer wasn’t there, the errors were lol. I told her then what she could do with her scam software, and if it was real, I wanted to hear from the company president of Microsoft himself before I put it on my computer.

    I hung up on them at that point, deleted the file that I had downloaded, but not installed, and blocked the site.

    Hopefully they have blocked my phone number now as well.

  21. John the Baptist says:

    I had them call me today in New Zealand, the fella got a bit confused when I told him that I was running linux. He also got a bit confused when I told him that I didn’t have internet explorer. I told him that I was happy with the performance of the computer, and the virus was able to stay on. He said that it was a bad thing so I said I would reformat and start again. He said it was a software issue, so I told him I could replace the hard drive as the software is stored on the hard drive. I feel bad for the guy actually because he is in India I should think and there probably isn’t a lot of work on.

    [Even John the Baptist has been targeted. Soon I'll be getting comments from Jesus himself... -Gerry]

  22. Harold Smith says:

    This just happened to me. I happen to be a certified technician so I decided to play along to see what the scam might be. Up until the point where I was asked to install showmypc as an executable program things went smoothly. However, when I said that I would never make an installation based on a phone conversation and especially one that would allow someone on the internet to access my computer the line went dead. NEVER allow anyone to access your computer remotely unless you know it is a paid tech support person from the manufacturer of your computer and then unless it was your idea ask for the supervisory. What a ugly scam to play on innocent people.

  23. Leticia says:

    I just fell for this scam and install showmypc once he was done he called me and tried to sell me the software for $120 for one year but i told him i didn’t have money and he said i could make two payments but i instead i didn’t have money and the line got cut off since he was still in my computer he wrote in the note pad that he would call me in 5 minutes and he didn’t call back. Has anybody gone thru this? what should i do?

    • I’m not a PC security expert, so I can’t say for sure… but at the very least, I suggest you uninstall ShowMyPC, then run a virus scanner. If you don’t have a virus scanner already, you could try Microsoft Security Essentials (free, from Microsoft), or AVG Antivirus (basic version free).

      • Jack says:

        Just a note to ad also run malware software. If file cannot be addressed by virus soft ware run file assassin to kill it off. It may also be linked in your registry if you completed the install. In that case I would seek pro to assist in person to correct the problem.

  24. Corvallis says:

    I got a phone call today from Indian guy. I followed the guy and went trough showmypc.com. SInce I feel not secure and I believe the scam then I try to get away from him and shut down my PC.
    Corvallis Nov5 2012.

  25. michael says:

    I’ve got a call on behalf of winPcCURE and the spammer explained me, that any error in event viewer is evidence of hack, so I have to load software from http://www.showmypc.com. He gave real Melbourne number 03 90160281 that I’ve reported to http://www.auscert.org.au/

  26. christine says:

    I did and even got as far as nearly buying it. Stupid me! Cancelled bank card but not sure what to do next

  27. Sam says:

    One of their so called technicians called me last night. He had a heavy Indian accent and said his name was ‘Kevin’. He said that they were the technical service providers for Mircrosoft and that I had had hacking attempts on my computer.

    He took me through a course of examination. I was asked to log on to my computer at home and press the ‘microsoft’ key and the letter ‘R’. I’m not sure what that showed as all I understood was that a box came up with numerous ‘error’ reports. That according to Kevin was proof that I had been hacked into.

    He then asked me to log onto the internet and took me to the ‘showmypc’ site. I realised that by logging on to this site it would give him remote access to my computer (although he said that it was to give access to their technicians). He again repeated that he was authorised by Microsoft.

    I then told him that I needed some written confirmation so he asked me to call the 03 Melbourne number above. I spoke to a woman who confirmed everything he more or less said. She said she’d send me a confirming email which she did about 10 minutes later. All the while ‘Kevin’ was waiting and hoping that I would log on to the ‘showmypc’ site.

    I got her email – here it is below:

    ‘From:
    Date: 20 November 2012 6:22:20 PM AEDT
    To: Sam
    Subject: Re:
    Dear Sam,

    As per the telephonic conversation with kevin we are sending you this email, just to inform that we are getting some error reports and we are calling you in that regard.

    Regards,
    Malcolm Haynes
    Quoting Sam ‘

    I then told Kevin that I wanted to talk to my company’s IT people before I did anything else. He sounded dissapointed. While I was waiting to speak to them I googled “winpccure’ and came across this blog and read it (all while boofhead Kevin was waiting).

