Speaking with the lady of the house

Discussion in 'Member News and Views' started by dweiss17, Nov 13, 2014.

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  1. dweiss17

    dweiss17 Registered User
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    Aug 1, 2006
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    I think I just received a commercial call that I was hesitant to pick up the phone to answer, because I thought it was likely a commercial. I do have a record button on my phone, however, I got up from my computer chair to answer the call.

    The lady on the other end asked, "May I speak with the lady of the house?"

    A little reluctant, I hung up the phone...I was going to answer this lady with..."Would you care to speak with my cat...she's the only female in the Weiss household."
     
  2. jakematic

    jakematic Registered User

    Sep 26, 2014
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    Where we they calling from... 1950 ?
    Gosh I haven't heard that request in I can't remember how long.

    Then again who knows what folks are selling by telephone these days !
     
  3. shutterbug

    shutterbug Moderator
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    Oct 19, 2005
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    If ever you buy something from any of them, they sell their number list to everyone so you'll receive hundreds of calls asking for money in one way or another. Best to do what you did - hang up. On my cell phone, I have a "block this caller" option. That proves to be quite handy :)
     
  4. doug sinclair

    doug sinclair Registered User

    Aug 27, 2000
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    I answered a phone call recently, while my wife Bonnie, was out. I picked up the phone and said "hello". The woman on the other end of the line asked if this was Bonnie speaking! I was dumbstruck! It took me a second or so to tell her that Bonnie was out! Duh!
     
  5. scottmiami

    scottmiami Registered User

    May 14, 2014
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    Had a client recently receive a phone call from "Microsoft Support" (it's a scam, don't fall for it!!!).

    Anyway, they asked for Mr (my customer's last name).

    My customer is a lesbian. There is no Mr in the house :) I believe she bit his head off through the phone all the way in India.
     
  6. Bill Stuntz

    Bill Stuntz Technical Admin
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    Apr 6, 2012
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    Actually, he's in Humacao, Puerto Rico and called from 787-676-5656 if he's the same guy that called ME the other day. He had called a customer of mine a week before, using the same script. It scared her, and now I almost feel guilty for charging her for an onsite service call to check her machine out after he had ALMOST talked her into running Team Viewer to let him "fix" her computer remotely. At that point, thank God she was smart enough to hang up on him. But I didn't know FOR SURE that he hadn't talked her into doing something dangerous from a command prompt before she shut him down. If he'd called me first, I might have not felt I had to go see her to check out her machine. BTW, her computer WAS still clean.

    They have a VERY good script. And I could hear a bunch of other calls in the background in his boiler room. I decided to play along since I'd know EXACTLY what he was trying to do, and that he wouldn't be able to con me into doing ANYTHING that could come back to bite me. He spoke heavily accented English, and I asked him whether he was calling from India, since I know MS does a lot of support from there. No, he's calling from California. (While my caller id is showing Puerto Rico! I didn't recognize his accent but it didn't SOUND Hispanic to me.) He said that Microsoft had detected that my computer was infected, and had deactivated my Windows license, and he'd have to clean up my machine and then reactivate my license. I told him OK, but I wouldn't give him any info over the phone, and he'd have to prove it to me. He said it could be any machine on my home network, and that the infected machine could have infected others. He had me open a command prompt and had me run a command that output a particular CLSID from the registry - and read me the alphabet soup to "prove" to me that THIS was the infected computer he was talking about. Then he had me open the command prompt again and had me run netstat - SEE, the last entries in that list PROVE that my computer is infected because it has external connections. (The connections were to gmail and dropbox - but the names that show show there don't make that clear.) So I played along some more. Then he told me that I need to "fix" my network configuration to kick the hackers out & keep them out. At that point, I was getting tired of the conversation - I'd wasted about 1/2 hour of his and my time so far. So I told him that I was paranoid about viruses/malware and was running some fairly heavy duty AV/firewall/intrusion detection software, and I STILL didn't believe I was infected. So he asked if I wanted to be connected to higher level tech support. Sure. He then "transferred" my call by pressing the disconnect button. At least he wasn't preying on someone else while he was wasting his time talking to me.