    I then told Kevin what I had read and he assured me that he was authorised by Microsoft. I told him that I thought he was just a low filthy criminal and he should just go and kill himself. He pathetically hung up. I dont think he took my advice but hope he reflects and does so.

    I do hope these examples of human filth have continued horrible lives and die destitute and in great pain. They deserve it.

    • Bill Garbutt says:

      I had just about the same experience only my Indian caller was named Brad Jones. When he started to move my cursor around I was getting nervous and almost fell for it.

  28. Mansfield Silverthorpe says:

    Same thing just happened to me today. The reason I halfway believed him is because my laptop has been acting funny since late last night, so I have been running a scan of my software. I was wondering if there was some sort of network-wide attack going on, but I decided first to google showmypc.com and see if it was legit. Came upon this site, and knew it wasn’t. Here is what this guy with a heavy Indian accent gave me: his name was Ross Franklin [yeah right], and he was from Microsoft online support, and his number was 210-807-3359. I asked him why Microsoft would want me to go to the showmypc.com website, and why, if there was a problem, that Microsoft didn’t issue a security patch. When I told him I was running a scan for viruses, spyware, and malware already, he said that was no good, because it doesn’t stop “infections.” LOL, see you later “Ross.”

  29. K says:

    Toronto here. I got a call today just like everyone here, same with indian accent. He claimed that he is from windows security and technical department and my computer has been sending error report to them in the past few months. He tried to validate himself and get my trust by confirming my computer CLSID number, which is actually not unique, most of you and me are having the same one.
    He then asked me to get on showmypc website and download some exe file. I asked for his name and he said his name is “Bryan Smith”. (yea right), Mr. Smith with indian accent!!
    I said I will call microsoft 1800 number to find out if this call is for real or just a scam. he then hung up on me.

  30. Chris says:

    Have had this happen several times at my house. I always play along. Different story each time though. One time I pretended to be a server farm administrator and asked which computer of my 1,500 server farm was sending them messages. Another time I played along with it till they asked me to go to showmypc.com and then I told them I didn’t have internet at my house and only browsed the web and sent email from my phone these days. (Both of these claims have caused the operator on the other end to get very excited and laugh a bit) It seems there is always someone who doesn’t really speak english at the beginning of the call – once they realize you will turn your computer on and play along they hand off to a floor manager that speaks much better english. I try to waste as much of this guys time as possible. I kept one of the floor managers on the line for about 20 minutes once and then asked him the quesion “So how much more of your time are you going to let me waste today?” At this point he became very angry and started cursing at me in broken english. Months ago this was just a funny thing that kept happening.. but they call my house about once a week now.. same stupid story everytime.

  31. Alycia says:

    I got a call today… I knew it was a scam from the start and I got a far as looking up the website (showmypc.com though I mistyped it as showmybc.com) when I decided to just hang up on them. They called back 5 times in a row (without me answering) before giving up….I really hope he does not call again another day but I already know he will.

  32. b1184283 says:

    Darran Boyd’s account of this scam is exactly what happened to a client of mine. I was doing some work for him today and he began to describe the incident to me. I knew immediately that it was a scam. They managed to gain remote access to his computer and took him for $250 supposedly selling him AVG. He gave them his credit card number over the phone.

  33. Achilles says:

    Just had this happen to me. Realised it was fishy I played dumb to see what the Indian lady wanted me to do. Eventually I hang up the phone. They tried calling back 5 times. I answered the 6th call and the lady asked why i hang up the phone. I told her because i know who you are and what you are trying to do! She hang up the phone.

  34. 14-2-13
    I just had one of those calls and id like to thank you all.

  35. Eduardo Rosales says:

    How did they end up getting my number?

    Phone book? Scouring the internet? Calling random numbers? Who knows… whatever the methods, it’s very annoying! I’ve been lucky: I’ve never had another call like the one that prompted me to start this thread. But from all the comments I get on this thread, it’s pretty clear the scammers are still at it! -Gerry

  36. Judi says:

    My mom had the exact same call. She went through all the steps except she did not give them her credit card and now her internet won’t work at all. Also her microsoft office free version that came with the computer won’t work. Can anyone tell me specifically what to do?

  37. qq says:

    Just got a phone call. I kind suspect them at the first, and they told me about all those prob, but when they tell my to click that website, i realize something is not right. Good to see you have this discussion here.

  38. Nathan says:

    Nathan here, from England. I’ve had a similar experience to many who have already commented. I just wanted to say that it’s interesting that these scammers (or ones using the same technique) are trying it on with folks from all over the world – from Canada, Singapore, the U.S, Australia, New Zealand & Britain. For some reason that surprises me, yet I suppose it makes sense. Also, during my conversation with my would-be scam artist, I could hear lots of other Indian/Pakistani voices in the background. There must be an entire call room(s) of folks who are involved in this scam! Quite amazing, to me at least. Anyway, I hope those they call come across this blog if they’re unsure about it.

  39. WIN says:

    V02271014430020 Company name listed on the Phone
    1-888-888-8888
    This is a SCAM…..Microsoft Support Group…..Lies
    Take U to http://www.Showmypc.com
    They will eventually ask for your credit card>>>>>Do Not…I repeat do not do it!

    Hope this will help someone!

  40. Punjabby says:

    Have some fun messing with these guys. I kept them on the line for 20 minutes today. Let them “help” you, but don’t even go to your computer- just say you’re typing in everything they as you. (I made clicking noises with my tongue to sound like a keyboard). Delay them by not being able to find the WIndows key, and say that when you type in the web address they give you that error messages come up. They will transfer you to another person who speaks slightly better English, but keep being unable to do what they ask- all the while sounding concerned about all the problems with your computer and thanking them for their help.

  41. AnonHead says:

    My wife’s grandmother got a call like this yesterday, obvious scam, with a slight twist to the story, they are trying to sell the lie that microsoft is giving a refund, I spoke to the thick indian accented bloke, same drill as above, goto: http://www.showmypc.com, then he sent me to the “microsoft windows refund department” at: http://microsoftwindowsrefund.webs.com/ ROFL… Please don’t be suckered in by these parasites…

  42. David says:

    This just happened today they used my dads name, i said i was him and i decided id play along till they ask for a credit card and brought up errors on my log just a few like 20 in the past year then says to go to showmypc.com i asked who they were and said corperation from microsoft and i said knocknock he said what i said go f*** off

  43. Wendy Mann says:

    Apparently his name with the thick indian accent is David Williams from Oxford and his number is 07937452710. I think it’s a scam also.

  44. Kathleen Yu says:

    Hi so, my little sister received the same phone call as described above and fell for the scram because she didn’t know any better. I’m not sure if she installed it because she only said she pressed “continued”. She had the program running for 5 minutes before the person on the phone (with the lovely thick indian accent) told her to turn off the computer. She never restarted the computer, but I caught her in the middle of turning off the computer. The background of the computer was black.
    The guy on the phone said he will call her back tomorrow.

    So I’m not sure what to do now since I’m not sure if it’s even safe to turn on my computer right now.
    I don’t want to reboot clean my computer unless it’s absolutely necessary.

    • I’m no computer security expert, so not sure what advice to give. But here’s one thought: make sure the computer’s disconnected from the internet when you start it up. Physically disconnected the Ethernet cable (if any); if you’re using Wifi, use another computer to change the router’s password. That way when you do start up the (possibly compromised) computer, at least it can’t ‘call in’ to some remote computer. Read the other comments below to see the scammers might have asked your sister to install, and uninstall it. Definitely run a virus scanner. When I used Windows, I used AVG Free or Microsoft Security Essentials.

  45. Judy says:

    Same thing here today. The # on the caller I.d. Was 000-000-0000. When I redial end it I got the international operator. Lol. I fell for this before with mcafee. I “thought” I was talking to mcafee support and $275.00 later all I got was AVG and malware. As I found out later it was all free software. About 2 months later the credit card I had used was fraudulently used. So today when Mark called me I was suspicious. Then like all above someone with less of an accent came on the line to direct me to showmypc.com. I then asked her why I was being directed to a dot com if this is a technical call. She hung up on me!! I then found this forum, we need to stick together to keep these creeps away from us. Thanks to all

  46. Ron says:

    I’m in Chicago and blocked this # so I won’t have to deal with these mugs. Thanks for all the constructive work out there.

  47. Spawn says:

    These calls r made to sell of a product like some anti-virus and stuffs but due to company norms the callers cant directly tell u about the product because people hang up the call. so they intend to show u errors and all but its nothing but a sales call. they dont scam or hack u but due to company norms they r bound to follow this method. they dont harm u or ur computer coz they wil get sacked.