    P.S. 99% of my customers wouldn't have had the foggiest notion that the scary stuff he was telling them to do would give exactly the same answers on EVERY computer in the world. Well, except netstat, but with an open browser and/or email client there would be SOME external connection he could use to "prove" that they were infected. The human engineering was close to perfect. Too bad he wasted his time talking to someone who knows more about it than HE does. All HE knows is the script.
     
  7. scottmiami

    scottmiami Registered User

    May 14, 2014
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    Be careful Bill, I had one client who fell for it a few months ago, and the scammer used syskey (not a virus, part of Windoze OS) to password protect the registry, user couldn't log in after. And they had deleted all restore points. Had to restore old copies of the registry from an old hard drive I had cloned this installation from to get them working.
     
  8. harold bain

    harold bain Registered User
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    Nov 4, 2002
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    Any time anyone calls me trying to sell or fix my windows, I just tell them I live in a cave, with no windows or doors.:whistle:
     
  9. Bill Stuntz

    Bill Stuntz Technical Admin
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    Apr 6, 2012
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    Thanks for the warning, Scott. Sounds like you've been doing this a while, too. I've spent the last 25 years building/repairing PC's. It would be pretty hard to con me into running a dangerous command, since I actually DO understand how these things work. I assume your client let themselves be talked into letting him do it remotely. And I wasn't SURE my client had hung up soon enough.

    I'm hoping that our warnings will help keep our friends here from falling for this or any similar scam.

    P.S. My wife told me they called again at 7:45am today. THIS time, she didn't bother waking me up to take the call. Last time, I told him that I had to go pour a cup of coffee to wake up enough to respond appropriately, and he actually waited for me - which was part of the reason I was able to keep him on the line for over 1/2 hour. :D This morning, she answered, but didn't say anything. She just listened to him saying "Hello... Is anyone there... Hello" for a while. He finally gave up. I wonder if he was smart enough to block our number in their robo-caller this time.

    I've never actually received one of these calls before, but I know they've been happening for a long time.
     
  10. FDelGreco

    FDelGreco Registered User
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    Aug 28, 2000
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    Here is my solution to these calls. It works very well every time. When I answer a call and it is someone wanting to fix something, sell me something, or get me to vote for someone, I start talking very softly so he can barely hear me. Pretty soon, he is probably pressing his ear tightly against the phone. That's when I grab my 120db air horn powered by a can of compressed gas I keep by the phone, and let him have it. That usually fixes it.

    Frank
     
  11. David S

    David S Registered User
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    Dec 18, 2011
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    We get all sorts of calls for window replacement..I simply say ah darn we just had them all replaced. Same with furnace replacements and duct cleaning..I just tell them I have electric base board...oh bye.
     
  12. Bill Stuntz

    Bill Stuntz Technical Admin
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    Apr 6, 2012
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    Good idea Frank. Trouble is, I wanted to hear his pitch for myself. If he'd called me first, I could probably have saved my long-time client money. She's 80+ and is living comfortably, so her calling me out didn't hurt her. I'd REALLY feel bad if she were living on dishrag soup.
     
  13. scottmiami

    scottmiami Registered User

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    I like it!
     
  14. scottmiami

    scottmiami Registered User

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    Yup. One born every minute. And all of them are my clients it seems :)
     
  15. Bill Stuntz

    Bill Stuntz Technical Admin
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    Apr 6, 2012
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    Not QUITE all of them. Mine tend to fall for "Your computer will be _____er, and it's FREE!" - fill in the blank: fast, fun, pretty, easy, safe... ad infinitum. I tell them that if it contains any word that could possibly end in "er" and the word FREE in the same sentence, it's garbage. Occasionally, they believe me - usually about the 2nd time they have to pay me to clean them up. Or after they find out that the big shops want about twice what I charge. TANSTAAFL! As you say... One born every minute.
     

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