    [Well, even if all they do is sell you some software you don't need, it's still a scam if they're selling it based on a misrepresentation, i.e. claiming they've detected errors coming from your computer. And that's the *best case*! -Gerry]

  48. Robert Brandes says:

    I just got the famous call from them. They first instructed me to press Windows-r. I told them this started the calculator-program and the guy obviously did not know the meaning of calculator. Then I had to start the Internet Explorer and go to http://www.showmypc.com. Interesting fact was that the guy on the phone spelled the dot as “point”, so I asked what he meant by point. Then he asked what I am seeing on my screen and I told him “a blank page”.
    Someone else (‘the senior technician”) came on the phone, telling me he thinks I am wasting their time. I replied that they started it…
    He repeated the whole sequence then from Windows-r to the site and I told him I still had the blank page, and I explainmed I mean a white screen…His conclusion was there is something wrong and your computer is not walking right. I told yhe guy he might be right since my computer has no legs to walk. Then he hang up.
    (And no I did not touch my computer at all during this conversation, I had my fun for today)
    Greetings,
    Robert

    • RedWolf says:

      Yes, I am a software tech that removes virus’s and stuff like that so I kept them on the phone for 20 minutes. Kept saying that I didn’t know how to do “whatever” and that I am a novice on the computer. HA!. He hung up on me and I called him back. He stated that I did not sound very “genuine” in the way my voice sounded on the phone. I kept telling him, I think my computer must be very sick or something is wrong. He said for a fee of $279.00 for a five year plan, he could fix my computer “magically” over the internet. $340.00 for lifetime service. He said open IE, but I told him I use Mozilla. “Justin” (sounded like India accent) directed me to showmypc.com remote support site. I told him what should I look for, “was it in the little green arrow up on the top of the page”? HA! He said he could fix my old XP operating system. I am on 7 pro. (8 sucks). He said BDS.net is where he got my phone number from. (I have to look into that). His name is “Justin” and his direct phone number is 1-567-244-xxxx [Removed by Gerry] and he is from Norwalk, Ohio. Give ole’ Justin a call, tie up his line. He also wanted my credit card numbers and he would check my credit card and bank account to see if I had enough money to cover the cost! LOL! Yes, give Justin a call.

      • I removed the last four digits of Justin’s number in New Jersey, as I seriously doubt that’s where he was calling from, and I wouldn’t want some innocent person in New Jersey getting crank calls.

  49. Mark VB says:

    Just got the call myself. I teach computers, so I was willing to follow along part way. Went through the steps that he stated to view certain items. I had strange feeling when he asked me to do things that I know were not options, and his response was “Oh my God, your system is horribly corrupted and it is preventing you from deleting those items.” He then wanted me to go to a Web site. I was unwilling to do so since it was not a Microsoft Web site, he then wanted me to go to anther with the name of “windows” in the front. I told him again, this domain does not look like a Microsoft Web site, from there I told him if there were issues that Microsoft would get a hold of me. He said that he is Microsoft, I said that the number came up as unknown and that Microsoft is able to contact me if there is an issue. Interesting he had my number, although it could have been a guess on a number. The other thing is I just formatted my dive and did a clean install of windows a week ago. After three years of Windows 7 with no issue, why after a week of a clean Windows 7 am I having problems…. Go Figure…. I am willing to risk that I am shutting down a true Microsoft person although I don’t think he was. If there are any problems I will just reinstall Windows 7 and my software again. I am ok with that….

  50. Rufus says:

    Got the call this afternoon. “Nick” with heavy Indian accent called from “Microsoft” saying they had noticed errors on my Windows 7. I was not an easy hook. I kept resisting, asking him for a phone number, when the errors were noticed, what errors, etc. but he had me worried. He had me go to my computer and press the windows and “r” key simultaneously. He had me enter “eventcwr” to look at the Windows logs. I asked for his call back phone #. He gave me 263-953053, which made no sense. He kept insisting that he was from Microsoft and I had to give them access to my computer so they could fix it. His English was so broken that, when I pressed him for answers, I chalked his nonsensical replys to communication incommpatibility. I went to the Windows(?) site he directed me to. There were 3 buttons. The red one on the left led to Amtty or whatever as mentioned above. I pressed the button on the far right and ended up running (not downloading, I hope) ShowMyPC3152.exe or download3.showmypc.com — I’m not sure which, but when I saw their window, I went off on him. He transferred me to the better spoken guy, who I interrogated and verbally reamed and told I would report them. The line went dead. Where do I report them??

    • If you choose to run an exe from the net, I’m pretty sure that really means ‘download and run’ since the exe runs locally and therefore has to be downloaded first. No idea how you would report these guys, unless you can figure out what number they (really) called from, which is unlikely.

      From descriptions other commenters have provided, it seems all these scammers want to do is convince you something’s wrong with your machine so they get your credit card info and sell you some software you don’t need. Perhaps they also sell your credit card info – who knows. I don’t think they’re out to infect people’s machines, etc. There are plenty of more cost-effective ways to do that! Since you haven’t given any credit card info, you’re probably fine. Nonetheless, it might be worth running a virus scanner. You could use Microsoft Security Essentials – it’s free.

  51. Carolyn says:

    They are still at it; I got a call today from ‘Paul’ claiming he was from Window Tech Support. I questioned him and said I thought it was a fraud but agreed to see what they were up to. In the meantime, Google is a wonderful thing. As with others, they had me type eventvr and showed me all kinds of errors, then directed me to showmypc.com. At this point, there is a message on their website that says showmypc would not call you and beware of those calling and claiming to want to assist you with errors coming from your computer. Anyway, I hung up at this point.

  52. Sarah says:

    I am from Singapore and got a call from them yesterday. The guy insisted he is from Microsoft’s security department and that they received messages that my window’s license had expired. I knew it was a scam since all the machines on my network run legit windows license. I asked him how he got my number. He was stunned and unable to reply. I questioned him why Microsoft would call outside office hours (I received the call at 8:30 pm). He said they worked round the clock. What surprised me was the utter shamelessness and persistence of the caller. I told him I was sure it was a hoax call and that I would report to the police if he called me again.

  53. Joke says:

    I am from Holland and fell for this scam last week. I just can’t believe I was so stupid, because I am well educated and Always laugh at people who fall for things like these. It didn’t feel right, but the guy was very persistent and even more patient and friendly and very convincing. I DID have problems with my laptop and had indeed sent messages to Microsoft reporting problems, so it sounded at least credible. I knew there was something wrong when I got the fake invoice with only mentioning the service for that day and not for longer.
    My laptop IS actually working much better since, so I feel helped, but fear possible damage.

    Anybody any idea or advice on what to do to make sure that I am not hacked?
    I believe that it is only a scam to earn some money and that they indeed might have cleaned up my laptop, but charged me big time for it.

    Happy to hear your suggestions.

  54. Bill Payne says:

    Comcast Norton and AVG antivirus programs are missing malware, we recently discovered during xp installation on WD 1 TB SATA drive.

  55. mehta says:

    Hello Guys
    I have also reviceved call in name of Microsoft tech support. I knew that Microsoft tech never call. So I just wanted to know what they wnat to do with my computer. First of all I turned of my internet, in case any thing goes wrong.

    Then he told me to that your computer haveing some error, we are receiving many error report from your computer. First he said your computer working on windows 8, and then after some conversation he said to resolve the issue please follow my instrution.
    - Please press windos buttol located at bottom left of the screen. (Windos 8 does not have that)
    - then he said right click on my computer and select manage. and then told me to select some folder and show me event log that my computer been compromising and have some melicious software or app.
    ———————- up to this point they were trying to have my trust ——————————–

    then he told me to open run from window screen and type http://www.showmypc.com and download and install that thing. I know my internet is off so nothing gonna happen. And after 15 to 20 min talk, told him that oh I dont have internet service. and then he said ok I will call you back.

    important thing

    Ask them when did they recieve error report, ask date and time
    Do not install any thing they want you to have install

    • mehta says:

      here What i did to search on google.

      I told him that “ohhh…… my computer is restarting , and tell then this happen often.” And after sometime i told them, “now my computer updating, it says 90 updates are installing.”
      So this way you can have some time to search on google and you knwo what to do next to avoid any trap.

  56. J. Elliott says:

    Yeap, just got called on the home phone from Indian speaking gentleman saying that my windows pc has been sending his department errors over the past week. Had me open the event logger as evidence and asked me to go to http://www.showmypc.com to run their software :( tsk tsk tsk …
    I’m guessing from reading this post is that this scheme must be making money or they wouldn’t still be running this con. Oh well, all I can say is DON’T RUN SHIT from idiots on the web.

  57. EdisonE says:

    The annoying scammers continue. Received a call this afternoon. Same scenario as that mentioned by others. Fellow with an Indian accent claiming to represent Microtech Support.
    He sounded convincing at first
    I started growing suspicious when he asked me to open the Run dialog box to list all of the inf files
    He then tried to tell me these were erroneous files and I would need to purchase software to “fix” the problem.
    I did go as far as to download showmypc.exe
    Then before any damage could be done did a search on microtech using my iPhone
    Told him that I just found out he was trying to scam me
    I hung up shut everything down and took my laptop to my local computer shop to make certain nothing malicious was loaded and to ensure everything operates well
    I then blocked the phone numbers and will file a formal complaint with the Feds

  58. Catherine says:

    Yes .. my mother did. They were so befriending and ingratiating that my mother trusted them and parted with some money despite my trying to stop her. Mum is very strong-willed and they had convinced her she needed them because of hacking and viruses, etc etc. … Down the track and I overhear them on the phone trying to squeeze $1,000 from her so I grabbed the phone and dealt with them. I told them I suspected that they were creating the problems on her NEW machine and calling to solve it. To cut a long story short, showmypc3152 can’t be shredded and various other things they implanted are well entrenched like parasites in her machine, and we’ve decided to (1) disconnect her machine from the modem, (2) save her data, and (3) do a complete reinstall. I had an amusing time on the phone with them, ending with their “Supervisor” who was apparently located in Martin Place, and her name was Cindy (heavy Indian accent) .. then when I reminded her I had no surname, I got Cindy Jones .. and then I asked what time she was in the office until, I got a hang up (and this was also after them attempting to drop their $ charge). They are still trying to call the house, but when I answer the phone they hang up. Relentless. I believe no matter how long it takes these desperados they will continue to try to get through to my mother, which I’ve prepped her for. I’d like to try and do something about this situation, but my gut feeling is that it would be throwing my time away further over this BS. All I can say is KARMA!

  59. trishgerman says:

    Run GRC.com Shields Up to see if your computer is vulnerable. Run thew (UPnP)
    Internet Exposure Test – it is free.

  60. trishgerman says:

    go to http://www.grc.com and run (UPnP) Internet Exposure Test. It will tell you if your computer has open vulnerabilities. The test is FAST and FREE

  61. TiaMarie says:

    I got the call yesterday, although I run Macs but decided to play along. (My friend had fallen for it so I decided to see what it was all about, and where they would take me.) I kept them on the phone for 35 minutes. Finally when I couldn’t “find the server” they told me I had an internet problem (they wanted me to go to “www.showmypc.com” and when that didn’t work “www.infosis.net” and when that didn’t work “ncpa.cpl” and that I needed to contact someone locally. I asked why they couldn’t help me if they were technicians. He said that he couldn’t. I’m sure I will be hearing from them again. But, as many others commented they have more patience than any customer service reps that I have dealt with for other issues.

    DO NOT FALL FOR THEIR SCAM and WARN YOUR FRIENDS and FAMILY!

  62. Kevin says:

    I got a call a few minutes ago, and also had the same call about two months ago, but this time I played along with them. I told them that I am not very computer literate, so they would have to be patient with me. I bet it took a good three minutes for him to explain to me where the Start button was on the keyboard. Then I kept telling him that I don’t know what the Microsoft icon looks like. He told me it looked like the Windows icon. He then tried to tell me it sort of looks like a flag. I explained to him that I don’t have any flags on my keyboard that I could tell. Finally I gave in, told him I found the start button, but as soon as I pushed it my computer turned off, so he’d have to wait until it started again. I asked him if that was the viruses causing it to do that, and he said it was and he would show me how to take care of it. After about 20 minutes of jerking him around, I told him that he must think I’m stupid for falling for crap like that, and he STILL persisted in trying to get me to fall for it. Like others, I feel sorry for ones that fall for this kind of crap, and end up hosing up their computers.

  63. Anthony James says:

    Got the call from these guys and they are quite convincing. I told them I didn’t receive a call from MS about this and that they should maybe send me an email on it. They kept going and when I went through with the DL of the ShowMyPc3160.exe software and running it they wanted control. I didn’t run that though and then I was handed over to the ‘manager’ who told me to go and get a hammer and hit myself over the head with it as I was a waste of time! Lovely!!!! I told him MS would be furious with their tech team for talking to customers like this. HA HA… just hang up I think is the moral of the story.

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